FEBRUARY 3RD, 1862: Brigadier General C.F. Smith had well expressed this earlier: "The Conestoga, gunboat, admirably commanded by Lieutenant Phelps of the Navy, is my only security in this quarter. he is constantly moving his vessel up and down the Tennessee and Cumberland."
That same day, Foote wrote to Secretary of the Navy Welles that he would have had more ships against the fort fort but for want of men.
"The volunteers from the Army to go in the gunboats exceed the number of men required, but the derangement of companies and regiments" had permitted few to transfer afloat.
I take this to mean that there were plenty of soldiers who volunteered, but that they were not allowed to go by their officers to keep company and regimental manpower up to numbers.