is with Bruce, and don't belong to your command and cannot be spared now, I believe. Will telegraph you as to route, and more fully, after seeing Granger, who can't get here on account of snow, which blocks up everything, and may delay movement some days.
H. G. WRIGHT,
WAR DEPARTMENT, QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 19, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose copies of dispatches to Major-General Rosecrans, and to Captain W. Jenkins, assistant quartermaster of his principal depot at Louisville, Ky., and to Colonel Robert Allen, principal purchasing quartermaster, Saint Louis, Moc., in reference to protecting the supply steamers in the Cumberland River against attacks from rebel cavalry of guerrillas. These dispatches will show what steps I have taken to meet the requirements of your letter of the 16th instant, inclosing General Rosecrans' request for transports with bullet-proof boilers and pilot-houses. It is believed that the directions thus given will be sufficient to do all that is really necessary, and that it would not be proper for the War Department to attempt the plating of steamers with iron at a time when the Navy Department assures us that any such endeavor will only interfere with their operations and delay the completion of the armored gunboats which they are preparing. By proper co-operation between the naval flotilla and General Rosecrans, it is believed that the rebel cavalry can be prevented from crossing the Cumberland and much interfering with his supplies by that river. This co-operation will no doubt be provided, upon your request to the Secretary of the Navy.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 19, 1863.
Consulting Secretary of War, Assistant Secretary of Navy, and General-in-Chief, I reply to dispatch asking for transports with bullet-proof boilers and pilot-houses. The Navy employs all the workmen, buys all the iron, and all the boats fit to be made into armored light-draught gunboats. Say that for the Army to enter the market would only delay them in preparing those they have in hand, and that it would take two months to prepare one, even if we could get the material. They have now sixteen light-draught armored boats, proof against musketry and light artillery, suitable for the Cumberland and Tennessee, and preparing others as fast as possible. Also some heavy 4 1/2-inch armored boats have lately descended the Ohio. Advise that you communicate with naval commander at Cairo, and ask convoy for supply vessels. The supply vessels should have their coal placed to protect boilers as far as possible,