more, I plead upon the high ground of right their claims where their own soil is the scene of conflict t be allowed to bear a part in the strife. I will not elaborate these views into as argument which your own mind will readily anticipate, but trust this matter without further remark to your wisdom and sense of justice.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Danville, Ky., October 22,* 1862 - 1 a. m.
(Received October 22, 2.20 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I am very grateful for the approbation expressed in your dispatch of 17th [18th?]. I have also received your dispatch of yesterday [19th], conveying orders for moving into East Tennessee. Undoubtedly the present is in may respects a favorable opportunity for the movement. Far from making objections, the object of my dispatch was to call attention to its importance, but at the same time I suggested the difficulties, so that the requisite means could be provided if possible. In speaking of Tennessee as being nearer the heart of the enemy's resources, I meant that he could concentrate his troops there rapidly. I have no doubt you realize that the occupation of East Tennessee with a suitable force is an undertaking of very considerable magnitude, and that if undertaken unadvisedly it will fail. I venture to give you my views:
If the enemy puts himself on the defensive in East Tennessee it will require an available force of 80,000 men to take and hold it. If our army can subsist on the country so much the better; but it will not do to rely solely on that source. If we can obtain forage and one-half our breadstuffs that for the present is probably as much as we can do; everything else must be hauled. Nashville is essential as a depot; afterward McMinnville. Gainesborough will be an important point for us as soon as the navigation of the Cumberland opens, which may not be for two months. We can procure all of our forage and breadstuffs and some meat form Middle Tennessee, but Nashville and the vicinity must be rid of the enemy in any considerable force. We cannot otherwise collect supplies. The enemy has repaired and is now using the Chattanooga Railroad to Murfreesborough, and is threatening Nashville somewhat seriously, as appears form a dispatch received to-day from General Negley, which I send you. this danger has no reference to Bragg's movements. the, if the enemy should not be there in heavy force, it would not be necessary or desirable to go to nashville in full force. We could cross the Cumberland Gap being out of the question. The railroad to nashville must be opened and rendered secure, because, until navigation opens, that is the only channel for supplies. A part of the route to East Tennessee is mountainous and destitute of supplies of every sort. As we advance depots of forage, to be supplied form the productive region, must be established to carry our trains across the sterile region - say at McMinnville and Cookville - but that will not delay the advance of the army.
* As appended to the record of the Buell Commission this dispatch is dated October 20. See Halleck to Buell, October 23, p.638.