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Jabberwock
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CinCs - War Board

Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:56 am

War Department
Washington, October 29, 1861

To: Generals Cai and Kurtz

John, Andrew -

Because of some late orders, I just had to give direct orders to two field commanders. I don't care where the late orders came from, I do not appreciate having to do that. It makes us all look bad.

The 3rd Illinois were not ordered forward when General Scott requested it. They were not ordered forward when President Lincoln explicitly requested it as a personal favor. They were ordered forward after I stated that they were being detached and sent to Boston. That's not how it works. I don't expect any complaints. They clearly weren't being used for anything.

The 3rd Illinois militia were ordered forward after General Scott stated they were ready to move forward "once a replacement garrison arrived", or something to that effect. We didn't destroy enemy cavalry in the west when we had the chance. That's not blame or criticism, its just a fact to deal with. With the numbers of enemy cavalry in the western theater and the positioning of our own cavalry, we must have a fortified garrison at the Salem depot. It can be poorly trained militia, but it has to be there, and it has to maintain the fortifications.

If late orders are given, they will not be in conflict with directives from here, or they will be countermanded, and I will not be happy about it. I'm not here to be anyone's mother or pal. The quicker we get that sorted out, the quicker we can get on with the war.

I am waiting for replies to my questions about reinforcements. If I don't receive replies, guess what happens.


JW
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CinC East - War Board

Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:25 am

War Department
Washington, October 29, 1861

To: General Kurtz

Andrew -

Your latest order to Joe Hooker is to attack Holmes but not the Fredericksburg garrison. That means that our opportunity to take Fredericksburg will happen at the same time Beauregard counterattacks, and we will not be able to stay on the defensive if we are busy assaulting Fredericksburg. It also means Hooker is less likely to be promoted. It's your decision.


JW
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:44 am

CiC East
Alexandria, October 23, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

General Wood,

The orders for Hooker were intended to be to support the attack on Fredricksburg, not to specifically attack Homes. There must have been some mis-interpretation. You may adjust the orders to their original intent.

Additionally, please re-transmit your questions on reinforcements. It appears to have been lost in the telegraphs arriving hourly from your desk.

Kindly,

Your general in the field,
General Kurtz

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CinC East - War Board

Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:30 am

War Department
Washington, October 29, 1861

To: General Kurtz

Andrew -

Reinforcements. 2 Sharpshooter regiments, 1 Cavalry regiment. All in PA. Is that suitable? Planning for the possibility of an attack by the 1st VA Cav, other uses are possible, and it can be adjusted, both force and location. For instance: Sailor, Zouave, 12lb is a possibility.

I am hoping today's work will cut down on the number of telegrams I need to send in the future. However, I will take care of the current orders for Joe Hooker.

Joe's mom,
JW
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:01 am

CiC East
Alexandria, October 23, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

General Wood,

Thank you for resending as I was unable to locate the original and, despite my best efforts, I could not determine what would happen. Reinforcements suggested are accepted for near term planned operations.

Clarification of cavalry doctrine appreciated and, I believe, understood. Will do utmost to execute as specified.

Joe's uncle,
General Kurtz

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Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:09 am

War Department
Washington, October 29, 1861

To: General Kurtz

Andrew -

I should have stated it flat out. Reinforcements would have gone to the amphibious and naval forces. That still needs to happen, but they won't be taken from your forces this month.

I do appreciate that the original signature was edited from your last telegram. "Uncle" is more suitable.


JW
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CinCs - War Board - addendum to Cavalry Doctrine

Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:13 am

War Department
Washington, October 29, 1861

To: Generals Cai and Kurtz

John, Andrew -

I forgot two items in T180.


Simultaneous operations:

If multiple targets are hit in waves of cavalry, each operation has a greater chance of success and survival for the regiment involved. The enemy has limited resources to counter these operations, and can either concentrate or spread their forces. If they concentrate, all the other operations succeed. If they spread, we stand a decent chance of surviving combat on equal terms if it does occur, and that disrupts counter-operations. Sometimes we can bring a wave together to defend a captured objective while resupplying. It is much safer if rail around that objective has been damaged by a wave attack.

If we retreat to water, enemy forces are often left confused and in the wrong locations to counter other operations. Waves can be staggered by area, so that the enemy response is drawn away from the next wave's area of operations.

The enemy usually wind up chasing the forces furthest forward ... because those are the ones they can see; those are the one they are closest to; those are the ones that have the farthest to retreat. If we use time-on-target, those are the ones that have likely reached their objectives and are already starting their retreat towards safety. The enemy gets led on long chases across the countryside if they try to intercept, because we're knocking out their rail capability with other operations. Other regiments in the wave can provide additional support for the ones being chased, either by stand-up defense if necessary, or by other methods of confusing enemy efforts.


Command:

Cavalry sometimes move faster and with less straggling when operating as single regiments. Even if they are taking the same path to a common critical objective, the option of moving as single regiments should be considered. This should be based first on whether this actually will speed movement, second on whether we want to speed movement. In the case of assaulting a common critical objective with a garrison, limiting time-on-target does not apply. In that case, we want to increase time-on-target to allow complete destruction of the garrison, and possibly allow some recovery time for our units, before the enemy reacts.

Single regiments should be led by colonels. Generals can only slow them down.


JW
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CinCs - War Board

Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:22 am

War Department
Washington, October 30, 1861

To: Generals Cai and Kurtz

John, Andrew -

For the past 4 months, we have running a bluff. This is a situation that was left to us by our predecessors in office. The rebel field armies are better led, organized, and trained than ours. General Scott has done everything possible to continue this bluff and try to relieve the enemy threats to Washington, the Ohio Valley, and Missouri, without directly attacking the largest, best led, or best positioned rebel forces. That would be disastrous. He has also tried to get our forces into positions for future operations. Trying to guide, train, and mother our armies until we have a solution in place helped ruin his health. I am older than he is. I wouldn't be serving my country if I let that happen to me.

The orders I sent to Joe Hooker to assault Fredericksburg are the last orders I will send to a field unit, except when when I order them to join amphibious forces. I'm still debating whether I should send those orders to Hooker. I believe his original orders were to assault Fredericksburg, and those orders changed when McDowell was pulled back to Alexandria, but I am not certain of that. Copies of those orders were destroyed because of the high security of this operation. I would appreciate the opinion of both theater commanders, stated in writing, regarding the situation with Hooker's orders.

The 3rd IL is headed for Boston. The 3rd IL Militia is headed for Cairo, as those were the last orders they received from a theater commander, and those orders were sent prior to this message. Replacing them at Salem is not my problem. Rebuilding fortifications is not my problem. I expect they will be replaced, and fortifications will be rebuilt.

I will order troops to join the amphibious forces under three circumstances.

1. They disregard cavalry doctrine. I do recognize that winter will make offensive operations more difficult. Therefore, you need to communicate with me how you are deploying your cavalry forces, so that I do not misinterpret lack of action as disregard of cavalry doctrine.
2. They completely abandon established trenches west and northwest of the capitol, or at depots near the front lines.
3. They are redundant troops, more than one brigade holding trenches in the same area behind the front lines. General Scott pointed out several of these instances recently.

I may add other circumstances in the future, but I will give fair warning. Do not expect these troops to be immediately replaced with reinforcements. Do not expect them to take the place of reinforcements planned for the amphibious forces. They will become additional amphibious forces to what is already planned. It will be the theater commanders' problem to replace them or otherwise counter threats that develop in those areas.

Again, if you spot these situations on your own, and would like to volunteer troops for amphibious operations, that would be appreciated. Those troops will be replaced with reinforcements better suited to your situation.

I am tempted to ask the President to call for additional volunteers immediately, to provide additional security to Washington, the Ohio Valley, and Missouri, and to get amphibious operations rolling. There are several reasons why I am not going to do it:

1. It is not the best time politically or economically to get the most troops possible into the field for next year's campaigns.
2. We do not have adequately led corps or divisions to put them in.
3. I'm not going to ask for large numbers of additional troops to join your forces when I just threatened to send inefficient troops to amphib. That would just be silly.

As a result I have alerted the President that moving the capitol may become necessary. On December 1st, the president plans to call for additional volunteers. On January 1st, we will be inducting 25-30 new generals into the army. I would appreciate it if the country survives through January 1st. That will take communication and attention to detail to accomplish.


JW
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AndrewKurtz
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Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:29 pm

CiC East
Alexandria, October 31, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

cc: General Cai

General Wood,

Given your current requirements that all orders be sent to you for approval prior to execution in the field, should you see a situation that you believe needs to be addressed, I believe it should be addressed. Whether that is done by a direct order from you or from our HQs I believe is irrelevant.

However, I believe this doctrine slows down our ability to execute and recommend you first review the situation, make recommendations and/or specific orders and trust that we will, to the best of our ability, execute those orders accurately and with speed. You will receive copies of all orders, providing an ability to subsequently review our intepretation and execution and either suggest how we may improve in the future or worse.

We are all here to serve our country to the best of our ability.

Best regards,
General Kurtz

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CinC East - War Board

Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:48 pm

War Department
Washington, October 31, 1861

To: General Kurtz
Copy To: General Cai

Andrew -

I will review our situation every two weeks, and possibly make recommendations. I will also forward any intelligence estimates received here. My recommendations will not be as extensive as those made by General Scott.

My requirement is not that every order be approved from here. My requirement is that you communicate your ideas. I would like to be aware of what orders will be given, both as a courtesy, and a way of engendering trust. Mutual trust is vital to our efforts. I personally believe that communicating concepts to someone else provides a way to improve those concepts and bring hidden details to light, even in the case that no reply is received.

I have laid out guidelines, so that I can limit detailed recommendations. You are no doubt aware at this point of what the authorities here expect in terms of the defense of Washington and other points in the vicinity. If you are unclear on any point in that regard, ask. I hope that we are able to change that expectation somewhat in the not too distant future. I will let you know immediately if that happens.

If, in your judgement, orders conceived might fail to meet the guidelines, ask. If, in my judgement, orders given do fail to meet the guidelines, that may provide us with an opportunity to address an issue that has been (necessarily) neglected up till now, amphibious operations. I will communicate how orders did not meet guidelines, and make recommendations for the future, in that case. I will no longer insist that orders be changed, or change them from here.

Communication will slow execution. I accept that. As we practice it, we will find ways to limit that effect.


JW
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johnnycai
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Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:47 pm

West Theatre HQ.
Lexington, Oct31 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Mr. President/Sirs:

I made my thoughts on the reinforcements and situation in the South West clear earlier. I strongly believe we need to attack Texas amphibiously and not by building up at Ft. Craig at Tucson. 1 lone supply wagon will aid Sumner in his spring campaign in conjuction with that amphibious operation.
An Iowa wagon will take 2-3 months to arrive during the upcoming weather and this fact alone should guide our reasoning when planning for Texas operations. We simply cannot build, deploy and advance with logistics and travel-time considerations as they are.
Regarding the 3rd Ill., it can be truly stated that I erred in interpreting the orders from Gen. Scott. A counter order returning them to duty at Salem is approved should the War Dept. wish to issue it at this time.
Regarding Mo. cav and current threat posed by Price. I did order the available cavalry to chase the reb cav and chase them they did but unfortunately they escaped back to Springfield and the cav was then ordered to Ft. Gibson and now are at Ft. Smith causing havoc. I believe their performance so far has been adequate. Price moving forth from his hole in Springfield was always a risk we assumed when we decided to move Lyon towards Ft. Donelson and now into northern Tennessee. Troops are reinforcing Halleck and from there he can react to any Missouri incursions. But Price has his Ark. supply network in tatters now and will likely not start an offensive. I am willing to bet a case of Kentucky boubon on this.
Thank you for updating the US Army Cavalry doctrine, I look forward to improving it further thru the upcoming campaigns.

Most Sincerly,
General Cai

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CinC West - War Board

Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:10 am

War Department
Washington, October 31, 1861

To: General Cai

John -

Supplies ordered for Iowa. Sharpshooters being organized in Missouri.

Amphibious and naval elements are being sent towards Texas, but not much is available, and what is available is not ready for offensive land operations. We will do our best to improve that situation. In the meantime, development efforts near Fort Craig continue ... It's the best we can do.

I must decline on principle to counter-order the 3rd IL Mil. to Salem. The intent of the order was clear. The mix-up is understandable, we'll just have to fix it later.

Be watchful, Price could decide that a ruined supply line is reason to attack, but I won't take you up on your sucker bet. You'll have to find another source for your bourbon.

Looking forward to any further developments in Arkansas, Tennessee, and points beyond.


JW
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johnnycai
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Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:07 am

Western HQ, enroute.
TO: General Kurtz,
CC: War Dept.
Major Palmer of the 7th US Cav has written me personally about his impatience with your transport captain...who wishes to visit his new "neice" in Marion SC.
Palmer urges his men need tending before new actions.
What of the 8th transport fleet in Lower Lumbar SC?

Your Faithful Comrade,
General Cai

AndrewKurtz
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Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:34 am

CiC East
Alexandria, October 23, 1861

To: General Cai
From: Gen. Kurtz

John,

I have turned over the 7th Cav. for use as an amhibious force (see Orders T-166 and T-167). You will have to approach Sec. Welles to discuss access to this force or the naval forces.

Your good friend,
Andrew

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CinCs - Personal from General Wool

Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:23 am

War Department
Washington, October 31, 1861

To: Generals Cai and Kurtz

John, Andrew -

Already, I am being referred to around the War Department as "Ol' Bark & Splinters". I don't mind that, but just for clarification and communications security, my name is Wool.


JW

P.S. Referring to me as "Ol' B.S." will be punished severely.
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johnnycai
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Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:45 am

johnnycai wrote:West Theatre HQ.
Lexington, Oct31 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Sirs:

1 lone supply wagon will aid Sumner in his spring campaign in conjuction with that amphibious operation.
An Iowa wagon will take 2-3 months to arrive during the upcoming weather and this fact alone should guide our reasoning when planning for Texas operations. We simply cannot build, deploy and advance with logistics and travel-time considerations as they are.

Most Sincerly,
General Cai


From: Major General Cai
To: General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Texas Plan Proposal -Operation Rattler
My suggestion is for Early April for 25,000 men, ably-led and equipped, to assault Texas from Galveston Bay.
Sumner will be in Dallas and then probing, and drawing forces, to Houston by late March.


Sincerely,
General Cai

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CinC West - War Board

Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:08 am

War Department
Washington, October 31, 1861

To: General Cai

John -

I've looked this over with Gideon and Gus Fox. What we'd like to do:

Sumner leaves holding forces of @ 2,000 each at Dallas and Ft Bliss, and sails down the Sabine with the rest of his force to take Beaumont. He can do that either with local resources, or using naval transports, which can drop him off from the Lower Neches River. That will allow us to use Port Arthur Bay as a deployment area, with surprise. The following deployment areas have been chosen because they will not be directly observable by the enemy.

Transport Squadron 1 (Middle Colorado River):
1 S/Z Brigade or 2,000 Cavalry (Laredo) - support from Ft Bliss
1 S/Z Brigade or 2,000 Cavalry (Matamoros)
Amphibious Division - @ 8,000 troops (Houston)
1500 Militia (security force)

Transport Squadron 2 (Port Arthur Bay):
Amphibious Division - @ 7,000 troops (Galveston)
1 S/Z Brigade or 2,000 Cavalry (Miram)
1500 Militia (security force)

Transport Squadron 3 (Sabine Spring):
1 S/Z Brigade or 2,000 Cavalry (Henderson) - support from Dallas
750 Militia (security force)

Total: @ 23,000 regular troops; 3750 militia

From Beaumont, Sumner can act as reserve for Galveston/Houston or any other part of the force that runs into trouble. Adjustments will be made based on enemy deployments. Early April sounds right.

It looks clean on paper, but it won't necessarily come off that way. Our biggest concerns are that the enemy will decide on a Texas initiative of their own; or that transports may be delayed by weather on their way from Ft Pickens to their final deployments. In the first case, we will have future discussions on the viabilty of doing any of this. In the second case, it will be your call whether to delay until additional forces arrive, which may cause problems amongst the troops; or to go ahead with what is available.

Once Texas is secured, the bulk of this force will need to redeploy to the Carolinas, only leaving sufficient numbers behind for security and to create a credible threat to Louisiana, by attacking Shreveport, Berwick, Natchitoches, and/or Pierre.

Please review, and reply with questions, concerns, and suggestions. You're completely in charge once we are feet-dry. Scott says he plans to publish a doctrine on amphibious operations in the next few months, but Rattler is intended as a learning experience, so that we can give more local control to amphibious operations in the future.

In summary, my suggestion to you is that Sumner make Beaumont his primary objective.


JW
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johnnycai
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Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:31 pm

From: Major General Cai
To: General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Re: Operation Rattler

Sirs,
I can see the advantage of Beaumont for its port to ease their arrival and achieve surprise. If Sumner takes Beaumont in Late-March and then moves inland to control the region to the West near to Houston, then the amphib force lands at Beaumont early-April. That force may be able to rail nearer to Houston for the Late-April assault.

Understood Wool,

Sincerely,
General Cai

AndrewKurtz
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Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:38 pm

CiC East
Alexandria, October 31, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

General Wood,

General Hookers orders have been modified to order an immediate assault on the enemy forces around Fredricksburg immediately upon arrival. It is hoped that Bulter will succeed in forcing Holmes to retreat, leaving on the garrison for Hooker. However, should Butler need support, Hooker is expected to arrive on the second day of battle.

Regards,
General Kurtz

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Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:00 pm

CiC East
Alexandria, November 1, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

General Wood,

First, I would like to congratulate you on a brilliant plan. I'm excited to report that your concieved attack on Fredricksburg and Holmes Corps was executed flawlessly by General Butler and General Hooker. US Forces are now in control of the town and depot of Fredricksburg and Holmes Corps has been reduced to a small, ineffectual force.

In addition, our forces have successfully captured Suffolk, opening the door to the seige of Norfolk. Meanwhile, General Meagher has arrived in Hanover and is threatening Richmond.

The enemy is faced with risks on many fronts and is likely not capable of addressing them all. The question we face is whether their nature is offensive or defensive? If offensive, given the forces now positioned to attack Richmond, there is a possibility that they will launch a desperate attempt to take Washington. While a possibility, I believe they are more likely to take a defensive tact. Bad weather has set in around Northern Virginia and Maryland, further adding risk to offensive operations.

Their most siginficant risk is the fall of Richmond. I think it is likely that some forces will now fall back towards the rebel capital. I do not expect that this will be all forces however. I expect the enemy to maintain forward positions to threaten Washington throughout the winter and the spring campaigning season.

Unfortunately, while the approach of winter limits risk to our capital, it also adds significant risk to any additional operations this year against the enemy forces around Manassas, Harpers Ferry and Richmond.

Harpers Ferry is a tempting target as the enemy has stripped the defenses to a single division to better reinforce Manassas. However, we have no forces ready for such offensive operations and, therefore, I suggest we keep a watch on Harpers Ferry but pass on any attack at this time.

Richmond is also a tempting target, but I expect it to be heavily reinforced and, therefore, I am inclined to consolidate our gains in Northern Virginia, ensure the safety of Washington and revert to our original plan for the year, which was to take Norfolk.

In broad terms, I recommend the following and would like your comments, suggestions and advice prior to issuing orders:

1. Hookers division is in good shape and capable of offensive operations. Hooker should be ordered to continue attacking Holmes remaing forces with the goal of completely destroying this command. However, such offensive operations will be limited to the Fredricksburg region.

2. Forces around DC will be consolidated and continue to entrench. A few brigades will be released for amphibious operations. I have not determined exactly which brigades will be released.

3. Meagher's force remains inactive and is exposed to winter and counter-attack in their current position. Since Richmond is not an immediate target, Meagher will be ordered to Suffolk and and his force will be split to both block reinforcements and to add weight to the seige of Norfolk.

4. A large contingent of forces (but not all) from Suffolk will begin the seige of Norfolk, to be reinforced by Meagher.

5. Raiding forces throughout the area will be hurried to shelter.

I look forward to you thoughts and comments on these broad objectives for the coming month.

Regards,
General Kurtz

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CinC East - War Board

Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:30 am

War Department
Washington, November 1, 1861

To: General Kurtz
From: General Wool

Andrew -

First, any congratulations that are due should be to yourself and Generals Scott, Butler, and Hooker. I am very pleasantly surprised by Butler's performance. Conceivably, he could be given an army command soon, if General Grant does not work out.

Second, some intelligence reports.

General Jackson is commanding the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and was headed south when he encountered Butler's rear guard at Brandy Station. He retreated to Manassas. This inappropriate command may indicate some panic or confusion amongst enemy leaders. Ashby's 7th Virginia (Laurel Brigade) is in the area of Gordonsville. Those are the most significant cavalry threats we face. Enemy raiding activity is highly unlikely.

Admiral Dahlgren reports that the batteries at Norfolk are active, that they have recieved extremely long-ranged rifled guns, and they are interdicting passage of ships through Hampton Roads.

General B. Johnson's Division at Covington is reported to be low on supplies, and will need to evacuate the area shortly. It's likely with the current threats in eastern Virginia, and withdrawal of some forces to his front, that his movement will be immediate.

The 38th Detachment, which General Scott was concerned about, has evaded our forces, passed by the rail break near Marion, and reached its rendezvous at Nashville with Generals Zollicoffer and Johnston.

Given our knowledge of the rebel high command's methods, we expect them to consolidate most of the forces at Manassas into Jackson's command for a counter-strike at Fredericksburg. They will likely leave a brigade or two at Harper's Ferry, While the bulk of General Bohnam and Bee's commands join Beauregard at Manassas.

General Scott has delayed his full retirement an additional two weeks, so that he can support McDowell and McClellan in case of an attack. McDowell's force, fortified and reorganized, is more than sufficient to deal with an enemy offensive.

Most of our eastern theater cavalry may be required for a strategic initiative in the vicinity of Richmond in late December and early January, dependent on enemy dispositions at that time.


Given this information, my suggestions generally concur with your recommendations:

Move fresh forces towards Harper's Ferry, Winchester, and Covington, without immediately attacking any of those points, and seize the portions of the B & O railroad that remain under enemy control if possible.

Efficiently reorganize all forces at Montgomery, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg, detaching several of the smaller brigades at Montgomery for either rail security or amphibious duty. Trained brigades are preferred for amphibious. Any amphibious brigades may be sent to Dover, DE. I'd also like to see the USMC Brigade and Union Brigade (at Fredericksburg) consolidated into a single unit, if that measure meets your approval.

Put the best available forces at Fredericksburg into Hooker's division, and add Butler's balloons to his command.

Have the remainder of Butler's command board transports or steamers for a return to Washington or the Potomac front.

Hooker's options include attempting to hold Fredericksburg, evacuating overland east to Tappahanock, north through Stafford, or southeast to Williamsburg (if Keyes Brigade took that town). If Butler evacuates by water, then Hooker will not have that option. Given the threat of an enemy counter-attack, continued operations against Holmes may not be prudent, but they could possibly be carried out by a strong detached brigade. Any such brigade would definitely need to leave the area after attacking Holmes. I recommend that Hooker destroy the depot and evacuate. Stafford is probably not the best route.

If Meagher's command moves directly to Suffolk, they should be prepared for bombardment from the rebels at Norfolk. However, it is imperative that the enemy batteries at Norfolk be removed. Gideon would like to temporarily station some brigs and the USS Dacotah in the Potomac, until we know more about Bearegard's reaction to recent developments, but says they are currently not able to get there because of the Norfolk batteries. Mansfield can form a new division and rendezvous with the Suffolk forces. The transports (Narraganset and Mohican) will move to the Roanoke River for a rendezvous with Palmer's cavalry. Farragut could also be asked to run past the Norfolk batteries on his way to Baltimore hopefully suppressing them to some extent.

Raiding forces retreat to or towards shelter, moving towards either the north or south bank of the James River where possible.


JW
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CinC West - War Board

Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:59 am

War Depatment
Washington, November 1, 1861

To: General Cai
From: General Wool

John -

Enclosed, you will find a commision for Nathaniel Lyons to the rank of Major General of volunteers.

I have copies of your orders to General Grant. Is he on a bender? If so, immediately cut off his supply of bourbon. We need him sober.

I am not satisfied with the reported progress of Fremont's fortifications at Cairo. Enemy fleets should not be running past that point. Can you look into it? Do you have any other recommendation as to what he could be doing?

Please forward your views of the current strategic situation in your theater, along with your thoughts on how best to proceed.


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Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:28 pm

War Department
Washington, November 2, 1861

To: General Kurtz
From: General Wool

Andrew -

Congratulate the commander of the 1st Maryland on his ride through the rebel army. Instruct him not to attempt repeating the exploit on pain of being broken to the ranks (if he survived).

I would have liked to see the expressions on Bonham and Beauregard's faces when they read that report.


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johnnycai
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Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:03 pm

West Theatre HQ.
Lexington, Nov 02, 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: President Lincoln, General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Mr. President/Sirs:

My congratulations to the War Dept., Gen. Kurtz and General Butler.
A daring and successful assault at Fredricksburg has surely taught the rebels about deploying so close to Washington while leaving their supply and strategic assets to lesser generals and unorganized rabble.
I fully apologize for General Grant's recent 'sickness' as he has remained at Lexington and not joined Wallace near Bowling Green. I have ordered a new aide-de-camp to join his staff, I believe his current staff James Beam and
Wallace will be sending me a full report within 24hours but the plan is to attack Bowling Green without Grant since we still have good weather and lay seige.
I heartily approve of Lyon's promotion and have sent him a note to hold Paducah at all costs until further notice.
Foote has held the Great Confluent against numerous rebel gunboats and has reportedly sunk 2 of them.

Sincerely,
General Cai

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Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:46 pm

War Department
Washington, November 2, 1861

To: General Cai
From: General Wool

John -

I still have many questions.

Is it possible to attack both Floyd's command and Bowling Greene simultaneously? Is it possible to push some forces through eastern Kentucky before the rebels reinforce along the border? Should we reestablish a position at Metropolis as a secondary river battery, and to keep it from being used as a cavalry base in the event that the rebels do get across the Ohio? What are Sumner and Halleck's current short term plans? What about Foote - can he continue to hold his position or does he need to fall back on Cairo or Evansville for repairs? What are your plans for the regiments that have penetrated the enemy front lines? Once you get Grant presentable, is he headed for Bowling Greene? Is Lyons reorganizing? Can your engineers be sent to Cairo, or are they needed at Saint Louis?

From what we know here, the only current enemy cavalry threats are in Missouri and in the possibility that Polk or Hardee will send some across the Mississippi to retake Charleston. I'd like to see Pagan's cavalry targeted in preference to the force further east. Is that possible? Watie's Indians have disappeared into western Arkansas, likely basing out of Panther. What are your plans for dealing with them and taking advantage of their new position? Are you planning to take Springfield immediately, or wait?

The President has approached me about the idea of calling immediately for volunteers with a $1,000 bounty ... in response to the rebels taking that measure. That would increase available manpower, but not money. If Lincoln takes that step, how could we best serve your forces for reinforcements? If we send you additional cavalry, can you develop a plan for putting them to good use?

Please answer as many as you can.

Also, I would like to provide you with some additional militia for the purpose of replacing garrisons. Some Ohio garrisons can be replaced by militia units moving up, but we don't have the regiments available to do the same in Indiana and Illinois. I think those garrisons would make a substantial contribution to the front line, if we can get them forward without jeopardizing security.


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johnnycai
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:22 am

West Theatre HQ.
Lexington, Nov 03, 1861

From: Major General Cai
To: General Wood, General Kurtz, Navy Dept.

Sirs:

A very interesting plan for Floyd at Ft. Henry but I would want my best man Grant to lead that. That is why I am favouring Bowling Green, Grant will join Wallace/Hunter and there 23,000 there. If the weather holds, we can advance further. The weather has reduced our mobility throughout the West.
I believe J Johnston's new Tennessee Army will meet us there. We should likely see battle at our best odds there should they attempt a forward defence. At most they can muster 15,000 men. Wallace will lead his and Hunter's division, this is Wallace's first attempt to command so many. My plan would be to attack from the West where we can meet them without their trenches and establish our supply in South Kentucky.
I endorse General Butler becoming the next Army Commander, perhaps Grant will prove himself by the New Year.
In the West, we will send the 3rd Cav to Dallas immediately, while rest could also run for safety but the weather prevents passage and 2 of our 3 regiments at Little Rock are near dissolving. Those 2 regs. at the least must stay in Little Rock. Perhaps Washington will invest in some local industry there so we can perhaps attempt to hold out thru the winter??
Sumner will wait for the supply wagon and gather some more units to him when he moves to Dallas. He will be moving to Beaumont in the spring.
Halleck will reinforce Fremont as there appears to be no Polk threat. Springfield seems ungarrisoned but I expect Polk is heading back there.
The cavalry near Jefferson Mo. will attempt to engage the enemy raider and scout Springfield. If the rebs attack Charleston, it would be a foolish move but our troops can fall back and the rebs would be a poor position defensively.

I welcome the news that the President finally realizes that more troops are needed.
I have found the militia raised so far to be fairly satisfactory and also endorse their continued presence in our ranks.
This spring, Western Command will have these needs at the least.
All the cavalry in the west, 3 divisions of regulars with Rodman's/20lbs., some can come from the 6th/8th divisions or even Lyon's command once he forms a corps for Fremont or Grant.
4+ ironclades, 10 gunboat sqdn.'s and 4 transport steamships. 3 more Supply wagons, 2 marine units and an engineer bn.

General Kurtz,
Is the 10th Ohio Cav at Grafton released from Eastern Command for reassignment??

Sincerely,
General Cai

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Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:58 am

War Department
Washington, November 4, 1861

To: General Cai
From: General Wool

John -

The combined attack on Bowling Greene is approved, for the reasons you have stated. Joe and Sydney Johnston have been retreating to avoid being outflanked, have already passed through Bowling Greene, and are unlikely to return there. Since our efforts to outflank the rebels in Kentucky have come to nothing, a massive assault by Grant on Joe Johnston will be the option left to us. Fortunately, the rebels have not yet fortified some of the positions along the south bank of the Cumberland River. Hopefully Joe Johnston will remain on this side of the river until we can attack him. Inform Grant we need either Nashville or Dover (Donelson), before the New Year.

I suggest Porter immediately send additional units forward to hold the rail line. The 6th IN Mil. and KY Mil., if combined into a brigade, could reach Glasgow or Brownville. Go ahead and repair the rail line, Meigs says that the resources for that are available. If you request it, I will see if we can get some additional transports started immediately in Indiana, to replace the ones you use at B.Gr.

The 4th and 5th IL Cavalry, along with the 1st WI Mil., could push south and southwest to sieze points along the bend of the Tennessee River, threatening Corinth and Hardee's supply line.

The 1st, 3rd, and 4th OH Cavalry, the 10th IN Cav., and the 7th IN Mil. are all available for an offensive in eastern Kentucky/Tennessee. They are not substantial forces, but forward bases in Eastern Tennessee could have a substantial effect on your spring campaign.

Definitely push the 4th and 7th OH Mil. to Ashland and Dayton, so that those garrisons can be relieved and move to the front lines.

I will have another HQ started for Butler. In case Grant or Lyons can prove their worth to a point where the costs are minimized, I want to have a spare available in the west. I may send Butler west after the New Year, just to have some better organization available for your forces. Kurtz will need either Sherman or Thomas in the east.

Fremont leaves something(s) to be desired, but I am casting about for any additional commanders for the east in the next two months. Can Halleck hold Cairo pending Butler's arrival? That way we could use Fremont on the Grafton-Covington axis, or shift him to Louisville, sending Porter to Grafton. The latter option is preferred here, because it gets a general to Grafton more quickly than any other method.

Speaking of Halleck, since my orders to the 3rd IL did not reach them prior to their arrival in St. Louis, they along with the Michigan Brigade should stay under Halleck's personal supervision, whether he stays in St Louis or moves elsewhere. Consider them on parole.

The intentions of the 1st AR Cavalry are unknown, but considered likely to fall back to Springfield. They might attempt to infiltrate further through St. Charles. Pagan's Cavalry will almost certainly be returning to Springfield in a sorry state after their encounter with the 10th IL Cav. If some force, (say the 13th IL Mil), could meet them there ... even a tactical defeat would be in accordance with doctrine. The 5th or 6th Brigade at Lexington could move to cover Jefferson City.

Locals report that Price has completely abandoned Springfield. Scouts in the Ozarks report that he is unlikely to reach Fort Smith in under two weeks, due to weather. Watie may be able to reach there, but not in any shape for a fight. If Price immediately moves further south, our cavalry should be able to escape down the Arkansas River. Since the weather further west holds temporarily, see if the 3rd US can ride through the Indian villages on their way to Dallas. With Price falling back as rapidly as he can, we expect to have to evacuate Fort Smith in the next month. Investment there is not an option under the current circumstances.

The 3rd Naval cannot continue their journey from Santa Fe into a Kansas snowstorm, until they get some rest. Supplies in New Mexico continue to dwindle. Three regiments or batteries can currently be supported there. Sumner must start some additional forces on the way to Dallas immediately. If additional supplies become available in the next two weeks, those forces can be halted to wait for Spring. I am not setting the timetable for the Sabine campaign. Famine is setting the timetable.

If the 2nd California Brigade takes over the duties of the 4th US regiment, the latter can begin the long journey east.

The President states that if he had more towns to tax, he could provide you with heavier armaments. He also states that he has asked for your opinion on this subject and not recieved a reply. Even with the call for volunteers, you will get mostly cavalry, militia, and light artillery. I could ask for additional incentives to the merchant marine, which would increase our trade in the future, but that would be at the cost of immediate heavy equipment. Local commanders are expected to find ways to upgrade their own equipment. That is what we can afford. Printing additional money would drive morale back down to a point where it would seriously affect military operations. Two more supply trains should be available at Evansville this month, and there is one on transports at Benson Curve.


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AndrewKurtz
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:41 pm

CiC East
Alexandria, November 2, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz

General Wood,

The following orders are submitted for your review and approval:

1. Bty B WV, 1st PA, 2nd PA, 3rd PA, and 1st WV have all been ordered to Grafton by the fastest individual routes possible. All are expected to arrive within two weeks. Once at Grafton, they will be reorganized and readied for offensive operations in the spring. We need leadership assigned to this force ASAP to allow the commander time with his troops prior to the spring campaign season.

2. I would prefer to keep the 6th PA Cav and 10th Ohio Cav in Grafton for the time being. I request one clarification of the cavalry doctrine you have defined. Are cavalry raiding operations expected to be executed through the winter season in harsh weather or should the troops remain in camp during poor weather?

3. The 10th WV Cav, 11th WV Cav and 2nd Ohio Volunteers have been ordered to Prestonburg by the fastest individual routes possible. All are expected to arrive within two weeks.

4. The US Cavalry currently raiding in Warren, NC is reportedly out of supplies. They have been ordered to complete the destruction of the local rail after which they will use the river to leave the area as quickly as possible. I have ordered them not to wait for the transports currently dropping off Mansfield but, instead, to use local craft to escape to Dover as I am concerned they could be trapped by the CSA naval forces reportedly in the Meherrin River. The transports in the Chowan River have been ordered to disembark Mansfield and to rendezvous with the US Cav in the Currick Sound for the return trip to Dover. From there, these naval forces can be used for amphibious operations while the US Cav is transported by rail back to the front for spring operations.

5. The 3rd PA Cav has been ordered to complete the destruction of the rail around Roanoke and then to move by the fastest route to Suffolk. From there, they can more quickly threaten rail lines and depots in the enemy rear.

6. The 3rd MD Cav has been ordered to complete the destruction of the rail in the Culpepper redgion and then to move quickly to Tappahannock.

7. Butlers forces in Fredricksburg have been reorganizaed. Hooker has been given command of the freshest troops, with the reduced brigades remaining with Butler. Butler's balloons have been ordered to remain with Hooker to provide support to his operations. Butler will board the transports in the Rappahannock and will then be immediately transported to DC. They are expected to arrive in the next two weeks. I would like one clarification. Will the transports wait for Butler to board before leaving for DC?

8. Hooker has been ordered to execute offensive operations in the region against Holmes remaining forces after which Hooker will proceed to assault the lone militia unit holding Williams. From there, Hooker can threaten Richmond, guard the Peninsula and support the operations against Norfolk should additional forces be required.

9. The NJ Volunteers have been assigned the rearguard responsibility in Fredricksburg. They have been ordered to destroy the depot and rail after which they will move to Port Tobacco.

10. The 1st NY Cav and 7th PA Cav have been ordered forward to Alexandria in preparation for future raids.

11. In Alexandria, McDowell's forces have been consolidated. The AoP currently consists of 13k infanty, 1k horses and 55 guns. They have been ordered to hold Alexandria at all costs should the enemy decide to invade (considered unlikely). They currently hold strong entrenchments outside the city.

12. As part of the reorganization, the I/1st and II/2nd brigades have been ordered to Dover for future amphibious operations.

13. The Philadelphia Brigade and Baltimore Battery have been ordered to Fredrick to threaten/support future operations against the Harpers Ferry. Leadership is requested for these forces ASAP.

14. In Montgomery, McClellan's forces have also been consolidated. McClellans corps currently consists of 11k infantry, 1k horses and 57 guns. They have been ordered to hold Alexandria at all costs should the enemy decide to invade (considered unlikely). They currently hold strong entrenchments and are well supplied for winter operations.

15. The 1st MD and 6th DE brigades have been ordered to Dover for future amphibious operations. The 8th DE and 2nd MD along with a supply wagon have been ordered to Fredrick to threaten/support future operations against the Harpers Ferry.

16. The 5th PA and 1st MD cavalry have been ordered to Chambers to threaten raids around the enemy left.

17. The NVA 5th has been ordered to take the enemy portions of the B&O rail and then to move by rail to Grafton where they can be re-transported to the PA front.

18. The Union Brigade and USMC have been merged.

19. The NJ Volunteers, 4th Naval and captured NC artillery have been ordered to guard Suffolk against enemy attempts to reinforce Norfolk at all cost.

20. The Irish Brigade and B Artillery, along with a supply wagon, have been ordered to Norfolk to begin the seige.

21. Mansfield has been ordered to do everything possible reach Norfolk within a fortnight to support the seige operations.

22. Richardson's bridage was detached from Meagher and ordered directly to Suffolk to help the forces protecting against the reinforcement of Norfolk. They are expected to arrive within two weeks.

23. Meaghers remaining forces have been order to land amphibiously in the Norfolk region. I understand the risk posed by the Norfolk guns, but consider the need for more troops sieging Norfolk more important that the expected loses from the enemy guns. They are expected to arrive within two weeks.

24. Keyes has been ordered to Suffolk and then by land to Norfolk.

25. By November 15th, we expect to have 9k men, 100 horse and 36 guns sieging the forces of Norfolk with Hooker available to add more weight if needed. 7k men, 900 horses and 13 guns will be protecting Suffolk and the approach to Norfolk.

Please review and advise should you see any issues with these planned orders.

Best regards,
General Kurtz

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Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:28 pm

War Department
Washington, November 4, 1861

To: Gen. Kurtz
From: General Wool

Andrew -

This is excellent.

1. I am trying to get a general for Grafton from our western forces. If Fremont or FJ Porter can be made available, they will lead this force. If not, Thomas or Sherman will be sent here as their first assignment. I'm hoping we can get them to Covington and establish a base there before Spring.

2 & 3. If possible, please either return the 10th OH to western forces, or exchange command of the 10th WV for them if General Cai is amenable to that. Cavalry operations and objectives will necessarily be limited by winter conditions. They are expected to continue, but mainly in the southern and eastern portions of your immediate operational area. I've already mentioned the possible upcoming strategic initiative "Fateful Lightning" near Richmond ... seriously depleted cavalry regiments should rest and then start positioning themselves. Fresh regiments should continue limited operations, to keep enemy suspicions down. Let me know what you see as possibilities. It would be helpful for the success of Fateful Lightning that use of the Tennessee Railroad be further disrupted prior to January. General Cai will be notified of the need for his cooperation, but the WV cavalry regiments can also help once given a chance to rest. It would also be helpful if the rail through Henrico could be made a priority, avoiding the Richmond batteries. More details will follow in the next few weeks, as the situation develops.

4. Use of Currituck Sound as a rendezvous for cavalry and transports is approved.

5. See if they can burn some supplies at City Point as they pass by.

6. Overland or amphibious? If overland, how many days will it take them to reach Fredericksburg? I want you to be sure they can avoid contact or lead enemy cavalry into a trap if they are targeted.

7, 8, & 9. Excellent. Six transports will wait. The ones that were fired on in Hampton Roads will be separated out and sent to Baltimore for repairs. It may not be possible to destroy the depot without razing the town. The political implications of doing that with so many reporters and international observers present would be severe. If you find that is the case, just have them destroy the rail. Would you prefer the supporting brigs remain in the Rappahanock, or move temporarily to the Potomac?

10. You may want to consider sending one of them to Somerset, instead.

11. Excellent.

12 & 15a. This is more than I expected. I will have Gideon dispatch transports for them. With the addition of militia and cavalry from New England, they may be sufficient to initiate operation Rattler. I will inform General Cai. Thank you.

13 & 15b. Could Keyes do this?

14. Considered unlikely by all except McClellan. I think he's realizing that he's not going to make any progress trying to get additional troops from me. If he sends you any orders, diplomatically refer him back to me, rather than to the President.

16. Excellent.

17. Excellent.

18. Thank you.

19, 20, 21. Excellent.

22 & 23. I'm concerned by splitting forces when we know both sections will be facing bombardment. Can they possibly remain together and all proceed to one of the objectives?

24. This definitely concerns me. Will he retain command of any of his division? He will almost certainly be targeted by the Norfolk Whitworths, and wind up in a hospital if he survives. I would prefer if he were given command of the Frederick - Harper's Ferry force.

25. This is good, let me know about the minor issues. I will definitely ask Gideon to have Farragut run the batteries and replenish at Baltimore.


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AndrewKurtz
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:32 pm

CiC East
Alexandria, November 6, 1861

To: General Wood
From: Gen. Kurtz
cc: General Cai

General Wood,

Your comments received. I am pleased that you largely approved the planned troop movements and orders for the coming effort.

1. Wonderful news about a possible leader in Grafton. I look forward to the appointment.

2. 10th Ohio Cavalry is hereby released to the western command. No replacement is required. General Cai, they await your direct orders.

3. I believe after some rest that the 2nd Md Cav could be used to a raid on the railroad south of Richmond. If I see an opportunity to strike at the TN rail, we will do so. Right now the forces in position for this kind of effort are running low on supplies and need to rest.

6. 3rd Md is traveling via river and will arrive in Tappahannock 9 days after the rail destruction.

7 & 8 & 9. The Brigs may move to the Potomac

10. What is the future goal of moving a force to Somerset, PA at this time? I am not opposed, but would like to better understand the plan. If part of "Fateful Lightning", advising that such is the case is sufficient.

11 & 22 & 24. My previous references to Keyes were misunderstood. I was refering to Keyes Brigade currently at James City, not the 7th division. Keyes will remain in command of the 7th Division and will remain with McClellen in Montgomery. Keyes Brigade had been planned to be moved to Suffolk directly from James City and was not expected to come under fire from the guns of Norfolk.

However, after reviewing your comments, I have decided that Meagher's 9th division can remain intact and the entire force will land at Norfolk. Keyes brigade will be ordered from James City to Suffolk instead. The resulting force distribution between the Norfolk seiging forces and Suffolk holding forces remain largely unaffected.

Best Regards,
General Kurtz

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