s to McClellan in a personal letter.
They were comprehensive and required a large force, and it was already seen that Sherman's estimate was not so far out of the way. Buell proposed that a heavy column should be moved up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers by steamer, to unite with another moving on Nashville, to the eastward of Bowling Green.
Demonstrations were to be made in front of Columbus and Bowling Green, sufficient to keep the forces holding them fully occupied until their retreat wto cooperation: I think it is quite plain that the center of the enemy's line — that part which you are now moving against — is the decisive point of his whole front, as it is also the most vulnerable.
If it is held, or even the bridges on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers destroyed, and your force maintains itself near those points, Bowling Green will speedily fall, and Columbus will soon follow.
The work which you have undertaken is therefore of the very highest importance, without referen