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BEAUREGARD SENT TO THE WEST.

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and camp equipage. The men in their flight left almost every thing behind them, except the clothing on their persons.'

This victory was considered one of the most important that had yet been achieved by the National arms.

It broke the line of the Confederates in Kentucky, opened a door of deliverance for East Tennessee, and prepared the way for that series of successful operations by which very soon afterward the invaders were expelled from both States. The Government and the loyal people hailed the tidings of the triumph with great joy. The Secretary of War, by order of the President, issued an order announcing the event, and publicly thanking the officers and soldiers who had achieved the victory. Ile declared the purpose of the war to be“ to pursue and destroy a rebellious enemy, and to deliver the country from danger;" and concluded by saying, “ In the prompt and spirited movements and daring at Mill Spring, the nation will realize its hopes,” and “ delight to honor its brave soldiers.”

The defeat was severely felt by the Confederates; for they were wise enough to understand its significance, prophesying, as it truly did, of further melancholy disasters to their cause. The conspirators perceived the urgent necessity for a bold, able, and dashing commander in the West, and believing

Beauregard to be such an one, he was ordered to Johnston's Jan 27, Department,o and General G. W. Smith, who had been an active

democratic politician in New York city, was appointed to succeed him at Manassas. Crittenden was handled without mercy by the critics. Ile was accused of treachery by some, and others, more charitable, charged the loss of the battle to his drunkenness. All were compelled to acknowledge a serious disaster, and from it drew the most gloomy conclusions. Their despondency was deepened by the blow received by the Confederate cause at Roanoke Island soon afterward; and the feeling became one of almost despair, when, a few days later, events of still greater importance, and more withering to their hopes, which we are about to consider, occurred on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.*

So active and skillful had Johnston been in his Department, in strengthening his irregular line of posts and fortifications for nearly four hundred

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the boses for supplies and tools, and to the rear wheels the bellows and forge, as seen in the engraving When needed for nise, the anvil is taken out and placed on a block made from any neighboring tree, and the work may be speedily begun.

1 Report of General Thomas to General Buell, dated at Somerset, Kentucky, Jan. 31, 1862; also the reports of his subordinate officers.

2 On leaving the army at Manassas, Beauregard issued a characteristic address to them, telling them ho hoped soon to be back among them. "I am anxious," he said, " that my brave country men here in arms, fronting the haughty array and muster of Northern mercenaries, should thoroughly appreciate the exigency." Alluding to their disquietude because of long inaction, and the disposition to give up, he said it was no time for the men of the Potomac army " to stack their arms, and furl, even for a brief period, the standards they had made glorious by their manhood."

* See page 173.

* These are remarkable rivers. The Tennessee rises in the rugged valleys of Southwestern Virginia, between the Alleghany and Cumberland Mountains, having tributarios coming out of North Carolina and Georgia. It sweeps in an immense curve through Northern Alabama for nearly three hundred miles, from its northeast to its northwest corner, and then entering Tennessee, passes through it in a due north course, when, bending a little near the Kentucky border, it traverses that State in a northwesterly direction, and falls into the Ohio seventy miles above its mouth. It drains an area of forty thousand square miles, and is navigable for small vessels to Knoxville, five hundred miles from its month.

The Cumberland River rises on the western slopes of the Cumberland Mountains, in Eastern Kentucky, sweeps around into Middle Tennessee, and turning northward, in a course generally paralel to the Tennessee River, falls into the Ohio. It is navigable for large steamboats two hundred and Afty miles, and for smaller ones, at high water, nearly three hundred miles farther.

TIIE CONFEDERATES IN KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE.

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miles across Southern Kentucky, and within the Tennessee border from Cumberland Gap to Columbus on the Mississippi, that when General Thomas had accomplished the first part of the work he was sent to perform, it was thought expedient not to push farther, seriously, in the direction of East Tennessee just at that time. It was evident that the Confederates were preparing to make an effort to seize Louisville, Paducah, Smithville, and Cairo, on the Ohio, in order to command the most important land and water highways in Kentucky, so as to make it the chief battleground in the West, as Virginia was in the East, and keep the horrors of war from the soil of the more Southern States. As Charleston was defended on the

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REGION OF MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN EASTERN KENTUCKY.

Potomac, so New Orleans was to be defended by carrying the war up to the banks of the Ohio. Looking at a map of Kentucky and Virginia, and considering the attitude of the contending forces in each at that time, the reader inay make a striking parallelism which a careful writer on the subject has pointed out.

Governed by a military necessity, which changing circumstances had created, it was determined to concentrate the forces of Halleck and Buell in a grand forward movement against the main bodies and fortifications of the Confederates. Thomas's victory at Mill Spring had so paralyzed that line castward of Bowling Green, that it was practically shortened at least onehalf. Crittenden, as we have observed, had made his way toward Nashville, and left the Cumberland almost unguarded above that city; yet so mountainous was that region, and so barren of subsistence, that a flank move198 CONFEDERATE WORKS IN KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE.

1 For an account of other movements in Eastern Kentucky, see Chapter III. of this volume.

3 " If Washington was threatened in the one quarter, Louisville was the object of attack on the other. As Fortress Monroe was a great basis of operations at one extremity, furnishing men and arms, so was Cairo on the west; and as the one had a menacing neighbor in Norfolk, so had the other in Columbus. What the line of the Kanawha was to Northern Virginia, penetrating the mountainous region, the Big Sandy, with its tributaries emptying also in the Ohio, was to the defiles of Eastern Kentucky. What Manassas or Richmond was, in one quarter, to the foe, Bowling Green, a great railway center, was to the other. As Virginia was pierced on the east by the James and the Rappahannock and the York, so was Kentucky on the west by the Cumberland and Tennessee; and as the Unionists held Newport News [Newport-Newce). a point of great strategic importance at the mouth of one of these streams, so were they in possession of Paducah, a place of equal or greater advantage, at the entrance to another."History of the War for the Union, by E. A. Duyckinck.

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ment in that direction would have been performed with much difficulty and danger.

The great body of the Confederate troops, and their chief fortifications, were between Nashville and Bowling Green and the Mississippi River, and upon these the combined armies of Halleck and Buell prepared to move. These fortifications had been constructed with skill, as to location and form, under the direction of General Polk, and chiefly by the labor of slaves. The principal works were redoubts on Island No. 10, in the Mississippi River, and at Columbus, on its eastern bank; Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, and Fort Donelson, on the

Cumberland River. The two latter were COLUMBUS

in Tennessee, not far below the line dividing it from Kentucky, at points where

the two rivers approach within a few miles PLAN OF THE FORTIFICATIONS AT COLUMBUS.

of each other. During the autumn and early winter, a naval armament, projected by Fremont for service on the Mississippi River, had been in preparation at St. Louis and Cairo, for co-operation with the military forces in the West. It

consisted, at the close of January, of twelve gun-boats (some * 1862.

new and others made of river steamers), carrying one hundred and twenty-six heavy cannon and some lighter guns,' the whole commanded by Flag-officer Andrew Hull Foote, of the National navy. Seven of these boats were covered with iron plates, and were built very wide in proportion to their length, so that on the still river waters they might have almost the steadiness of stationary land batteries when discharging their heavy guns. The sides of these armored vessels were made sloping upward and downward from the water-line, at an angle of forty-five degrees, so as to ward off shot and shell; and they were so constructed that, in action, they could be kept “ bow on,” or the bow toward the enemy. Their hulls were made of heavy oak timber, with triple strength at the bows, and sheathed with wroughtiron plates two and a half inches in thickness. Their engines were very powerful, so as to facilitate movements in action; and each boat carried a mortar of 13-inch caliber.?

These vessels, although originally constructed for service on the Mississippi River, were found to be of sufficiently light draft to allow them to navigate the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, into whose waters they were speedily summoned, to assist an army which General Halleck had placed under the command of General Grant, in an expedition against Forts

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1 Nono of the cannon were less in metal than 32-pounders. Some were 42-pounders ; some were nine and ten-inch Navy Columbiads, and the bow guns were rifled 84-pounders.

? The larger of these vessels were of the proportion of about 175 feet to 50 feet, and drawing, when armed and laden, about five feet of water. They were inanned by Western boatinen and Eastern volunteers who had been navigators, commanded by officers of the National navy.

PREPARATIONS TO STRIKE THE CONFEDERATE LINE.

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Henry and Donelson. Notwithstanding repeated assurances had been given to Mallory--the Confederate Secretary of the Navy—that these forts would be, in a great degree, at the mercy of the National gun-boats abuilding, that conspirator, who was remarkable for his obtuseness, slow method, and indifferent intellect, and whose ignorance, even of the geography of Kentucky and Tennessee, had been broadly travestied in “Congress," paid no attention to these warnings, but left both rivers open, without placing a single floating battery upon either. This omission was observed and taken advantage of by the Nationals, and early in February a large force that had moved from the Ohio River was pressing toward the doomed forts, whose

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capture would make the way easy to the rear of Bowling Green. By that movement the Confederate line would be broken, and the immediate evacuation of Kentucky by the invaders would be made an inexorable necessity.

Preliminary to this grand advance, and for the double purpose of studying the topography of the country, and for deceiving the Confederates concerning the real designs of the Nationals, several reconnoissances, in considerable force, were made on both sides of the Mississippi River, toward the reputed impregnable stronghold at Columbus. One of these minor expeditions, composed of about seven thousand men, was commanded by General McClernand, who left Cairo for Fort Jefferson, and other places below, in river transports, on the 10th of January. From that point he penetrated

a 1862. Kentucky far toward the Tennessee line, threatening Columbus and the country in its rear. At the same time, General Paine marched with nearly an equal force from Bird's Point, on the Missouri side of the Mississippi, in the direction of Charleston, for the purpose of supporting McClernand, menacing New Madrid, and reconnoitering Columbus; while a third party, six thousand strong, under General C. F. Smith, moved from Paducah to Mayfield, in the direction of Columbus. Still another force moved eastward to Smithland, between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers; and at the same time gun-boats were patrolling the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi, those on the latter threatening Columbus. These reconnoitering

i Pollard's First Year of the War, page 237.

200

THOMAS'S MOVEMENT TOWARD EAST TENNESSEE.

parties all returned to their respective starting places preparatory to the grand movement.

These operations alarmed and perplexed the Confederates, and so puzzled the newspaper correspondents with the armies, that the wildest speculations about the intentions of Halleck and Buell, and the most ridiculous criticisms of their doings, filled the public journals. These speculations were made more unsatisfactory and absurd by the movements of General Thomas, immediately after the Battle of Mill Spring, who, it was then believed by the uninformed, was to be the immediate liberator of East Tennessee. He had crossed the Cumberland River in force, after the battle of Mill Spring, at the head of navigation at Waitsboro, and had pushed a column on toward Cumberland Gap. Predictions of glorious events in the great valley between the Alleghany and Cumberland Mountains were freely offered and believed; but the hopes created by these were speedily blasted. The movement was only a feint to deceive the Confederates, and was successful. To save East Tennessee from the grasp of Thomas, Johnston sent a large body of troops by railway from Bowling Green by way of Nashville and Chattanooga to Knoxville, and when the Confederate force was thus weakened in front of Buell, Thomas was recalled. The latter turned back, marched westward, and joined Nelson at Glassgow, in Barren County, on Hardee's right flank. In the mean time, Mitchel, with his reserves that formed Buell's center, had moved toward the Green River in the direction of Bowling Green. These developments satisfied Johnston that Buell was concentrating his forces to

attack his front, so he called in his outlying posts as far as a January,

prudence would allow, and prepared for the shock of battle, that

now seemed inevitable. The combined movements of the army and navy against Forts Henry and Donelson, arranged by Generals Grant and C. F. Smith,' and Commodore Foote, and approved by General Halleck, were now commenced. The chief object was to break the line of the Confederates, which, as we have observed, had been established with care and skill across the country from the Great River to the mountains; also to gain possession of their strongholds, and to tlank those at Columbus and Bowling Green, in the movement for clearing the Mississippi River and valley of all warlike obstructions. Fort Henry, lying on a low bottom land on the eastern or righ tbank of the Tennessee River, in Stewart County, Tennessee, was to be the first object of attack. It lay at a bend of that stream, and its guns commanded a reach of the river below it toward Panther Island, for about two miles, in a direct line. The fort was an irregular field-work, with five bastions, the embrasures revetted with sand-bags. It was armed with seventeen. heavy guns, twelve of which commanded the river. Both above and below the fort was

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i General Smith seems to have been fully instructed by Fremont with the plan of his Mississippi Valley campaign. An oflicer under Smith's cominand (General Lewis Wallace), in a letter to the author, says: “ One evening General Smith sent for me. At his head-quarters, before a cozy tire, he opened his map on the table, and with fingers now on his map, then twirling his great wbite moustache, and his gray eyes all the time as bright as the flames in his grate, he painted glowingly the whole Tennessee River campaign. I recollect distinctly his stopping at Corinth, and saying emphatically, 'Here will be the decisive battle. He finished the conversation by saying that the time was come. The troops at Cairo, strongly re-enforced, and those at Parlucah would very shortly embark. In the mean time I was to go to Smithland, at the mouth of the Cumberland River, and get the regiments there in condition to march. Ho handed me an order to that etfect, and I executed it,"

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