War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0876 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII

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Bardstown, Ky., September 25, 1862.


SIR: I have the honor to report the occupation of this place by my forces on the 22d. The long, arduous, and exhausting march renders it necessary for my troops to have some rest. They will therefore remain several days.

At Munfordville I was between Buell's forces and General E. K. Smith, by which the latter was secured. Efforts were made to bring Buell to an engagement, but he declined, and it was reported to me he was reported me he was moving by way of Brownsville to the nearest point on the Ohio. For want of provisions it was impossible for me to follow or even stay where I was, the population being nearly all hostile and the country barren and destitute,having been ravaged by the enemy. With only three day's provisions we marched on this place (59 miles), and reached here after some privation and suffering. It is a source of deep regret that this move was necessary, as it has enabled Buell to reach Louisville, where a very large force is now concentrated.

I regret to say we are sadly disappointed at the want of action by our friends in Kentucky. We have so far received no accession to this army. General Smith has secured about a brigade-not half our losses by casualties of different kinds. We have 15,000 stand of arms and no one to use them. Unless a change occurs soon we must abandon the garden spot of Kentucky to its cupidity. The love of ease and fear of pecuniary loss are the fruitful sources of this evil. Kentucky and Tennessee are redeemed if we can be supported,but at least 50,000 men will be necessary, and a few weeks will decide the question. Should we have to retire, much in the way of supplies and morale will be lost, and the redemption of Kentucky will be indefinitely postpone, if not rendered impossible. Had the forces in North Mississippi moved as ordered, so as to have held the enemy there in check, we might have made some headway after arriving here; ;but we find the armies of Generals Grant, Rosecrans. Curtis, and Buell, with many of the new levies, opposed to us. In this condition any advance is impossible. I still hope the movement of Generals Price and Van Dorn may clear away our rear and open a base for us. Otherwise we may be seriously embarrassed.

General Morgan (Federal) we learn is trying to make his escape from Cumberland Gap, but I trust General Smith's dispositions may result in his destruction or capture.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.


OCTOBER 8, 1862.

There was an evident error as to the withdrawal of the enemy from Tennessee. The battle of Corinth shows the impossibility of the advance referred to as the part required of Generals Van Dorn and Price It is to be hoped that Kentucky may be held.



Bardstown, Ky., September 25, 1862.

Numbers 3. Rec's d Hdqrs. Army of the West, Nov. 19, 1862.

I. Brigadier General N. B. Forrest is relieved from duty with this army, and is charged with the military operations in Middle Tennessee. He is