Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beseeching Thomas

For Buell's pursuit to continue, he must have support from General Thomas at Bowling Green, where troops and supplies had been held for the defense of that city.  Bowling Green was also a key waystation for the Army of the Ohio as it moved north from Nashville.  As usual, however, the orders are flying faster than the trains are rolling and Thomas weighs in with his daily dose of reality.


 U. S. Volunteers.
MUNFORDVILLE, September 22, 1862.

General THOMAS: We must be at Nolin probably at 11 to-morrow. You must come through to-morrow night, notwithstanding the march will be long. The last train will soon pass you, and will be safe to return without your being on the road. You had best therefore march at dusk this evening, except perhaps two regiments at Cave City to put the sick on the return train for Bowling Green. Your wagon train is, I presume, there by this time. It must be reported to-night, so as to start by daylight in the morning with the remainder of the supplies.Let two regiments, a section of artillery, and a regiment of cavalry, which will wait here, bring up the rear of the wagon train.

Major-General, Commanding.

                              *  *  *      

SEPTEMBER 22, [1862]- 5 P. M.
General THOMAS:

GENERAL: Send your wagons forward at once to-night to report to Captain Darr on the railroad at or near Rowlett's Station, to be loaded with provisions. The order was to send your train forward this morning, and we have been looking for it. Send escort with it.

JAMES B. FRY,Colonel, &c.

                              *  *  *

Woodland, KY., September 22, 1862.

Colonel J. B. FRY,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Ohio:

COLONEL: The provision train will not reach this point before 5 p. m. I will therefore make arrangements to start early to-morrow morning. I have reports of cavalry and infantry near Mammoth Cave, the same probably referred to in your note of this morning.


And General Nelson takes it on himself to finally get a reliable report of Bragg's strength, reporting to Wright on this day in 1862.


LOUISVILLE, KY., September 22, 1862.

Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati:

Previously to the surrender at Munfordville certain officers demanded to see whether the enemy really encompassed the works with the force they pretended to have. Granted; and 3 officers went through their lines and report as follows:Total strength, 45,000 men; eight batteries of artillery on the south side; on the north side they professed to have thirteen regiments and three batteries-about 10,000 men. The batteries are good. Know nothing of Kirby Smith. Saw Buckner, but not Bragg. While there Buell's advance molested pickets; made great excitement. The infantry miserable looking objects. Artillery good. Saw no cavalry.

Major-General, Commanding.

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