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and slaveholding ancestry. The son was for a time a student in Kenyon College, which he left in his nineteenth year, without graduation, and was soon admitted to the bar. He began his professional career at Steubenville and later had law-offices in Pittsburg and Washington. Always hitherto a Democrat in politics, in 1860 he was as positive a supporter of Breckinridge for the Presidency as Jeremiah S. Black, of whom he was in some measure a professional and political disciple. It was largely through Mr. Black's influence that Mr. Stanton became Attorney-General in December, 1860. His patriotic course during the remainder of Mr. Buchanan's administration has been already noticed. His private interviews or communications during this period with Mr. Seward, Mr. Sumner and other leading Republicans — improper though such intercourse seemed to his Cabinet colleague, Mr. Black, when afterward disclosed — proved his zealous loyalty to the Union, and helped to win the confidence of Republicans. When his nomination for Secretary of War was reported to the Senate in executive session, Mr. Sumner, as stated by himself long afterward, at once rose and vouched for the soundness of Mr. Stanton's political faith. Secretary Chase, who had known him personally for many years, gave explicit reasons to his friends for believing that Stanton and himself were politically in harmony. As to the vigor and capacity of the new appointee, no one doubted.
Lincoln's recollection of his first meeting with Mr. Stanton would naturally make against such a choice; and even a slight intimation of what Stanton had been writing and saying of the President since his
inauguration would have made matters still worse. In several letters written to Mr. Buchanan after his retirement, and probably in many conversations with others, Stanton manifested violent dissatisfaction with the new Administration for not dealing more efficiently with the rebellion, compared it unfavorably with its predecessor in this respect, and indulged in dismal forebodings. His characteristic outbursts of unseemly impatience on these occasions certainly were neither restrained nor
He came to be on quite intimate terms with General McClellan, and in their talk Stanton continued his tirades during the autumn. The two were still on cordial terms when Stanton was tendered the Secretaryship of War, and his acceptance was agreeable to the General.
A few days after the stirring Mill Springs bulletin, appeared the President's noted “General War Order No. I':
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 27, 1862. Ordered, That the 22d day of February, 1862, be the day for a general movement of the land and the naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces.
That especially the Army at and about Fortress Monroe, the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Western Virginia, the Army near Munfordsville, Kentucky, the Army and Flotilla at Cairo, and a Naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready for a movement on that day.
That all other forces, both land and naval, with their respective commanders, obey existing orders for the time, and be ready to obey additional orders when duly given.
That the heads of departments, and especially the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, with all their subordinates, and the General-in-chief, with all other commanders and,
subordinates of land and naval forces, will severally be held to their strict and full responsibilities for the prompt execution of this order.
We need not seek any covert purpose or obscure meaning in this peculiar order. Falling into the enemy's hands, however, it was as likely to do him harm as good. It did not arrest any work already going on; it notified Generals everywhere to prepare for early and united activity; and it had other virtues not dependent on its literal execution. There were operations already in hand, however, that had salutary results more definitely visible.
To make the “ demonstration in force” which Halleck had ordered in aid of Buell, General Grant, before the middle of January, had put in motion six thousand men under General McClernand (whom he accompanied on this expedition), to menace Columbus, and a smaller force under General C. F. Smith to proceed up the west bank of the Tennessee River, menacing Fort Henry, to the vicinity of which a gunboat reconnoissance was to be made. After marching and countermarching in bad weather and over the worst of roads, for several days, Grant's men went into camp in positions convenient for embarking on river transports. The immediate object of preventing the enemy from reinforcing Bowling Green was effected, and the troops had the benefit of experience in movement. Other and more vital consequences followed.
The Confederates had much satisfaction in securing for the command in this quarter an officer so high in military repute and personal standing as Albert Sidney
Johnston. He was believed capable of doing marvels, and as if to afford him the better opportunity for such glory he was provided hitherto with only ordinary or inadequate means. But was it not the settled purpose of his adversaries to remain on the defensive, prolonging preparation until spring? Two gateways for an assailant were the mouths of the Tennessee and the Cumberland Rivers, and these it had been intended by the Confederates to possess when they occupied Columbus. Grant had unexpectedly arrived a few hours before them at Paducah and secured both gateways with a firm hand, and there was now an effective gunboat fleet commanded by Foote. If Buell could be kept at bay and Halleck would busy himself with expeditions down the Mississippi and into Arkansas, Johnston had nothing to fear from that direction. What he specially needed was time. He set about the construction of defensive works on the two rivers more than eighty miles upward from the Ohio, near the line between the States of Kentucky and Tennessee, where those streams, flowing north, approach within eleven miles of each other. Fort Donelson was on the west side of the Cumberland, near the town of Dover, and Fort Henry on the east side of the Tennessee, with a minor work opposite. Johnston also ordered the building of gunboats, two of which were well advanced toward completion before the close of January; and in a few weeks more, if left undisturbed, he would have had a considerable fleet for river service. His chief anxiety seems to have been, hitherto, to guard against an advance by Buell. Had the defensive and " simultaneous policy continued until spring, Johnston might possibly have accomplished all that was expected of his military genius.
Grant, while pushing his preparations for the work marked out for him, had not neglected opportunities for observation. When he first occupied Paducah he appreciated the importance of the two rivers passing through the Confederate line; and when his forces and the number of Foote's gunboats were sufficient to warrant serious thought of the matter, he conferred with the naval commander on the expediency of an attempt to take Fort Henry, should his superior give his consent. Foote agreed that the project was feasible, and it was laid before Halleck early in January, but coldly received. Then followed the demonstration which confirmed Grant and Foote in their views, and brought to their support General C. F. Smith, in whose military judgment Halleck had great confidence. But for incidental results of this “demonstration in force," the great opportunity would probably have been lost.
Halleck finally consented, and the movement of fifteen thousand troops on transports and of seven gunboats began on the ad of February. After severe fighting, in which there were serious casualties to the fleet, Fort Henry was surrendered to Flag-officer Foote on the 6th, and Grant, whose men had been detained by fogs and floods after disembarking, arrived and took possession. Nearly all the garrison had escaped before the surrender, taking refuge in Fort Donelson, against which Grant determined to proceed at once. Additional troops and supplies were ordered from Paducah; the fleet was sent back to the Ohio and around by the Cumberland; and meanwhile all the