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distress is that our friends in East Tennessee are being hanged and driven to despair, and even now I fear are thinking of taking rebel arms for the sake of personal protection. In this we lose the most valuable stake we have in the South. My dispatch, to which yours is an answer, was sent with the knowledge of Senator Johnson and Representative Maynard, of East Tennessee, and they will be upon me to know the answer, which I can not safely show them. They would despair, possibly resign, to go and save their families somehow or die with them. I do not intend this to be an order in any sense, but merely, as intimated before, to show you the grounds of my anxiety.
On the next day he telegraphed to Buell: “ Please name as early a day as you safely can, on or before which you can be ready to move southward in concert with Major-General Halleck. Delay is ruining us, and it is indispensable for me to have something definite."
Halleck on the 6th ordered General Grant — at Cairo, in command of the Paducah district—" to make a demonstration in force on Mayfield and in the direction of Murray,” in which Captain Foote of the Navy was to assist by gunboat reconnoissances up the Tennessee and the Cumberland. The object stated was. by simultaneously threatening both Columbus and the Confederate works at Dover on the Cumberland and near Murray on the Tennessee, to prevent reinforcements being sent from that quarter to Bowling Green. A battle was to be avoided. On the same day he wrote a letter to the President stating that no troops could then be spared from Missouri, and that he knew nothing of Buell's intended operations. He further said: “If it be intended that his (Buell's) column shall move on Bowling Green while another moves from Cairo or Paducah on Columbus or Camp Beauregard, it will
be a repetition of the same strategic error which produced the disaster of Bull Run."
In a letter to Buell on the 13th (of which a copy was sent to Halleck), Lincoln said:
Your dispatch of yesterday is received, in which you say, “I received your letter and General McClellan's, and will at once devote my efforts to your views and his.” In the midst of my many cares I have not seen, nor asked to see, General McClellan's letter to vou. For my own views, I have not offered, and do not now offer them as orders; and while I am glad to have them respectfully considered, I would blame you to follow them contrary to your own clear judgment, unless I should put them in the form of orders. As to General McClellan's views, you understand your duty in regard to them better than I do.
With this preliminary I state my general idea of this war to be, that we have the greater numbers and the enemy has the greater facility of concentrating forces upon points of collision; that we must fail unless we can find some way of making our advantage an overmatch for his; and that this can only be done by menacing him with superior forces at different points at the same time, so that we can safely attack one or both if he makes no change; and if he weakens one to strengthen the other, forbear to attack the strengthened one, but seize and hold the weakened one, gaining so much.
To illustrate: Suppose last summer when Winchester ran away to reinforce Manassas, we had forborne to attack Manassas, but had seized and held Winchester. I mention this to illustrate and not to criticise. I did not lose confidence in McDowell, and I think less harshly of Patterson than some others seem to. Applying the principle to your case, my idea is that Halleck shall menace Columbus and "down river" generally, while you menace Bowling Green and East Tennessee. If the enemy shall concentrate at Bowling Green, do not retire from his front, yet do not fight him there either, but seize Columbus and East Tennessee, one or both, left exposed by the concentration at Bowling Green. It is a matter of no small anxiety to me,
and which I am sure you will not overlook, that the East Tennessee line is so long and over so bad a road.
At the end of the second week, this correspondence, urgent on the President's side, seems still near its starting-point. But one positive result had been gained the “ demonstration” ordered by Halleck — that will prove to be of a value beyond computation.
Meanwhile the Confederates at Mill Springs on the Upper Cumberland — where General Crittenden had superseded Zollicoffer, who was defending the direct approaches to East Tennessee crossed over to the Kentucky side. Buell, on the 29th of December, ordered General Thomas to drive out the invaders. One of Thomas's brigades being prevented by floods from joining the rest of the division, Crittenden ordered an advance near midnight on the 18th of January, hoping to crush the two brigades at Logan's Cross Roads, ten miles away. The movement, led by Crittenden in person, with Zollicoffer as second, was promptly executed, and before sunrise the two armies were within striking distance of each other. The Confederates made a furious onset, seeking to turn the Union left, but were repulsed after a half-hour's contest. Zollicoffer was killed. Then by a dashing bayonet charge on Crittenden's left, his entire line was broken and scattered. The Confederates lost 158 killed, many wounded and prisoners, and two of their guns. On the Union side 39 were killed and 125 wounded.
In spite of rain and mud, General Thomas made vigorous pursuit, bringing up his forces in front of the enemy's works on the river bank before dark. The Confederates fled during the night, destroying their
boats and abandoning their camp equipage and supplies. The spoils included more than twelve hundred horses and mules, as well as wagons, arms and ammunition.
At Washington the news of this victory gave occasion for an inspiring bulletin which auspiciously introduced to the people a new Secretary of War. Mr. Stanton's service in this capacity began January 20, 1862
- the day after the battle of Mill Springs, and before its results were known at Washington. His nomination had been sent to the Senate on the 13th and promptly confirmed.
The statements and counter-statements touching the causes and methods of Mr. Cameron's retirement from the War Department need not be rehearsed. His resignation followed the President's tender to him of the Russian mission, then held by Cassius M. Clay, who wished to return and enter the military service as a Major-General of Volunteers. Lincoln undoubtedly desired a change in the head of the department, not on account of personal differences between himself and Mr. Cameron or any special misdoing, but from motives of public policy. Whether Cameron did or did not wish to leave a position already so burdensome, and promising to become much more so, is not a very essential question; yet it appears that he had for some time past been desirous of taking refuge in a diplomatic station. Secretary Chase, who had come to have a very good opinion of him, though certainly not inclined in his favor, like Mr. Seward, at the beginning, wrote to a Boston gentleman in the previous September:
General Cameron, as I know, wishes to resign and go abroad.”
Simon Cameron, our earliest millionaire in politics, was deemed too dictatorial by some Republicans in his own State who did not scorn his aid as an organizer at election time, though they hinted that his pecuniary means had too direct a relation with his political ends. The hostility of the “War Governor" of his own State and opposition in financial circles tended to impair the Secretary's usefulness in a position for which, at the best, he was not specially fitted. At the time he became a member of Lincoln's Cabinet, he had not been accused of improperly using public funds, whatever he had done with his own; yet there were afterwards insinuations of this kind which led to an investigation by the House of Representatives, narrowed down to a single charge, and ending in a resolution of censure. special message the President (May 27, 1862), after detailing the circumstances under which the censured action was taken — when Washington was isolated directly after the fall of Fort Sumter, and some informalities occurred in reopening communication with New York - said in conclusion:
It is due to Mr. Cameron to say that, although he fully approved the proceedings, they were not moved nor suggested by himself, and that not only the President but all the heads of departments were at least equally responsible with him for whatever error, wrong or fault was committed in the premises.
This vindication of the ex-Secretary could not be gainsaid, yet public attention was little occupied with the matter after the appointment of his successor.
Edwin M. Stanton was born in 1814. His father, a physician of Steubenville, O., was of Virginia birth