counted by millions of dollars. Again, revolving arms duplicate our strength. What is the use of raising and supporting a force and losing half its strength, for want of as many dollars' expense for arms as would be lost by a day's delay? The extra forage and subsistence we could have procured would pay four times the number needed. To arm our cavalry, we now want twenty-five hundred revolving rifles and breech-loading carbines. Can we have them? How soon?
W. S. ROSECRANS,
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1863.
GENERAL: Your telegram of yesterday, 7.30 p. m., was received this morning, and I have telegraphed an answer in regard to gunboats.
Will not the occupation of so many points as you propose between the Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers greatly weaken your main army and expose the garrisons of the points occupied to capture? If these were fortified towns, strong enough to resist a coup de main, the case would be different.
There is a general impression here that no troops have gone from Virginia to re-enforce Bragg, but, on the contrary, that a part of Bragg's forces have been sent to Port Hudson and Vicksburg, and I have been urged to send a part of your army down the Mississippi. I do not regard the reports of these changes as sufficiently reliable to authorize any change at present in the strength of your army. They are, however, of such a character as to render it exceedingly important that you should occupy the enemy in your front, and, as far as possible, feel him and keep yourself informed of his strength.
The continued inaction of the Army of the Potomac during the long and favorable season for field operations, which, it is feared, is now closed, has very greatly embarrassed the Government. It was expected that that army would at least drive the enemy from the vicinity of Washington and the Upper Potomac, and occupy the rebel army of Virginia south of the Rappahannock. This would have enabled us to detach sufficient forces to place the opening of the Mississippi beyond a doubt. As things now are, we are hard pressed for troops for that purpose. Should the enemy succeed in holding your army in check with an inferior force while he sends troops to the Mississippi River, it is greatly to be feared that the time of many of our troops will expire without our having accomplished any important results.
In regard to gunboats for the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, I regret that the entire control of these matters was taken from the War Department. We anticipated and predicted that just at the time and place where we most needed these boats there would be no co-operation. Our only hope is for you to continually urge upon Admiral Porter the necessity of his keeping boats in these rivers, and I will continue to urge the matter upon the Navy Department here. I have no doubt that there is every desire for a cordial co-operation, but this is very difficult to effect when the parties have different objects in view and act entirely independent of each other.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,