unfitted for such a command. From my conversations with Governors Tod and Morton, I think the Secretary is right. I do not know General Carrington personally, but, from the best information I can get of him, he has not sufficient judgment and brains to quality him for the position. He has never been tried in the field. Perhaps he may do better there. I know that the War Department has very little confidence in him. He owes his promotion entirely to political influence.
Your headquarters are fixed nominally at Cincinnati; but it is not intended that you should confine yourself to that place. If your troops are concentrated in Central Kentucky (as I have advised), I think it would be more satisfactory to the Government that you go there in person to take the command. The principal objection to General Wright was that he avoided the field, where his presence might have been of great advantage.
These hints are hastily out, not as directions, but subjects for your consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
LANCASTER, March 30, 1863.
GENERAL: I have just arrived here. General Gillmore, at 8 a.m., was at Buck Creek, 10 miles from Somerset by the Crab Orchard road, with Seventh Ohio Cavalry, First Kentucky Cavalry, and 400 men of the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Ohio Mounted Infantry. Colonel Doolittle's brigade is between here and Crab Orchard, marching forward. Colonel Carter and Colonel Gilbert, are here, with about 1,200 men. Firing was heard from the direction of Somerset at 11 o'clock this morning. It is not known whether it was Gillmore or a force moving from Lebanon. I obtain these particulars from Colonel Carter, who states it is unsafe to go up without an escort.
The enemy's force is estimated at 3,000 at the outside; all cavalry, and very poorly appointed. They have a large drove of cattle, and move slowly. They are thought to have been headed off by Gillmore, and to be moving toward Stanford, to get to Somerset and cross the Cumberland. Cluke is still southeast of here, and if more men could be crossed and put here, it would make our communications secure, as we can't forward from here without endangering them.
DUNCAN A. PELL,
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.
CAIRO, March 30, 1863 [1862?].
Visited Columbus to-day; examined the works. The bluffs can be easily fortified against river approaches, and the outworks against land attacks. I think I have guns enough to render an approach formidable. The place is now garrisoned by two light batteries, under Lieutenant-Colonel [W. L.] Duff, and the Fifty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, Colonel Harris. The artillery is good and effective, but not the infantry. A garrison of at least 5,000 men will be required. Two of the outworks must be held. The machinery for forcing water to the summit can be easily set in order; also magazines. Four guns arrived here to-day