be at Glasgow entire by the 31st. Put McCook's division in motion by way of Summersville, Horse Well, and Bowling Green. It must reach Bowling Green by the 31st. Rations will meet it at Bell's. Crittenden's division will draw rations from Cave City or Munfordville. Direct the First and Third Divisions (Schoepf's and Rousseau's) to march for Bowling Green by Campbellsville, Greensburg, and Glasgow. They must reast Bowling Green by the 1st proximo and Glasgow by the 29th. Rations for them all will be at Cave City.
JAMES B. FRY.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, October 25, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
GENERAL: There remains but little doubt that the bulk of the rebel forces have evacuated Kentucky, and, with the exception of perhaps 3,000 or 4,000, have retreated into Tennessee. Marshall's force, less than 3,000 strong, probably has taken the Pound Gap road into Virginia, which is the same by which it entered.
Assuming that this is true, we have now in Kentucky a large and increasing the enemy. The army of some 50,000 which had been collected at Louisville has been absorbed into the Army of the Ohio under General Buell. For the disposition of this force I am not now accountable, as it is saving under my superior. Besides these troops there are in the department the force in Western Virginia under Major-General Cox and another of over 20,000 men under General Gordon Granger now occupying positions between Covington and Lexington. Other forces are stationed in various parts of Kentucky, mainly on the line of the Louisville and Nashville road, and at Henderson, opposite Evansville.
If the rebel forces have left Kentucky it is not likely they will attempt returning at this advanced season, and from what I can learn of the nature of the country it will be impossible for them to do so after winter sets in. This frees to a great extent our own forces in the State, and something must of course be promptly determined upon for them to do. Aside from General Buell's army we have more than 20,000 available men after deducting enough to leave behind to control the State of Kentucky. What shall be done with them? This is a question I cannot decide and must refer to you for your instructions.
In this connection I will say what I have for some time designed saying, and that is that a commander of all the forces in the West should be at once appointed. Until this is done it is certain but little can be accomplished. Leaving out of consideration any jealousies that may exist and arise, it is impossible that several independent commanders can act with the same effect as a single controlling head. It seems to me that I see every day the bad results of this want of unity of operations. You of course fully understand this, for your own experience while in command at the West must have been instructive on this subject. I only desire to add mine, though more limited. Who the man should be I do not know, but I am inclined to believe he is not now west of the Alleghanies.
At any rate please instruct me as to what shall be done with my available force.
Very respectfully and truly,
H. G. WRIGHT.