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facilities for military movements. The intrenched camp covered the city of Nashville.
General Halleck in
In November, 1861, General Halleck was directed to take command of the Department of Miscommand. souri. It included Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and Kentucky west of the Cumberland Mountains. He divided it into districts, assigning to General U. S. Grant the District of Cairo, which also included Paducah, in Kentucky. Cairo, at the junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi, is a place of great strategic importance.
THE CAMPAIGN OF THE TENNESSEE.
His views on the
Halleck saw at once that the military operations which had been carried on in Missouri by Genercorrect war-plan. als Lyon, Curtis, and Fremont (Chapter XLVII.) were in reality without significance, so far as
the overthrow of the Confederacy was concerned, and that the proper movement was the forcing of the Confederate line just described as reaching from the Mississippi to Bowling Green. He therefore, on the removal of Fre He withdraws from mont, caused the army in Missouri to retire to Rolla (p. 235), his course in this respect meeting with much condemnation among those who only looked at the consequences it brought on the inhabitants of that country, and did not comprehend the character of the movement about to be put into execution.
One evening late in December (1861), Generals Halleck, Sherman, and Cullum were conversing together at the Planters' Hotel, in St. Louis, on the proper line of invasion. They saw clearly that the Confederates meant to stand on the defensive, and Halleck asked, "Where is their line?" Sherman replied, "Why, from Bowling Green to Columbus." "Well, then, where is the true point of attack?" "Naturally the centre." "Then let us see what is the direc tion in which it should be made."
Explains his decision as to the true line of operation.
OPERATIONS ON THE TENNESSEE.
A map lay on the table, and, with a blue pencil, Halleck drew a line from Bowling Green to Columbus, past Donelson and Henry, and another perpendicular to its centre, which happened to coincide nearly with the Tennessee River. "There," said he," that is the true line of attack."
This forcing of the Confederate line would bring the important states Kentucky and Tennessee under national control; it would take in reverse the strong works on the Mississippi, which could not be reduced by a mere naval attack; it would open that great river; it would permit the pas sage of a national army into the recesses of the Cotton States, and expose Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and even Virginia, to attack on an unprotected flank.
Effect of operations on the line of the Tennessee.
In determining the mode in which this movement Conditions of that should be carried into execution, it was evident that the essential point was the seizure of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This implied the reduction of the two forts Henry and Donelson, on which the Confederates were relying for the protection of those rivers.
THE OPPOSING ARMIES.
The Confederate line of defense had been intrusted to General Albert Sydney Johnston. He was post at Columbus. at Bowling Green, confronting General Buell. The fortified post at Columbus, on which the left flank of the Confederates rested, was considered by them to be the Gibraltar of America. They believed that it would close the Mississippi until their independence was acknowledged. It was in charge of General Polk (p. 226). The strength of the entire force holding the line was about 60,000 men.
To execute the proposed operation two national armies were available. One lay at Cairo, under
The national armies
at Cairo and Louis- General Grant. There was with it a naval
force, having some iron-clad gun-boats under Commodore Foote. The second army was at Louisville. It was under command of General Buell, and was 40,000 strong.
It had been intended originally that Grant's force should operate directly on the Mississippi River, forcing it open, and that Buell's army should strike at the intrenched camp at Bowling Green. If the force there were disposed of, Nashville, in its rear, must necessarily be abandoned.
In Halleck's view, the operation on the line of the Tennessee River would accomplish all these results. If the army and the gun-boats could force their way up that stream, Columbus and Bowling Green, no matter how strong they might be, must both at once fall, and Nashville must share their fate.
OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT HENRY.
Fort Henry, on the east bank of the Tennessee, and Fort Donelson, on the west bank of the Cumberland, were bastioned earthworks, twelve miles apart, connected by a road. Immediately after the issue of the President's war order (January 27th, 1862) commanding a general movement, operations were undertaken against Fort Henry. Of the
Operations commenced against Fort Henry.
Condition of that work.
FORTS HENRY AND DONELSON.
fleet of gun-boats employed, four were iron-clad and three wooden. They were under Commodore Foote. The land force was under General Grant. The garrison of the fort, commanded by General Tilghman, was 2734 strong; the armament was seventeen guns.
Halleck gave the necessary orders for the expedition on the 30th of January, and Grant left Cairo with 17,000 men. The Confederates had works on both sides of the river, Fort Henry being on the east bank and Fort Heiman on the west, the latter commanding the former. The country was all under water, the river overflowing, the rain still falling in torrents. Though Tilghman was receiving re-enforcements and hastening the completion of his works, he found that he must withdraw from Fort Heiman and defend Fort Henry alone.
CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY.
It was understood between Foote and Grant that the former was to reduce the fort, the latter to cut off the retreat of the garrison. The attack was to begin at twelve o'clock (February 6th). Foote thought he could reduce the work in an hour, and Grant, whose forces were three miles below, allowed him. self two hours to accomplish his march. The gun-boats commenced their fire at a thousand yards, approaching gradually within six hundred.
Bombardment of the fort.
Tilghman returned the fire at first very vigorously, but a series of accidents in succession befell him -a rifled 24-pounder burst, killing and wounding a number of his men; a premature discharge of a 42-pounder killed three of its gunners. From the beginning he had foreseen that he could not hold the place. In his report he says, "My object was to save the main body by delaying matters as long as possible. I therefore ordered Colonel Heiman to join his command and keep up the retreat in good order, while I would fight the guns as long as one was left, and sacrifice my self to save the main body of my troops." He had given orders for the garrison to retire to Fort Donelson before the firing began. He worked one of the guns himself. At the end of little more than an hour, he, with his staff and sixty men, surrendered unconditionally to Foote. His loss in killed and wounded was twenty-one.
As the land forces under Grant had been delayed by the flood in the roads longer than had been anticipated, the Confederate garrison under Heiman made their escape safely. On the national side, the chief casualty occurred on board the iron-clad Essex, which received a shot in her boiler, in consequence of which twenty-nine officers and men were scalded.
The conduct of General Tilghman in this affair stands in very striking contrast with that of Floyd and Pillow
Intentions of General Tilghman.
He withdraws the garrison,