Why not attack at once?
By all means avoid the contingency of a foot race, to see which, you or Hood
, can beat to the Ohio
If you think necessary, call on governors of states to send a force into Louisville
, to meet the enemy, if he should cross the river.
You clearly never should cross, except in rear of the enemy.
Now is one of the finest opportunities ever presented of destroying one of the three armies of the enemy.
If destroyed, he never can replace it. Use the means at your command, and you can do this, and cause a rejoicing from one end of the land to the other.’
He left nothing undone to stimulate, and encourage, and rouse, the powerful but dogged nature, which needed sometimes a goad, but when once incited into action, was as irresistible as it before had been immovable.
On the 9th, at 10.30 A. M., in obedience to Grant
's orders, Halleck
telegraphed to Thomas
: ‘Lieutenant-General Grant
expresses much dissatisfaction at your delay in attacking the enemy.
If you wait till General Wilson
mounts all his cavalry, you will wait till doom's day, for the waste equals the supply.
Moreover, you will be in the same condition that Rosecrans
was last year—with so many animals that you cannot feed them.
Reports already come in of a scarcity of forage.’
replied, at two P. M.: ‘Your despatch, of 10.30 A. M. this date, is received.
I regret that General Grant
should feel dissatisfaction at my delay in attacking the enemy.
I feel conscious that I have done everything in my power to prepare, and that the troops could not have been gotten ready before this.
And if he should order me to be relieved, I will submit without a murmur.