be well repaired. It takes more time to unload, put together, and launch a canvas boat than to simply unload and launch a wooden one. According to Duane's book, a canvas boat train requires as many wagons to transport it as a wooden one. Wooden boats can be produced here as rapidly as canvas ones, and are rapidly called and repaired when leaky, provided they are made of seasoned timber. Wooden boats are much better for use as boats, or to combine into rafts. Unless for a very short campaign with careful and experienced engineer troops, I would advise the adoption of wooden boats. Buell's pontoons were made of green lumber. We can get seasoned now. Shall I order wood or canvas?
H. G. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, December 7, 1862
Colonel JONATHAN CRANOR,
Comdg. Eastern District of Kentucky, Catlettsburg, Ky.:
COLONEL: Your letter of the 25th instant [ultimo], which was received during my absence, came duly to hand.
As your force is strong enough to overcome any opposition it is likely to encounter, I regret to find the low stage of the river and lack of land transportation still keeps so large a portion of it at Catlettsburg and Ashland, where it could be of little, if any service.
All your requisitions for supplies and land transportation have, I presume, been filled; and as soon as the river rises sufficiently you should establish a depot as high, at least, as Louisa, and your troops should operate as high up as Piketon, where Colonel Dils now is. It seems to me that something might be done with your force against the rebels, if they are where you suppose them to be. Floyd will be within your reach, if you cans move upon him before the bad weather sets in, and you have more than force enough to beat him, or drive him out of Logan County. Whether this be so or not, it is important that your force should be moved well up the Big Sandy, as soon as the condition of your supplies will permit, so as to better cover the country and keep down the rebel bands, while at the same time you can watch the road through Pound Gap. A dash upon the railroad, and the destruction of one or more of its important bridges, would be of the utmost importance. Keep your troops,particularly your cavalry, moving. Do not let them rest. Show them through the country, and use them for getting information, and for disquieting the enemy, if nothing else.
Colonel Munday's cavalry is not go to you, Major Doniphan's battalion, of the Tenth Kentucky, having been sent instead. If you have any of Munday's men, as I believe you have, send them to join their battalion at Mount Sterling.
Colonel Dils is represented to be a good officer, and his men as excellent material and good fighters. When full, his regiment will be mustered in and assigned to your command.
Is the One hundred and seventeenth Ohio necessary to you? If not, it will be sent elsewhere.
Report regularly, and at least once a week,and make the returns of your force. Blanks have been sent to you in the greatest abundance, through the Quartermaster's Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,