Saturday, October 13, 2012

Buell 's Report to Halleck

On this evening, four and one-half days after Bragg's assault on McCook's First Corps, Buell's plan to follow the retreating rebels is complete.  He sends the following update to General Halleck in Washington.


DANVILLE, KY., October 13, 1862 - 10.30 p.m .
(Received October 14, 1.35 a. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Information received since my arrival here to-night leaves little room to doubt that the enemy is in retreat toward Crab Orchard - in fact that he commenced passing through Lancaster at 1 o'clock last night. My advance will march at 12 o'clock to-night. The enemy will, I think, divide his force at Crab Orchard, Bragg striking for Nashville by the way of Somerset and Smith going through Cumberland Gap. I shall direct the pursuit mainly against Bragg. The troops which Wright will have will be ample security against any attempt of Smith to return. General Negley, who is in command at Nashville, reports that the enemy had invested him in considerable strength and summoned him to surrender, which he promptly declined, and expressed himself confident of being able to hold out. But that force may be increased so as to endanger him. His supplies are also growing scant. I would advise that General Morgan be at once dispatched with the Cumberland Gap force by rail to Louisville and thence to Nashville in charge of a supply train. The railroad, with the protection which this movement would give, can be opened to within about 30 miles of Nashville in two weeks and all the way through in two more days.


Now in posession of reliable inteligence that Bragg & Smith are in full retreat and burning their bridges behind them, Buell sends the corps of Thomas and McCook to follow, with no apparent designs to interrupt the enemy's retreat.  The Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry remains in Starkweather's Brigade, Rousseau's Division of McCook's First Corps.


OCTOBER 13, 1862 - 11 p. m.
General McCOOK:

March punctually at 6 in the morning via Danville and Stanford; take three days' rations in haversacks, and let the ambulances and one ammunition wagon to a regiment accompany the troops. All other wagons to follow after the entire army. Crittenden's corps is in advance of you; the trains must move in the same order. Gilbert's corps moves over the Lancaster road. The enemy is retiring by Crab Orchard. Detail one of your raw brigades and four pieces of artillery to guard the entire train.

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

P. S. - We wish to reach Crab Orchard to-morrow night. Let two of the regiments detailed for the train and two pieces of artillery come to Danville and take position with Gay's cavalry to guard until the entire train passes and then to follow on after it.


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