Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Panic in Louisville

Wright's call for troops to defend his headquarters in Cincinnati is not well received by those remaining in Kentucky.  General Boyle is driven to the breaking point on this day in 1862 as he breaks rank and presents his case against Wright's orders directly to President Lincoln.  An uncommonly bold move for a mere Brigadier-General.

Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0505

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 11, 1862.
President United States:

General Wright's withdrawing the troops from this place and sending them to Cincinnati is creating a panic and will ruin the State. The enemy cannot be so foolish as to move on Cincinnati, the farthest point from the base of his operations, with Buell's army in rear advancing northward. It is a trap in which General Wright will suffer us to be caught or suffer Buell's army to be cut off. They have near 40,000 men at cincinnati already; sufficient to resist the whole rebel army now in the State. I pray that you submit this matter to General Halleck. I pray God that Buell may soon be here to save our State.

J. T. BOYLE,Brigadier-General.

Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0506

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 11, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

I am convinced there is no real danger of an attack on Cincinnati. The real danger is cutting off the line of communication with General Buell's army from this place and after that the conquest of Louisville. It is impossible to give all the facts leading to this conviction, but the map of the country forces the importance of breaking the communication between this place and Buell's army; and the fact that the possession of Louisville will give the State to the Confederates and lead to the capture of Buell's army sustains the movements of their forces to this end, and the information that we have as to their designs in possession of Cincinnati could lead to no such consequences.


And yet another appeal to General Wright.  Governor Robinson is rightfully concerned and feelings of abandonment are entirely justified.  After all, the main reason for Wright's appointment was to organize the defense of Kentucky, thereby preventing rebel adventurism south of the Ohio River.  Wright, however, has withdrawn to Cincinnati and is circling his wagons, leaving Kentucky south of Covington exposed and vulnerable.

 Ref.: http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0506

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 11, 1862.
Major General HORATIO G. WRIGHT:

I have this morning reliable information that General Smith is now concentrating his troops at Frankfort for speedy attack on this place. All his forces that marched to Georgetown were taken from there to Frankfort. There are not 5,000 troops in all in the direction of Cincinnati. The entire demonstration is a delusion, rely upon, it and that city is in no danger. You have now 40,000 troops there and some 25,000 here, but troops are being ordered from here as fast as transportation can be obtained. This will be known to the enemy and will hasten his attack here and insure his success. I most earnestly urge a reversal of this policy. If not done, in my opinion this city is lost and with it Kentucky. With all respect I am confident that you are misinformed and misled by those interested in and alarmed for Cincinnati. As the Governor of Kentucky I feel constrained to protest against a course which will result in an unnecessary sacrifice of this city and of my State. My deep interest is my apology for this, my dispatch of yesterday being unanswered.


And Washington responds, the messages having been received, ...

Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0508

Washington, September 11, 1862.
Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati, Ohio:

Governor Robinson reports that you are intending to remove the troops at Louisville to cincinnati, and he and others protest against it. If possible do not abandon Louisville, for with it we lose Kentucky. I have no desire to interfere with your details, but we ought not to lose Louisville. Please answer where your troops are and what you intend to do.


 ...but Wright's explanation falls short of being convincing... 

CINCINNATI, OHIO, September 11, 1862-11 p. m.
General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

I had no intention of abandoning Louisville or leaving it without strong protection. Cincinnati is seriously threatened,while the former is not. Two regiments only have been withdrawn from Louisville, Leaving there-three regiments of infantry, two of cavalry,and three complete and two incomplete batteries, to which should be added four or five more regiments and ten guns ordered in from Lebanon. It may be necessary to draw still further upon this force, but Louisville will be made safe.


and Halleck issues the following order:


Numbers 235. Washington, September 11, 1862.

Brigadier General W. E. Woodruff, United States Volunteers, will report in person without delay to Major-General Wright,at Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * * * *
By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND,Assistant Adjutant-General.

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