johnnycai
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Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:07 pm

West Theatre HQ.
Cincinnati, Sept30, 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: Sec. Welles
CC: President Lincoln

Sir,
My goal to improve the organization at the St. Louis shipyards appears to have been executed badly. My staff at St. Louis apparently allocated multiple ships to the docks there and did not believe that this would lead to increased build times. If this is truly the case then we were truly uninformed of the consequences.
My apoligies to you sir.

Sincerely,
General Cai

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CinC West - Navy Department

Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:02 am

Navy Department
Washington, September 30, 1861

From: Sec. Welles
To: Major General Cai

Sir -

No apologies necessary. Those ships will be turned over to your command upon their completion. We are doing everything we can here to provide additional ships to you as quickly as possible.
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:06 am

War Department
Washington, October 1, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

Our troops have arrived at Fort Monroe, and the command situation there is as good as can be expected. Weather and enemy dispositions appear favorable for a coordinated offensive against Norfolk, Suffolk, and Hampton Roads. It may also be possible to immediately take one or both of the Albemarle Sound cities as a secondary objective.

I have prepared suggestions as to one possible operational plan, and can forward them upon your request.

Your Obedient Servant,
Winfield Scott
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CinC East - Navy Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:30 am

Navy Department
Washington, October 1, 1861

From: Asst. Sec. Gustavus Fox
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

Please forward my congratulations to the commander of the 1st Maryland Cavalry. His raid on the batteries at Aquia displayed cleverness and daring. We are sending steamboats down the river to pick up the raiders and guns before the rebels can respond.

Also, please note the presence of transports in the Lower Pee Dee River, they will remain there waiting to pick up and resupply Major Palmer's cavalry regiment.
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CinC West - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:42 am

War Department
Washington, October 1, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Cai

Sir -

If the 2nd and 3rd Iowa cavalry regiments turn east upon reaching Topeka, and the 2nd and 3rd US regiments take a parallel route through the same location, we should be able to successfully assault Fort Smith after all.

Polk is consolidating forces in Western Kentucky for use as a mobile reserve. The Johnstons may be doing the same in central Kentucky. It appears that you have a wide choice of easy targets available across your theater of operations, along with ample reserves in Ohio. Your difficulty will be in holding the points you capture. The President informs me that his current priorities are for additional river ships and artillery in your theater of operations.

If General Kurtz can spare a cavalry regiment for an assault through the mountains on Christianburg, could you send the 2nd Ohio militia from Prestonburg to Christianburg for a simultaneous assault from the west?
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:01 am

War Department
Washington, October 2, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

The next available brigadier will be sent to western Virginia to rendezvous with troops and form a division near Covington. Could you send several brigades forward from Grafton to Millboro by parallel routes? That would make a convenient rendezvous point prior to an assault on Covington.

Could the 10th and 11th WV cavalry also be sent forward, making their objectives the capture of Christianburg, and the interruption of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad near Orange or Charlottesville (on the supposition that you will send the 7th US cavalry company in Rockbridge towards the James River in support of operations there)?

It also appears that with the current clear weather, and the arrival of additional troops at Westminster and Hagerstown; the 1st MD and the 3rd PA could be sent around Jackson's flank via Hancock and Bath for raids on the Manassas Gap railroad.

Culpeper remains a priority target, but the weather continues to interfere with operations into that area.
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:25 pm

Alexandria, VA
October 2, 1861

From: General Kurtz
To: General Scott

General Scott,

Please forward your recommedations for the planned attack from Ft. Monroe for my reveiew.

Having reviewed the situation, our current plans are as follows pending review of your recommendations:

1. Our ultimate goal is the capture of Norfolk, but thanks to the naval recon, we know that the enemy is weakest at Suffolk, which is held by only one militia brigade supported by artillery.

2. We therefore plan to launch an amphibious attack on Suffolk, supported by naval bombardment if available, using the Irish Brigade (over 4800 infantry) supported by the 4th Naval Brigade (900 amphibious capable troops) and the B Artillery brigade. We believe these forces a sufficient to defeat the poorly trained forces at Suffolk.

3. The first NY Brigade will be loaded on transports in Anapolis and transported to Suffolk. They are scheduled to arrive 18 days later.

4. General Mansfield will lead the 1st US Brigade (1100 infantry), loaded on transports, for a possible assault on Columbia or Edenton. We have no detailed information on the enemy forces defending these cities, so once they arrive, General Mansfield will need to make a decision as to the viability of an assault.

5. Simultaneously with the attack on Suffolk, General Meagher will lead the attack on Hampton Roads. Our intelligence shows that Hampton Roads is held by a large NC brigade, supported by artillery and a small militia force. They are entreched and, therefore, we plan to attack with a force 3-4x larger than the enemy supported by artillery. This will be in the form of a new division created under General Meagher. The enemy does not appear to be well led, therefore we believe the risks of attacking with a newly formed Division are limited and the improved communication and control afforded this force are worth the risk. This divison will consist of Keyes, Richardsons and the California brigade supported by two artillery brigades (total of 11000+ infantry, 2000+ cavalry and 48 guns).

6. Assuming Suffolk is taken, the 1st NY Bridgade unload and be left to entrench in Suffolk and to behind to protect our rear from attack while cutting off any enemy reinforcements headed to Norfolk. If Suffolk is not in our hands, the 1st Brigade may be ordered to land in support.

7. Once Suffolk is in our hands, the attack on Norfolk will be spearheaded by the Irish Brigade, supported by artillery. Should the attack on Hampton Roads be completed as well, the Irish Brigade will be supported by elements of General Meaghers division.

8. Should the 1st US Brigade suceeed in taking one of the cities in Albermarle Bay, we recommend that troops be ready in ports to quickly follow up with supplies and reinforcements. We will order some of the excees troops in Northern PA to Anapolis. We request the transports be sent to Anapolis to allow these troops to be quickly transported should the opportunity present itself.

Please review and foward recommendations.

Best regards,
General Kurtz

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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:58 pm

War Department
Washington, October 3, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

This is slightly different from the plan I developed, the main difference being that I would have had General Meagher continue across the James immediately after attacking Hampton Roads. Upon further consideration, I prefer your plan.

I will therefore restrict most of my advice to added secondary efforts. What the President and I would like to see is a coordinated offensive to destroy rebel transportation infrastructure simultaneously with the attack on Norfolk.

Of the 2nd MD, 2nd PA, and 4th PA, currently in the Rappahanock: The 2nd MD is in no shape to continue operations. I would suggest loading them onto brigs for transport to Fort Monroe, where they can rest and prepare for their next movement, which will be determined as the situation develops. I would also suggest rerouting the 2nd PA to West Point, while the 4th PA continues to the original objective of Hanover Junction.

The 12th Volunteers Rgt. (Port Tobacco), and the 1st NY Brigade (Annapolis) are available for an amphibious assault on Tappahannock. The 2nd Maine (Baltimore) might also be a good choice for that sort of operation, or to move into the James Peninsula as a garrison force for Hampton Roads.

The half of Major Palmer's regiment still in Virginia (7th US Co., US Cav. Rgt., Rockbridge) once they complete their current mission of destroying tracks on the Valley Railroad, could be given orders to take an evasive route, zig-zagging cross-country towards Waverly (avoiding railroads until close to their objective), stopping near Petersburg to tear up track.

Combine these operations together with the assault on Norfolk and other suggested operations, and each individual mission has a much greater chance of success. The number of simultaneous operations, and the widespread damage to railroad infrastructure, should cause confusion amongst enemy leadership, and limit their response.

I will check with the Navy Department, but I do not believe that sufficient naval assets can be made available for a successful bombardment at Suffolk immediately, without risking an engagement with enemy forces at Richmond. At your request, we could ask the navy to discontinue the blockade of Richmond temporarily, so that those assets could be made available for bombardments during the next month.
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:12 pm

War Department
Washington, October 3, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

I missed the detail of your plan that the 1st NY Brigade would be required at Suffolk. I would therefore suggest using both the 12th Volunteers and 2nd Maine at Tappahannock, unless you have a different use for them. Tappahannock is considered a diversionary objective, and would probably not need to be held long term or in strength.

Edenton would be a better choice for General Mansfield short term, allowing movement in support of the main effort, and it is expected to be undefended. Columbia would be a better choice long term, as it would make an excellent base for further operations on and around the North Carolina sounds, and Edenton would fall anyway after a successful occupation of Norfolk. I leave that decision to General Mansfield's discretion.

When you start shifting troops please leave sufficient regiments in southern Pennsylvania and western Maryland to maintain any fortifications that have been started.
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:07 pm

Alexandria, VA
October 4, 1861

From: General Kurtz
To: General Scott

General Scott,

Additional supporting raids ordered on rail and diversionary attack on Tapahannock.

Naval forces in Goergia are have been informed that orders will be coming from you. Please advise them of any plans.

General Kurtz

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CinC West - Navy Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:38 pm

Navy Department
Washington, October 5, 1861

From: Sec. Welles
To: Major General Cai

Sir -

The current requirements for naval transportation in the east may cause concerns regarding transportation available in the west. Once the eastern requirements are met, you are authorized to use any remaining transportation available, without consideration of any need to move supplies.
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:43 pm

War Department
Washington, October 6, 1861

From: Asst. Sec. Stanton
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

I have a question regarding engineer regiments. Do you require both of the regiments currently available, or can I order one to the western theater to assist in constructing shore batteries along the rivers?
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:51 pm

War Department
Washington, October 6, 1861

From: Asst. Sec. Stanton
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

Please disregard my last query, I have just reviewed a copy of those orders.

I have a different question. General Butler just reported in as available for immediate reassignment. Would you like to have him assigned to Alexandria, or have him assigned to Frederick while McClellan takes charge at Alexandria?
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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:15 pm

War Department
Washington, October 6, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

Requesting some small modifications to current orders.

1. Could the 10th and 11th WV rgts. reroute through Braxton, and be given assault orders? The reroute would time their arrival at their objective to be simultaneous with western troops from Prestonburg.

2. Could the 65th detachment proceeding to Millboro be split into two or more detachments proceeding by separate roads? That would hasten their arrival at that destination, and possibly reduce straggling. The chance of an encounter with substantial numbers of enemy troops is considered slight.

3. Could some or all of the units destined for Suffolk be given assault orders?

4. Could the 3rd PA be rerouted to anywhere other than Page, VA? Quoting the President: "I don't give a hoot about Page." It would be preferable to reroute them to an enemy rail line.
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:48 pm

Alexandria, VA
October 7, 1861

From: General Kurtz
To: General Scott

General Scott,

The orders you have mentoned should all have assault orders Shoul you believe the orders are unclear, I encourage further clarification. Please send appropriate orders. In addition, the attack on Hampton Roads should also have been an assault order.

Cavalry raids have all been ordered to enemy rail. Perhaps our maps are inaccurate? Should intelligence show no active enemy rail lines at Page, please order to Shenandoah.

Orders may be adjust for the movement on Millboro.

One one Naval engineer unit is required and the other is free to be redirected westward. In addition, should there be a better use of these units than supporting the Army directly, please so order.

General Kurtz

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CinC East - War Department

Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:01 pm

War Department
Washington, October 7, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

Engineer units in your department are intended to support the army directly. Please pay close attention to trench lines when reorganizing units. We lost a good line at Frederick when Hooker's force moved to meet with McC, rather than the other way around. That type of thing is bound to happen occasionally. The engineers will help make up for that.

I can let you know in advance from my discussions with the President that priority cavalry objectives in Virginia for the second half of October will include Culpeper, Henrico, Roanoke (Lovingston, on the Orange RR), and Franklin.

Also, you may start moving additional troops forward from the rear areas at your discretion, as long as the trench lines are maintained. It is not required that they be held in strength, merely that they be held.

One more item. Be forewarned. Turner Ashby's cavalry (4 or 5 regiments, possibly supported by horse artillery) has joined Jackson at Harper's Ferry. They are expected to get some rest and reinforcements there, and then attack in late October. We believe that some of the units reported at Winchester are additional cavalry regiments. It is not required of you to win every engagement with enemy raiders. I would like to see you maintain pressure on raiders, attacking constantly once they have crossed into our territory, defending at possible objectives, and cutting off their lines of retreat, so that we can completely destroy them. If that costs us a few militia, we should happily make that trade.
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:26 pm

Alexandria, VA
October 10, 1861

From: General Kurtz
To: General Scott

General Scott,

To quote a great future general...NUTS.

General McLellan will be admonished for his decision to move the troops out of their entrenchments.

Geenral Kurtz

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CinC West - War Department

Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:27 am

War Department
Washington, October 8, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Cai

Sir -

This looks like a great opportunity for a general offensive movement between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi River, attacking the enemy where he is weak, and leaving him alone where he is strong. We can get possession of some strategic locations before winter hits in earnest, and your offensive would coincide with a similar movement in the eastern theater.

Considering new enemy dispositions, your primary target should be Fort Donelson. A successful attack there threatens to cut off all enemy positions in Kentucky.

Since the enemy appears to have most of his troops well forward, would you be willing to risk a surprise cavalry assault on Nashville, by the regiments currently at Evansville? It is a big gamble, but opposition is expected to be slight, and it would likely cause the Johnstons to pull back rapidly, no matter what is accomplished at Donelson in the meantime.

Since General Kurtz has sent both of his available cavalry to Christianburg, could you send the 2nd Ohio Militia, backed up by one or two of the cavalry regiments at Clarksburg, to assault Marion, VA, instead? The 2nd Ohio Volunteers would provide more striking power, but is not expected to be able to survive a winter in the mountains.

It appears to be a good time to revisit the idea of raids on Livingstone and Huntsville. If we take those points just prior to the weather turning bad, then it will interfere with enemy counter-attacks.

Obvious additional targets include Paducah and Lexington. Additional cavalry from Ohio could be sent to southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee.

Please put the batteries at Cairo and Saint Louis on alert status. No enemy offensive movement is expected along those stretches of river, but we should be prepared in the event.

The loss of some support in Kentucky is unfortunate but apparently unavoidable. We are compensated by rising public sentiment in Missouri. If the strike at Fort Smith is successful, then we probably don't need to worry too much about Price and his Indian allies this winter. Halleck could be left with a strong security force at Saint Louis, freeing Lyon to move downriver. Additional cavalry could be sent down the White River.

Do you know what the problem is with Ed Sumner? We have not heard from him in months. Reports from New Mexico indicate that there is plenty of ammunition available to the troops there, but food supplies are dwindling. If you can reach Sumner, can you ask him to send out an expedition to take Dallas? Also, nothing has been heard from the 2nd Artillery. Are they lost in the mountains? Were they attacked by Indians?

Please send the 23rd PA, or the 3rd IL (Springfield) towards Madison, AR; as a permanent garrison for that location.
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CinC East - War Department

Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:59 am

War Department
Washington, October 9, 1861

From: Asst. Sec. Stanton
To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

In the absence of direct orders from you, General Butler is being sent to take command of troops at Alexandria. He will be under your command once he reaches that point, in case you desire to change his assignment.
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CinC East - Executive [Confidential]

Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:46 pm

Executive Mansion
Washington, October 10, 1861

To: Major General Kurtz
Copy to: Major General Cai

Sir -

Please be very careful about how you approach McClellan regarding his disposition of troops. The political and command situations are both very confused at the moment, a situation which I will need to address, but which may take some time.

Taking advantage of General Scott's health situation, Secretary Cameron took it upon himself last month to publicly declare General McClellan as General-in-Chief of our armies, without consulting me. Congress quickly voted their support for this step. (This happened prior to our recapture of Grafton, when morale was at a low point.) Cameron and McClellan each have powerful friends in congress, whose support we need. Their support comes from different factions, and I view this as an alliance of convenience, which can be broken up eventually.

McClellan has stated that he intends to make his headquarters in the field, acting as a temporary corps commander to address leadership issues in McDowell's army. Why he took that step, and how he intends to act as both subordinate and superior to General McDowell and yourself, I do not comprehend. As long as McClellan is content in the position of corps commander, I think we had best leave him to do mostly as he pleases, as long as it does not interfere too much with the conduct of the war. If you receive orders from him that cause command disputes, please refer them directly to me, and proceed according to my instructions and your own best judgement. I am attempting to repair the situation on a political level, before we try to sort it out on a military level.

Please note two additional items. First, General Scott will be retained in an advisory position, and as commander of the Washington defenses, for as long as his health allows. Second, you have my full confidence and support in this matter.
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johnnycai
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Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:36 pm

West Theatre HQ.
Cincinnati, Oct10 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Scott, General Kurtz

Mr. President/Sirs:

Our enemy has decided against an assault in Kentucky and is reforming around Bowling Green.
General Grant has arrived at Louisville and will be tasked with taking Lexington, overseeing Wallace's division in Cincinnati as it moves toward Lexington.
I have received communiques from Madison Ark. where the MO cavalry has captured the town. My orders are to destroy the depot and rail there and prepare for immediate withdrawl northward to our lines. Sirs, I believe raiding further at this late stage of the year only increases are chances for a poor result being as unsupported and leaderless as they are. The diversion has been created which was our immediate goal. I expect gunboats and rebel troops to attempt to trap our MO cavalry if they linger too long.
My initial view of options for General Lyon and Adm. Foote are as yours, but with the proximity of the reb army at Bowling Green, this decision requires further planning and investigation. The enemy postion reports will be reviewed again and a plan will be directed for your blessing after our logistics meeting later today.
The troops in Evansville are without transports and were to proceed southward avoiding the Bowling Green forces to divert their attention and perhaps cut them off from Nashville. I dont belive sailing them via barges past the Ft. Henry/Donelson fort and entrenched guns directly to Nashville would be prudent at this time.
Adm. Foote is due with a report on his appraisal of risk with running the forts of Island 10 and Ft. Donelson/Ft. Henry, perhaps sailing thru past the forts and blocking the passage of reb troops from the Bowling Green area will be the best plan put forth. From there they could then assault either the forts or land south/east of the forts and march overland to assault them.

Please indicate your recommendations so our staff can review them prior to our staff meeting tomorrow am.

regards,
General Cai

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CinC West - War Department

Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:54 pm

War Department
Washington, October 10, 1861

From: Lt. General Scott
To: Major General Cai

Sir -

In regards to the White River situation: First, destruction of infrastructure at Madison is certainly approved. Second, if our cavalry brigade moves to Bolivar while it is still reachable, the weather, local terrain, and remoteness make that point virtually unassaultable for the next several months if held in any strength, while still allowing the option of a rapid escape or an attack elsewhere via the rivers once supplies get low. I would suggest that even leaderless, that force could hold Bolivar for two months, and greatly complicate the enemy's defensive planning in a large portion of your theater of operations. Please consider this option. Third, if the 3rd IL regiment in Springfield is sent forward to Madison it can hold that point unless assaulted in strength. Madison is important strategically to our overall war plan, whether there is a depot there or not. If the enemy does assault in strength, it will be by taking forces from other points, a situation which a general of your caliber (or Grant's) could certainly take advantage of. That point holds true for Bolivar as well.

I did not intend to suggest that a raid on Nashville be made amphibiously. The enemy river fleet at the Confluent and batteries along the Cumberland are certainly too dangerous to allow that. I meant to suggest using an overland route through Montgomery, attempting to evade the garrison there, and fording or finding a ferry across the Cumberland River from that point. If you feel that the risk is greater than the possible reward for this venture, please find other objectives that would allow them to take part in your coordinated simultaneous offensive movement.

The 1st IN Militia Brigade at Barren could retreat amphibiously to Henderson south of Evansville, if it survives long enough. It is more likely to survive if it moves immediately into Falcon Creek, than if it attempts to escape overland.

In regards to an assault on Donelson, since your plan is to have Grant attack Lexington, as I expected, I believe a direct assault from the Great Confluent by General Lyons division (reinforced, and supported by Admiral Foote) would be the best option. Foote could clean out the enemy river fleet without risking a bombardment, and Lyon could attack just the troops outside the fort, destroying the rail there and beseiging the fort proper. An enemy counter-attack could be taken advantage of by the forces under Generals Grant, Wallace, Hunter, Porter, and Fremont. In the meantime cavalry would seize Fort Smith in Arkansas, burning the depot there, and additional reinforcements could be sent to General Halleck at Saint Louis from our reserves in Ohio. They would arrive before Price could react, especially if the weather turns bad. That would leave Price with no good options in Missouri.

Intelligence received here indicates that the enemy is pushing almost all their available strength in the west to the front lines, except in western Tennessee and in Texas. That means that Fort Smith, Nashville, Bolivar, Livingstone, Huntsville, Marion (VA) and several longer range targets in eastern Tennessee are likely to be lightly defended, if at all. Paducah is also an option, if Fremont sends some troops across the river immediately. The enemy cannot react everywhere at once, especially if we hit at this particular moment of the year. I repeat that forces in the eastern theater will be moving forward at this time.

An attempt to bypass Island No. 10 is not recommended at this time. Please do what you can to hold Charleston. Enemy cavalry is regrouping at Columbus. I will try to provide a battery specifically for that point in addition to the batteries I will try to provide for Louisville.

Please send word to General Sumner to send half his forces to Dallas, even if he does not accompany them himself. Our plan to "make the desert bloom" and then use New Mexico as a base for operations, is not working out in the short term. We may have better success if we make the attempt at more than one location. Our troops are less likely to starve this winter if they can hold and control a part of Texas.
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johnnycai
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Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:11 pm

West Theatre HQ.
Cincinnati, Oct12 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Scott, General Kurtz

Mr. President/Sirs:

Admiral Foote has been given orders to take his available rivercraft downriver to West of Ft. Donelson/Henry and run the forts and to block any attempt from CSA forces to cross the river there. General Lyon will be tasked to amphibiously assault the Forts as soon as practical but has been given approval to improvise should the local situation change over the next 2-3 weeks.
General Fremont will dispatch 2 regiments of militia and a battery of Napolean's to hold Charleston. Charleston can be a staging area for a later assault on Columbus or Island10.
The MO cavalry at Madison has been ordered to fire the depot/rail and head for home. My reports indicate the rebels can easily trap those forces on river since they will take some days to fire the depot and destroy the rail station.
4 regiments of US cavalry at Ft. Gibson will attempt to raid Ft. Smith and hopefully will succeed as did the MO cav. at Madison.
L. Wallace will move his reinforced division to Lexington where Gen. Grant will assume local command arriving from Louisville leading 2 brigdes. I, personally, will travel with Wallace as I have need to assess this Grant fellow. I do not know him, but my West Point-educated aide who did graduate in his class has informed me his rashness is beyond description. His response letter to my orders was very brief but full of confidence in himself and his troops.
To aid Lyon and Grant, cavalry from Evansville will strike south to raid and harass the rebels between Bowling Green and Ft. Donelson/Henry. If we are successful, General Lyon can be confident in knowing the forts will be cut-off from reinforcements prior to his landing and assault.

My requests are for more river ironclads, artillery and generals. For the artillery request, I further assert our forces will need seige mortars as well as the heavy Rodman's and 20lbs to provide much needed impetus to our forces.

General Kurtz, I have ordered the Mich brigade at Grafton back to Cincinnati but will keep the Ohio cav there for additional refitting.

respectfully yours,
General Cai

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CinC West - Executive

Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:44 pm

Executive Mansion
Washington, October 13, 1861

To: Major General Cai

Sir -

In regards to Madison: Significant enemy forces are far enough away that you should be able to destroy the depot and escape. Destroying rail lines will allow the neccesary time. For future reference, please note that holding this point is important strategically.

In regards to Donelson/Dover: Moving the fleet to Fort Henry prior to attacking will simply expose them to possible bombardment, lose us the element of surprise, and give the enemy time to reinforce via Nashville. If Lyon is not willing to make the attack now, with the forces available, do not send the fleet. Reduce Lyon's division to one regiment of infantry, and send him east. We are experiencing a shortage of generals here, as well, and if General Kurtz cannot find a good use for Lyon, I'm sure Sec. Welles can. On the other hand, if Lyon is willing to make the attack, the fleet will need to remain in the Great Confluent until the entire division has landed.

I note that Sec. Welles authorized you to promote Admiral Foote at your own discretion, and that you approved the promotion pending authorization from General Scott. General Scott's authorization is not required. This is your decision.

What are your plans for the calvalry regiments in eastern Kentucky, specifically regarding Huntsville and Marion?

We are aware of your priorities for reinforcements. There are no generals available at the moment, but we expect to send you several within the next three months. Your progress in the meantime will help determine which generals to send. A new ironclad is being laid down at Saint Louis, and we will provide additional ironclads this winter. We can provide additional napoleons this month, and start on heavier artillery next month, once we start to see the benefits from the new trade policies. Please be aware that the areas of transportation and blockade development have been slightly neglected, and we will be working to fix those situations as well.

I wish you well on the Lexington expedition.

I expect your prompt reply in regards to both eastern and western Kentucky. I can only wait for two days before asking the War Department to issue the neccesary orders if I have not heard from you by then.
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Cinc West - Executive

Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:21 am

Executive Mansion
Washington, October 13, 1861

To: Major General Cai
Copy To: Major General Kurtz

Sir -

When I sent you my note of earlier today, I had not had the opportunity to review copies of the orders you had issued. I see that Lyon received orders to report to the general area of Donelson along with the fleet, on board combat transports. You have been temporarily authorized to use any unarmed transports that are available. After discussing the issue with my military advisors, my understanding is that doing this will save us two weeks in getting to the specific area of Donelson, a possible bombardment, and the element of surprise. That is why I specified that the fleet must remain in the Great Confluent, to drive off enemy naval opposition and protect the unarmed transports while they land troops.

I note that Grant has not been ordered to assault Lexington. If Grant, with nine regiments, cannot attack two regiments instead of one, then he should be ordered east.

I note that General Wallace remains in Cincinnati. There is no serious threat to Cincinnati. There will not be a serious threat to Cincinnati in the foreseeable future. The garrison of Cincinatti is sufficent to deal with any threats that are likely to develop. Please have Wallace move forward to either join with Grant, Porter, or Lyon; or to take control of Meade or Paducah in Kentucky.

What follows are points for General Kurtz to take note of as well and the reason I send him a copy of this note.

If you receive a suggestion from General Scott or one of my Cabinet Secretaries or Assistant Secretaries, you may assume that I have reviewed and approved it. However, this is not the case for Secretary Cameron or General McClellan. If you receive an approved suggestion or a suggestion from me personally, you will need to either comply with it fully, request clarification, or state exactly why you are not complying with it. Those are the acceptable options. Complying halfway, by only moving to a specified objective or somewhere nearby, and then waiting an additional two weeks for scouting reports and peremptory orders, or attacking an objective instead of assaulting it when assault is what has been suggested, is not acceptable. Non-compliance without explanation is not acceptable. Mistakes can be allowed for, but only if they truly are mistakes. If you do not see how a suggested objective can be reached in the timeframe specified, clarification will be provided. In addition, if you receive a request for an endorsement or commentary, I expect either an endorsement or commentary. An endorsement takes less than a minute of your time. Silence is not an endorsement and is not acceptable. If you are asked for a report or a plan, I expect at least a reply. If I express a wish for a general offensive or defensive movement, it may be taken as an order. Finally, in case this point is unclear, current orders always override previous orders.

This is not a personal criticism, but I feel a need to address these issues prior to any possible future occurences so that there are no misunderstandings.

Gentlemen, thank you for your attention to these matters.

Should you ever feel the need to discuss these issues or any other issues between yourselves, please feel free to use the military telegraph to do so.
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johnnycai
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Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:27 am

West Theatre HQ.
Cincinnati, Oct12 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Scott, General Kurtz

Sirs,
Wallace and I, being in my company here in Cincinnati, will be sailing to Lexington to join Grant. Grant has been ordered to assault upon reaching Lexington.
All East Kentucky forces are now massing near Louisville or Lexington.
Those forces, under Grant will be the reinforcements for Lyon should he need them.
If we capture Clarksville, in Montgomery TN. in position to destroy the rail station there, then Lyon will be able to land and establish his forces upon the Stewart TN. pennisula.
If the rebels retain Clarksville, or weather interfere then Paducah, Columbus or even Humphreys can become objectives in the interim.
All of East Kentucky forces can use Lyon as a diversion to retake Bowling Green should the weather hold.


respectfully,
General Cai

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CinC West - Executive

Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:12 am

Executive Mansion
Washington, October 13, 1861

To: Major General Cai

Sir -

You misunderstand me. Lyon has had three months to accomplish something. So far, he has taken Rolla, too late to save the depot there. There is not another two weeks to wait. He will either attack the Stewart peninsula at once using steamboats, or report here for reassignment, with a single small brigade in his division. Our mutually conceived strategic plan specified that we would move forward in the West, prior to a general offensive in the east. The eastern forces are moving. They are preparing the needed groundwork for an advance by the main army. Reinforcements have been provided to your forces. Your forces significantly outnumber the enemy forces in opposition. Donelson is the critical point. It is vulnerable right now. It will not be vulnerable if we wait, or show our hand by taking too long in transit. Other parts of the plan may be debated. This part is not debatable.

Overall, I am happy with the conduct of the war so far, by both yourself and General Kurtz. You have both displayed skill and the potential for great accomplishments. The administration as a whole is not going to communicate that sentiment well, there will always be specific issues to improve upon, but that truly is the perception here. That does not change the facts that this mission must be accomplished with celerity, and that communication must be improved.
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johnnycai
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:44 am

West Theatre HQ.
Cincinnati, Oct13 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Scott, General Kurtz

Sirs,

I remind you that Foote only just became into his first 2 ironclads to command.
Lyon, newly arrived and his men now ready, would be vulnerable if the rebs ships cant be cleared without Foote as enforcer and escort.
I have also given revised orders for Fremont to attempt local probes or even assaults at Paducah should he deem them.
Wallace is now directly Lyon's reserves. Lyon has been ordered upon barges to land on the rebels at Ft. Donelson.
Would the president kindly remember that our forces could be significantly greater had we called-up our volunteers in mid-summer. Militia are not troops to wage campaigns.

Finally, I goto Grant. Please keep advising me, as I have apparently been too timid for the Newspapers and old-ladies there in the capital who may have your eyes and ears in Washington. I will bring Grant a case of my finest Kentucky bourbon. Does anyone know if he likes a little libation?

respectfully yours,
General Cai

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CinC West - Executive

Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:35 pm

Executive Mansion
Washington, October 15, 1861

To: Major General Cai

Sir -

I do understand the difficulties you have been facing.

Militia are not the troops for waging an aggressive campaign, their primary purpose is to serve as defensive and garrison troops, freeing other forces from those duties, until such time as they can be provide with adequate training, leadership, and weapons. The western navy is just becoming available. You have inadequate artillery to do what is required. Forces must be moved into position to attack, before they can attack. Supplies must be provided to our front line forces, often over great distances with insufficient security. You will often be given the choice between acting aggressively on inadequate information, or acting defensively. There are difficulties with the terrain and weather, which will be increasing in the months ahead. I repeat my statement that overall I am happy with the conduct of the war, and what has been accomplished given the difficult circumstances.

The cooperative effort which you have demonstrated in Western Virginia to help secure that area, which technically lies outside your jurisdiction, has been exemplary. I have just recently read a newspaper editorial recommending that in addition to maintaining the legitimate Virginia state government there, that we should organize a new state from the western counties with the name 'Cai-nawha'. The thought makes me smile.

My comment regarding Lyon's lack of accomplishments was unfair, and I apologize for it. I very much appreciate your orders for Lyon's recent retrograde movement. That put him in a position from which to launch a surprise attack. I let my concerns for not passing up the opportunities we do get, for securing a critical point prior to its being reinforced or the weather limiting operations, and for finding a way to get additional valuable service from him, to override my better long-term judgement in that regard. We have also had difficult choices to make here. We are supporting you as best we can, given the distances involved and lack of trained field leadership. Given that lack, we must make the best use of what we have available. Men such as Lyon and Grant must act aggressively where it is possible, so that they can complete their objectives and rapidly move on to other opportunities. We are trying to arrange matters so that we will have adequate numbers of trained regiments when we have the generals to lead them.

We must remember that the enemy is facing difficult circumstances of his own with organization. He will not have sufficient intelligence regarding our forces and intentions, especially if our advances are made with alacrity and celerity. Many of the strategic points he must hold are unguarded, or only guarded by militia. Through my discussions with General Scott, I believe that the best way currently available to accomplish our objectives, is to disperse our cavalry across a wide front, using rapid movement to attack the enemy where he is weak, and bypassing his strong positions. General officers are not required for these types of small-scale operations, and having general officers accompany these expeditions would be counter-productive. According to Scott, generals think, colonels act. Concentrations should be saved for critical points which the enemy may not realize we can reach, and which may have inadequate forces to protect them. As a negative example, Scott does not expect a good result at Clarksville, where we have concentrated cavalry to attack a position known to be held by entrenched regular troops. (I do not expect an additional revision of orders in that regard, however). We can use the difficult terrain as a shield, hiding our movements, and any unguarded rivers as highways, even where we do not control the areas along the banks, allowing us additional surprise attacks. Careful attention should be given to widespread destruction of enemy railroads and depots wherever possible, further increasing his difficulties. We can afford to rebuild them later as we secure these areas. These efforts should force the rebels to pull back their front lines so that they can respond. We can then follow up with garrisons where their response is inadequate, and the main bodies of our troops against their stronger positions.

My other great concern in your department is for our western navy. We must not risk losing ships attempting to run past or bombard fortified positions, at least until we have several more ironclads. In the meantime, we should creatively use the naval forces available to enable movements by our land forces where possible, and limit enemy use of the rivers.

Reviews of the overall conduct of the war and of specific actions have been mixed. I personally do not set too much store in what can be read in the newspapers. I simply must respond if the pressure affects politics. I will continue to try limiting the ways in which public pressure affects military operations. I look forward to reading of your future accomplishments, especially if I can read of them in your handwriting.

Your Obediant Servant,
Abraham Lincoln
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CinC West - Strategic Advisor to the President

Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:25 am

Fort Haggerty
Washington Defenses, October 16, 1861

From: Lt. Gen. Scott
To: Maj. Gen. Cai
Copy to: Maj. Gen. Kurtz

Sir -

I write to you in haste, as we face a rather unique opportunity of strategic importance.

At considerable expense, the rebels have commissioned a special train carrying staff officers and artillery towards General A. S. Johnston at Bowling Greene. Every effort that can be made without endangering other strategic initiatives, should be made to capture this train.

The latest reports indicate that it is currently passing through Christianburg, VA, an area which the rebels are reinforcing.

I therefore suggest the following movements:

1. 2nd Ohio Volunteers (Smyth County, VA) continue their retreat towards Prestonburg, KY - defending themselves while destroying track and setting ambushes for any pursuing forces.

2. 10th West Virginia Cavalry (Union, VA - Hardin County), proceed to Tazewell, VA -from which point it can assist the operation.

3. 10th Indiana Cavalry (Marietta, OH - Washington County), proceed down the Ohio River to Prestonburg, continuing on to Tazewell, VA - to be placed temporarily under the command of General Kurtz for joint action with the 10th WV Cav.

4. 2nd Ohio Cavalry (Lexington, KY) and 4th Ohio Cavalry (Covington, KY - Boone County), proceed to Mt. Pleasant, KY (Harlan County) in preparation for an attack through either Pound Gap or Cumberland Gap, as circumstances allow.

5. 9th Indiana Militia (Lexington, KY), proceed to London, KY (Laurel County), screening the movement of cavalry to the east, and preperatory to assaulting Huntsville, TN.

6. 1st Ohio Cavalry & 3rd Ohio Cavalry (Lexington, KY), proceed by rail to Lebanon, KY (Marion County) guarding an approach to Louisville and Lexington, and preparing for offensive operations from that point if the weather allows.

7. 6th Illinois Cavalry (Clarksville, TN), proceed up the Cumberland River past Nashville for an assault on Carthage, TN.

8. 4th Illinois Cavalry (Clarksville, TN), damage rail near Clarksville, then proceed past Nashville, evading enemy forces there, to Rutherford, TN, in order to damage rail around Murfreesboro and Franklin.

9. 5th Illinois Cavalry (Clarksville, TN), proceed past Nashville, evading enemy forces there, for an assault on either Winchester or Pulaski, TN.

It is not considered likely that we will be able to successfully intercept the rebel train, but these movements are also judged to support our other efforts.

Yr. Obdt. Svt.,
W. Scott

P.S. I am glad that you proved me wrong in regards to Clarksville.
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