Mountains. I have every reason to believe that it was not Bragg's original plan to move with his whole force directly into Kentucky; that his first objective point was Nashville. He has had the advantage of many alternatives, none of which I could meet without giving him the advantage of time and distance, and that at no time could I have forced a battle without yielding him greatly the advantage in point of numbers. It has not been possible to prevent his junction with Kirby Smith's forces except through the force in Kentucky, because he has been able all the time to move in a direct line, while I have been forced on a circuitous route. I have been cramped because my communications have been effectually broken and beyond my control. I am not disposed generally to be very zealot in my own defense, but I ought perhaps to say this much. To enter into details would occupy time, perhaps uselessly.
The situation of affairs in Kentucky at present is this: Bragg has reached bardstown; Smith is said to have reached Shelbyville this morning from Frankfort. This would seem to indicate an advance on this city, though I have doubted that they would attempt an attack if I formed a junction here. They could reach here to-morrow. I shall have seven divisions here by to-morrow morning. It will be safe to estimate the force of the enemy at about 60,000 inured and effective men.
D. C. BUELL,
LA GRANCE, September 25, 1862.
There were 15,000 men left Frankfort yesterday for Bardstown, and the same have arrived at Shelbyville to-day, on their way to form a junction with Bragg.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, September 25, 1862.
Major General D. C. BUELL,
Commanding Army of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
GENERAL: I am anxious to see and consult with you personally in regard to joint operations. Where and when can I meet you? I deem it of utmost importance that there should be no delay.
H. G. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
September 25, 1862.
True copies [of Beauregard to Bragg, July 28,* and Beauregard to Cooper, September 5, 1862,] respectfully forwarded to Colonel Kelton for the information of the general-in-chief.
These letters were found in a mail captured by our cavalry at Glas-
*See Part I, p. 711.