Washington, November 4, 1861
To: General Cai
From: General Wool
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.
[color="DimGray"] You deserve to be spanked[/color]