could have been anticipated.
It was now necessary to plan anew.
Since leaving Barboursville
no communication had been received from General Bragg
, and the positions of his army and of Buell
's were unknown.
was believed to have entered Kentucky
by the Pound Gap
route, but no accurate information could be obtained of his movements.
Brigadier-General John Morgan
soon after our arrival, having destroyed the tunnel on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, thus rendering that road of little value to the enemy.
came up with reinforcements, raising the effective strength of the army to 11,000 men, exclusive of Morgan
's and Scott
This was the state of affairs at the time that it was necessary for General Smith
to decide upon the course he intended to pursue.
, defended by only a few regiments of raw troops, would, it is probable, have succumbed easily to an attack.
might have been shelled from the opposite side of the river, and, as proposed by some, laid under contribution.
, with a force nearly equal to our own, was still in our rear, and large quantities of arms and stores, invaluable to the Confederacy
, were accumulating at Lexington
, it is true, filled, as it was believed to be, with the enemy's supplies, offered a tempting object.
Undoubtedly, its capture would have exerted an excellent moral effect upon the people of Kentucky
But the positions of Bragg
being unknown, it was by no means certain that the latter, abandoning his heavy artillery, baggage trains, &c., might not be able to throw an overwhelming force against Louisville
before the former could overtake him. Morgan
, also, eluding Stevenson
, who was watching him from the other side of Cumberland Gap
, and gaining two days the start, might pass through Lexington
, destroying the stores there, and make his escape to Cincinnati
Altogether, the enterprise was very hazardous, and, although promising much, did not offer any of those decisive results for which alone great risks should be incurred.
The movement against Cincinnati
, unable as we were to cross the river, was rather sensational than really useful.
finally determined to keep a part of his forces in the neighborhood of Lexington
, and to send General Heth
with the remainder to threaten Cincinnati
, for the purpose of preventing the concentration of the enemy at Louisville
In the light of subsequent.
events the movement against Louisville
may appear clearly to have been the one which should have been adopted; but. in the doubt which then involved everything, in the entire absence of information with regard to our forces, as well as those of the enemy in the rear, the course