Friday, September 14, 2012

Buell Arrives in Bowling Green

Buell sends this update to the War Department in Washington, but the effectiveness of Braggs campaign against the communications between Nashville and Louisville caused it to be relayed by courier to Evansville, Indiana- a five day delay.  From there it could be telegraphed to Washington.


BOWLING GREEN, KY., September 14, 1862.
Via Evansville, Ind., September 19.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

 It has been apparent to me for some time that, on purely military grounds, the force in Middle Tennessee should fall back on its base. The political effect, however, of such a move occurred to me so serious that I have hesitated to execute it, still hoping that the force in Kentucky would be able to open my communications. As that was not done it became absolutely necessary to fall back, with a portion of the force at least, to act against the enemy in Kentucky. I commenced that move Sunday last with five divisions, but its execution was delayed a couple of days by the reported movements of the enemy. I had expected that Bragg would detach a portion of his force to re-enforce Kirby Smith, while he, with the balance, would await the period of our starving out in Tennessee. It now appears that he is moving his whole force into Kentucky, and it is now concentrated, or nearly so, at Glasgow. I have therefore ordered up all but one division from Nashville . They will arrive here on the 17th. I arrived here to-day with two divisions of the first force and shall commence to move against Bragg's force on the 16th. You will not fail to observe that he is virtually between me and Louisville, and all communications by telegraph and railroad are cut off. I am not insensible to the difficulty and embarrassment of the position, but it must be so for him also, and I hope it may result in his discomfiture and not ours. The danger is that he may form a junction with Smith. I apprehend that the latter may be moving for that object now. I am retaining only a nominal hold on Nashville and at the risk of losing the force (about 5,000 men) that I have their; but I trust to the belief that there is not for the present any organized force to come against it unless Price pauses longer, and I deem it better to do so than to undergo the political effect of entirely abandoning the place. I would like your instructions or views about it. It may still be possible to withdraw the remainder of the force. I did not place implicit confidence on T----,----, [Thatcher], but he has given me correct information.


The following communications reference:

Meanwhile, Buell tries to coordinate with Wright,

BOWLING GREEN, September 14, 1862.
General HORATIO G. WRIGHT, Cincinnati, Ohio:

There is very little doubt that Bragg has thrown his whole force into Kentucky, and the main body is now concentrated at Glasgow, or nearly so. The danger is that he will form a junction with Kirby Smith between me and Louisville. I apprehend that Smith is now moving for that object. It is of the highest importance that it should be prevented.

If you have it in your power you should take steps to do it at once; not an hour should be lost. The destruction of the bridges over the Kentucky River would do it. I do not believe that Cincinnati is in danger, but Louisville certainly is, and I should think you ought to prepare to re-enforce that place with your whole force. I shall have the principal part of my force up to this point on the 17th, and shall commence to move against Bragg's force on ;the 16th. I learn that the command at Munfordville was attacked this morning and I fear it has been overpowered.


Governor Johnson emplores Buell to leave Thomas and Paine's divisions at Nashville,

Nashville, September 14, 1862.
Major-General BUELL,
Commanding District of the Ohio: 

GENERAL: It is all-important that Major-General Thomas and his forces, as now assigned, should remain at Nashville. There is the utmost confidence in his bravery and capacity to defend Nashville against any odds. I am advised that, including your division of the number increasing,so that you will be enabled to meet Smith and Bragg successfully. I was reliable informed on yesterday that a portion of Bragg's forces were lingering about Carthage and the cumberland river. Bragg, no doubt with them, daily informed as to the number of our forces passing into Kentucky and the force left here. If our strength is much reduced at this point he will induced to attack Nashville as a matter of course. In conclusion I express the strong and earnest hope that the present assignment of forces under General Thomas for the defense of Nashville may not be disturbed. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Military Governor.

and Thomas decides that Paine's Division should stay behind.

September 14, 1862-7 a. m.

General BUELL:

Received your order of Tuesday 8 p. m.It is certain a large force of the enemy is near Nashville awaiting an opportunity to attack it. I shall therefore leave Paine's division here. Will march with my division at the time ordered and reach Bowling Green as soon possible.

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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