War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0144 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

looked upon only as a condemnation of my administration of the affairs of this department, and will naturally occasion in the public mind a want of confidence which will seriously impair my usefulness in my present position. In this view of the case, I feel bound to suggest to the military authorities at Washington my removal from this command, by the assignment thereto of some one who shall fully command the confidence of the people and the troops in the department, and to ask that no unnecessary delay be permitted in adopting this suggestion. For the reasons above given, I believe this action should be taken, for the good of the service. having been in command of the department since its creation, now nearly seven months, and having gained a certain knowledge of its affairs, its present resources and necessities, I trust that an expression of opinion in these respects may not be considered out of place.

The Department of the Ohio, with the southern boundary of Kentucky as its limit toward the enemy, is the seat of active operations only when that enemy chooses to cross the border, and cannot, therefore, be the field, except in such contingency, for the exercise of purely military talent; yet it requires, for its command, on who combines administrative ability in its most enlarged sense with military knowledge, in order to secure its proper administration. The Departments of the Tennessee and the Cumberland are more or less dependent upon it for their existence. From it they draw largely their supplies of men and material, and for this they must be, to an important degree, dependent upon the department commander. The armies under General Grant and Rosecrans have drawn both men and supplies, to an enormous extent, from here, since I have been in command, and they must do so in the future, to the extent of their necessities and the means at disposal. To both of these officers I have sent freely, under general instructions from your headquarters, the men and means at my command. Not only have I obeyed the orders I have received in this respect, but in doing so I have followed the dictates of my own judgment. The battles for the peace and security of this department ought to be fought in advance of its borders, and no exertion of mine (perhaps I may say no sacrifice of self-interest) has been wanting to make this principle successful. I have sent off, from time to time, as they were needed in front and were prepared for the field, the troops of the department, till there was left only enough to protect the State of Kentucky from inroads of the enemy in the inter season, while the roads were nearly impassable, and the rivers so swollen as to be impracticable for any large force, so that at the present moment there are only some 6,000 available men in the Central District to keep off raids upon the most fertile portion of the State, to protect its line of communication, and to cover the city of Cincinnati, while in Western Kentucky the numbers engaged in guarding the railroad from Louisville to Nashville, the line of communication of General Rosecrans' army, and in keeping down guerrilla bands, with which that part of the State is infested, and in coverlets than 9,000 effective men. This number is too small for the real security of the State. Whenever the roads become good enough to admit the march of an army, General Rosecrans, in advance of Nashville, cannot cover the State from serious invasion. So long as by his presence he can force the rebels to keep together, it is well; but they will, if they do not abandon their position and invade the State, as was done last fall by Bragg, detach what they can spare from their strongly fortified position, and, adding to it such other troops as in their desperation