Wrote Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith in Paducah, “On Monday next [Feb. 3] I expect to start from Smithland, Paducah and this place with some 15,000 men for Ft. Henry to take and occupy that position.
“Full instructions will be received from Gen. Halleck in the morning. At the present I am only in possession of telegraphic orders to “take and hold”.
“If my instructions contain nothing to change the plan I would adopt I will want a Brigade from Paducah and all the command from Smithland except the 52 Ill. and one battalion to be designated by yourself. These troops will take with them all their baggage but no baggage train, these being left to take up afterwards. I do not regard over a Squadron of Cavalry as being necessary for the whole command in taking the position. All that might afterwards be required can be sent from here.
“The troops going from your command may take such rations as they have on hand at the time of starting, not less than two days supply however, preparations being made here for issuing on arrival at place of debarkation.
“A supply of Ammunition will also be taken from here, but every regiment should take all they have on hand and not less than forty rounds.
“Should I not be able to write more definitely by tomorrow’s boat, I will telegraph during the day if a change from the above is necessary.
“But very little preparation is necessary for this move, and if possible the troops and community should be kept from knowing anything of the design. I am well aware however this caution is entirely unnecessary to you.
“It is impossible to spare a boat just now to run exclusively between Paducah and Smithland, but until one can be sent, the Steamer from here can continue her trips to the latter place upon your order as often as necessary.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 124-5
O.R., I, vii, 575