Memorandum for a Plan of Campaign

[c. October 1, 1861]

On, or about the 5th. of October, (the exact day to be determined hereafter) I wish a movement made to seize and hold a point on the Railroad connecting Virginia and Tennesse, near the Mountain pass called Cumberland Gap.

That point is now guarded against us by Zolicoffer, with 6000 or 8000, rebels at Barboursville, Kentucky, say twentyfive miles from the Gap towards Lexington.

We have a force of 5000 or 6000, under General Thomas, at Camp Dick Robinson, about twentyfive miles from Lexington, and seventyfive from Zollicoffer’s camp on the road between the two, which is not a Railroad, anywhere between Lexington and the point to be seized—and along the whole length of which the Union sentiment among the people largely predominates.

We have military possession of the Railroads from Cincinnati to Lexington, and from Louisville to Lexington, and some Home Guards under General Crittenden are on the latter line.

We have possession of the Railroad from Louisville to Nashville, Tenn, so far as Muldrough’s Hill, about forty miles, and the rebels have possession of that road all South of there. At the Hill we have a force of 8000 under Gen. Sherman; and about an equal force of rebels is a very short distance South, under under [sic] Gen. Buckner.

We have a large force at Paducah, and a smaller at Fort-Holt, both on the Kentucky side, with some at Bird’s Point, Cairo, Mound City, Evansville, & New-Albany, all on the other side; and all which, with the Gun-Boats on the River, are, perhaps, sufficient to guard the Ohio from Louisville to it’s mouth.

About supplies of troops, my general idea is that all from Wisconsin, Minesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas, not now elsewhere, be left to Fremont.

All from Indiana and Michigan, not now elsewhere, be sent to Anderson at Louisville.

All from Ohio, needed in Western Virginia be sent there; and any remainder, be sent to Mitchell at Cincinnati, for Anderson.

All East of the Mountains be appropriated to McClellan, and to the coast.

As to movements, my idea is that the one for the coast, and that on Cumberland Gap be simultaneous; and that, in the mean time, preparation, vigilant watching, and the defensive only be acted upon—(this however, not to apply to Fremonts operations in Northern and middle Missouri)—that before these movements, Thomas and Sherman shall respectively watch, but not attack Zollicoffer, and Buckner.

That when the coast and Gap movements shall be ready, Sherman is merely to stand fast; while all at Cincincinnati [sic], and all at Louisville with all on the lines, concentrate rapidly at Lexington, and thence to Thomas’ camp joining him, and the whole thence upon the Gap.

It is for the Military men to decide whether they can find a pass through the mountains at or near the Gap, which can not be defended by the enemy, with a greatly inferior force, and what is to be done in regard to this.

The Coast and Gap movements made, Generals McClellan and Fremont, in their respective Departments, will avail themselves of any advantages the diversions may present.


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