Monday, September 10, 2012

Buell Pursues Bragg as Kirby Smith Worries Wright

The following communication indicates that several divisions of Buell's Army of the Ohio have advanced into south-central Kentucky, including that of Alexander McCook.  Although the date of their attachment to Colonel John Starkweather's Twenty-eighth Brigade in McCook's Second Division is not clear, this unification was probably accomplished before leaving Nashville.


NASHVILLE, September 10, 1862.
General Ammen, Commanding:

You will march to Tyree [Three] Springs to-morrow and to Mitchellsville next day unless you hear of enemy at Gallatin or other point near you. General McCook will move one day behind you. Acknowledge receipt of this and my dispatch for general commanding at Mitchellsville. Send by a squadron of cavalry the orders for Generals Crittenden, Rousseau, and Wood to halt their troops where they are for to-morrow and to continue the march next day, but to let the wagon trains go on to Bowling Green, except the hundred wagons to be loaded with rations at Mitchellsville and sent here.

Answer how you understand these orders.

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

But plans can be changed as commands clash.  Wright may have been in command of the troops that were in Kentucky, but he is out-ranked by Buell, as is the new, newly appointed commander of Wright's troops, General Lew Wallace.  Boyle, who was Buell's commander at Louisville seems to be caught between the inexperience of Wright and the cautiousness of Buell.


Louisville, September 10, 1862.

Colonel BRUCE, Bowling Green:

The enemy have advanced on Cincinnati and treated an attack. Major-General Wright has ordered forces from this place.

 The enemy are around here. Buell must hasten his movements if he would save the State. Rousseau was at Franklin last night. Can he not hasten forward his command? See him. Desperate efforts will be made to cut the wire, destroy the bridges and trestle work at Muldraugh's Hill. What more do you know of Bragg or other rebel generals with force entering the State? Give me the news. Hurry this to Buell.


The situation is similar to Halleck's "march" on Corinth.  Nobody knows where the Confederate army is heading and every general is calling for reinforcements, expecting to be attacked in full force at any minute.  Both Beauregard and Bragg deserve a great deal of credit for creating confusion by their campaigns of misinformation.  And reflecting the heated rivalry that exists even today (especially on the basketball court), the Governor of Kentucky desires to keep his troops at Louisville rather than send them to the defense of Cincinnati.


Louisville, Ky., September 10, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

We protest against the withdrawal of any of the forces from this place for Cincinnati. There is reliable information that this city is the object of the enemy. there are defenses at Cincinnati, natural and artificial, also an ample force; and there are none here and none ordered. If Louisville is taken the State is gone. Our officers here deplore any order to take away our troops. We insist that it shall not be done. We make this communication because we learn that preparations for the transportation of troops from here to Cincinnati are being made. The force here at this time is scarcely sufficient for its defense, but, if not removed, can and will defend the city with it. Please communicate with the commanding general of this department in regard to this matter.


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