September 29, 2011 Leave a comment
His Excellency Gov. O. P. Morton: Your letter by the hand of Mr. Prunk was received yesterday. I write this letter because I wish you to believe of us (as we certainly believe of you) that we are doing the very best we can. You do not receive arms from us as fast as you need them; but it is because we have not near enough to meet all the pressing demands; and we are obliged to share around what we have, sending the larger share to the points which appear to need them most. We have great hope that our own supply will be ample before long, so that you and all others can have as many as you need. I see an article in an Indianapolis newspaper denouncing me for not answering your letter sent by a special messenger two or three weeks ago. I did make what I thought the best answer I could to that letter. As I remember, it asked for ten heavy guns to be distributed, with some troops, at Lawrenceburgh, Madison, New-Albany and Evansville; and I ordered the guns, and directed you to send the troops if you had them.
As to Kentucky, you do not estimate that state as more important than I do; but I am compelled to watch all points. While I write this I am, if not in range, at least in hearing of cannon-shot, from an army of enemies more than a hundred thousand strong. I do not expect them to capture this city; but I know they would, if I were to send the men and arms from here, to defend Louisville, of which there is not a single hostile armed soldier within forty miles, nor any force known to be moving upon it from any distance.
It is true, the Army in our front may make a half circle around Southward, and move on Louisville; but when they do, we will make a half circle around Northward, and meet them; and in the mean time we will get up what forces we can from other sources to also meet them.
I hope Zollicoffer has left Cumberland Gap (though I fear he has not) because, if he has, I rather infer he did it because of his dred of Camp Dick Robinson, re-inforced from Cincinnati, moving on him, than because of his intention to move on Louisville, But if he does go round and re-inforce Buckner, let Dick Robinson come round and re-inforce Sherman, and the thing is substantially as it was when Zollicoffer left Cumberland Gap. I state this as an illustration; for in fact, I think if the Gap is left open to us Dick Robinson should take it and hold it; while Indiana, and the vicinity of Louisville in Kentucky, can re-inforce Sherman faster than Zollicoffer can Buckner.
You requested that Lt. Col. Wood, of the Army, should be appointed a Brigadier General I will only say that very formidable objection has been made to this from Indiana. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN