Charles Champion Gilbert, whom Buell had appointed Major-General to replace Bull Nelson after his injury in the battle of Richmond, forwarded a Buell’s note to General Wright warning that Bragg was at or near Glasgow, KY. In fact, Bragg was already well north of Glasgow at Munfordville.
LOUISVILLE, KY., September 17, 1862.
Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati:
The following has just been received:
There is very little doubt that Bragg has thrown his whole force into Kentucky and it is actually at Glasgow or nearly so. The great danger is that it will form a junction with Kirby Smith, and I apprehend that the latter may already be in motion for that object. You should retard him by all honorable means. The brigades over the Kentucky River ought to be destroyed if necessary for that object and it can be effected. The next thing of importance is that I should be able to form a junction with you. If necessary a pontoon or trestle bridge kept in readiness to be thrown across the month of Salt River might be very important for that purpose, and I wish you would have one prepared immediately. I learn that the force at Munfordville was attacked this morning and I fear it has been overpowered. You should fortify yourself.
The above dispatch is imperfect, having been sent of Evansville from Bowling Green by messenger and copied there; the messenger will probably be here to-night with perfect copy. It is evidently from Buell, and dated Sunday morning.
C. C. GILBERT,
Meanwhile, Bragg was celebrating the surrender of Munfordville.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1862-12.30 a.m.
DEAR GENERAL: The enemy has surrendered unconditionally. Join me at 6 a.m. at Rowlett’s Station to witness the surrender. Your troops must be under arms. General Buckner receives the surrender-4,000 men.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
No. 6. Munfordville, Ky., September 17, 1862.
I. The general commanding congratulates his army on the crowning success of their extraordinary campaign which this day has witnessed.*
He is most happy and proud to acknowledge his indebtedness to his gallant troops for their patient submission under the privations of an arduous march and the fortitude with which they have endured its hardships. They have overcome all obstacles without a murmur, even when in the prosecution of seemingly unnecessary labor, and have well sustained by their conduct the unsullied reputation of the Army of the Mississippi. With such confidence and report as has been so far exhibited nearly all things become possible. The capture of this position, with its garrison of 4,000 men, with all their artillery, arms, munitions, and stores, without the loss of a man, crowns and completes the separate campaign of this army. We have in conjunction with the Army of Kentucky, redeemed Tennessee and Kentucky, but our labors are not over. A powerful foe is assembling on our front and we must prepare to strike him a sudden and decisive blow. A short time only can there fore be given for repose, when we must resume our march to still more brilliant victories. The general commanding asks of his army only a continuance of the same confidence and regard for discipline in order to insure the most complete success.
II. To-morrow, September 18, having been specially set aside by our President to be observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for the manifold blessings recently vouchsafed to us and to our cause, the general commanding earnestly recommends to the army to devote the day of rest allotted to them to the observance od this sacred duty. Acknowledging our dependence at all times upon a merciful Providence, it is meet that we should not only render thanks for the general success of our cause and of this campaign, but should particularly manifest our gratitude for a bloodless victory instead of a success purchased with the destruction of life and property.