Here is a piece from the Covington Journal of January 4, 1862.
WILL THERE BE AN ADVANCE OF THE ARMY IN KENTUCKY
The Louisville correspondent of the Gazette commences his letter of December 27 as follows:
"Many enthusiastic gentlemen expect an advance movement of our troops on this line towards Nashville within a very few days. I have even heard of parties betting that the Federal flag would wave over Nashville in two weeks after Christmas. But I must confess frankly, I can scarce believe there will ever be a general advance of any portion of the National Army. While it cannot be doubted that the General commanding the Department of Cumberland desires to advance, the conviction is fast settling upon the minds of those who keep in view the whole conduct of the war, that no forward movement of magnitude is to be allowed. An inactive army is too profitable to public sharpers to be thus ruthlessly put in process of liquidation."
That strikes me as a rather cynical view of the army and of its leadership, but it's also reminiscent of the attitude that President Lincoln despised so much - conservative, timid, no risk-taking. The author apparently found that attitude in the west as well, not just in the east where George McClellan was developing a reputation for inactivity.