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I desire that you give me at once your views in full as to the best method of accomplishing our object, at the same time stating the nature and strength of the force that you can use for the purpose, and the time necessary to prepare.

Very respectfully,

G. B. McCLELLAN, Major-General commanding.

Major-General Halleck to Brigadier-General Grant.

headquarters, Department of the Missouri, St. Louis, January 6, 1862.
Brigadier-General U. S. Grant, Cairo, Ill.:
I wish you to make a demonstration in force on Mayfield, and in the direction of Murray. Forces from Paducah and Fort Holt should meet it and threaten ‘Camp Beauregard’ and Murray, letting it be understood that Dover is the object of your attack. But don't advance far enough to expose your flank or rear to an attack from Columbus, and by all means avoid a serious engagement.

Make a great fuss about moving all your force towards Nashville, and let it be so reported by the newspapers.

Take proper precautions to deceive your own men as well as the enemy. Let no one, not even a member of your own staff, know the real object. I will send you some forces from this place to increase the deception. Let it be understood that twenty or thirty thousand men are expected from Missouri, and that your force is merely the advanced guard to the main column of attack. The object is to prevent reenforcements being sent to Buckner. Having accomplished this, you will slowly retire to your former positions, but if possible keep up the idea of a general advance. Be very careful, however, to avoid a battle. We are not ready for that. But cut off detached parties, and give your men a little experience in skirmishing.

If Commodore Foote can make a gunboat demonstration at the same time, it will assist in carrying out the deception.

H. W. Halleck, Major-General.

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