After over two weeks of depredations by Morgan’s and Forrest’s cavalry in Tennessee and Kentucky, Buell was getting frustrated. He couldn’t move on Chattanooga, and he was trying desperately to track down the enemy forces while simultaneously beefing up garrisons at important posts in the two states. In a somewhat agitated dispatch to Halleck, he explains the situation.
From the Official Record:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Huntsville, Ala., (via Nashville, Teen.), July 22, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK or
General THOMAS, Adjutant-General:
The enemy has thrown a large cavalry force, regular and irregular, upon our lines throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. The embarrassment from this is great. Small guards cannot protect them, and to give large ones would scatter my whole force. High water also has destroyed our bridges. From these two causes we have had to repeat our work, and it has been impossible to get either road open to Nashville.
Nashville is again threatened, and whether really endanger or not its security is a matter of too vital importance to be left in jeopardy, and I must keep force enough there to operate actively in that quarter and toward the east. But these cavalry raids can only be effectually counteracted by cavalry, of which there should be at least five, or, if possible, eight more regiments in the two States.
I am compelled to ascribe the greater part of our annoyance from guerrilla bands to the spirit of hate and revenge which has been inspired in this quarter by an unwise policy and personal wrongs. I just learn that the enemy’s cavalry in considerable force captured the guards – 80 men – and burned three bridges between Nashville and Murfreesborough yesterday. It will take eight days to rebuild them.
D. C. BUELL,