the men you have, who know every portion of the ground, we can do it effectually. At the same time the troops must be kept well in hand, to be able to operate on the flank and rear of any force endeavoring to make its way into Kentucky by Pound Gap.
The country higher up is said to still possess considerable in the way of subsistence and forage. Certainly it has enough to support the predatory rebel bands which constantly roam over it, committing outrages upon the persons of citizens and depredations on their property.
The troops in your vicinity, in regard to which you inquire in a former letter, are, first, one West Virginia regiment (the Fifth), at Ceredo, which scouts the valley of the Little Kanawha and up the eastern side of the Big Sandy. Second, the troops, some 6,000 strong, in the valley of the Kanawha, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General Scammon. It would be well to keep in communication with Colonel Zeigler and General Scammon. Third, to the west there are no troops nearer to you than Mount Sterling and Irvine, where there are at the former one battalion and at the latter two battalions of the Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry. Those at Irvine are not yet fully equipped. This force scouts eastward to West Liberty.
In regard to your communication with Catlettsburg, I should say that it may be made secure by sending small detachments to guard your transports or trains, as the enemy cannot get at them in any force without your receiving timely warning. Possibly in this opinion I may be in error, but all the information I have regarding the character of the country and the localities of the enemy's forces confirms its correctness.
In conclusion, I would say that the efficiency of the force in the district must depend mainly on the officer in command, since the operations to be undertaken are of such a character as to preclude any but general instructions. All the details must be left by me to his judgment and discretion, and he must act according to the necessities of the case, ever varying with the movements of the rebels, which cannot generally be provided against by positive instructions from these headquarters.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
MURFREESBOROUGH, February 15, 1863.
Brigadier General A. BAIRD, Nashville:
Send the cavalry as proposed. Keep us advised of movements. Let them come up until we can strike a blow that will tell. The general desires to know what you mean by "then closing up on the different roads." Such an expression would seem to indicate that you thought they were completely surrounded and shut in.
By order of Major-General Rosecrans:
NASHVILLE, February 15, 1863.
Lieutenant . Colonel C. GODDARD:
General Gilbert used the expression, "Forrest reported only 6 miles off, on the Carter Creek road, and others on the other roads." I under