Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pulaski Threatened

Buell summarises his quandary in the following note to his commander.  Notice that he bemoans the effects of mistreatment of the southern citizenry and its military consequences.


Huntsville, Ala., (via Nashville, Teen.), July 22, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK or
General THOMAS, Adjutant-General:

The enemy has thrown a large cavalry force, regular and irregular, upon our lines throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. The embarrassment from this is great. Small guards cannot protect them, and to give large ones would scatter my whole force. High water also has destroyed our bridges. From these two causes we have had to repeat our work, and it has been impossible to get either road open to Nashville.
Nashville is again threatened, and whether really endanger or not its security is a matter of too vital importance to be left in jeopardy, and I must keep force enough there to operate actively in that quarter and toward the east. But these cavalry raids can only be effectually counteracted by cavalry, of which there should be at least five, or, if possible, eight more regiments in the two States.
I am compelled to ascribe the greater part of our annoyance from guerrilla bands to the spirit of hate and revenge which has been inspired in this quarter by an unwise policy and personal wrongs. I just learn that the enemy's cavalry in considerable force captured the guards - 80 men - and burned three bridges between Nashville and Murfreesborough [sic] yesterday. It will take eight days to rebuild them.


The Seventeenth remains on garrison duty at Pulaski as Buell is feverishly trying to protect the line while fighting Forrest's Cavalry, but it looks like check-out time at the Pulaski Hotel is approaching as the troops are put on alert.


Huntsville, July [22], 1862.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS, Tuscumbia:

Cross a brigade at Florence as soon as possible and send it by Lawrenceburg to Pulaski. Our lines and trains there and elsewhere are threatened by large bodies of cavalry. Your troops must be continually on the alert. On arrival at Pulaski let the brigade commander communicate at once with the commander at Reynolds' Station and look to the protection of that point, and also convoy the wagon trains from Reynolds' to Athens by an infantry force of strength determined by what he may learn of the danger to be guarded against. Cross your cavalry as soon as possible and report it for orders.


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