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ing, in east Kentucky. Smith, on his return, reported that the capture of Fort Henry was feasible: Two guns would make short work of the fort. Grant received this report on the 22d of January, and forwarded it at once to Halleck; the same day he obtained permission to visit St. Louis, the headquarters of the department. He had asked this leave as early as the 6th of the month, before the recent demonstration had been ordered, and again on the 20th, before Smith's report was made. On the 23d, he started for St. Louis. The express object of his visit was to procure Halleck's permission to take Forts Henry and Donelson; but when he attempted to broach the subject, Halleck silenced him so quickly and sharply, that Grant said no more on the matter, and went back to Cairo, with the idea that his commander thought him guilty of proposing a great military blunder. On the 6th of January, McClellan wrote to Buell: Halleck, from his own accounts, will not soon be in condition to suppor
e enemy can intrench and reenforce. He was evidently not aware of the rebel works on the Tallahatchie. The campaign now contemplated, was in pursuance of Grant's original plan to advance along the Mississippi Central railroad, until, by getting near enough to threaten Vicksburg, he should compel the evacuation of that place. A cooperative movement, by troops from Helena, in Arkansas, which Halleck ordered, was intended to cut the railroad in Pemberton's rear and threaten Grenada. On the 23d, Halleck again broached the subject of the river expedition, doubtless urged on by the President, who was beset by McClernand's political friends, and who, in fact, was frequently unable to withstand political or personal solicitations. Now, although Halleck fully agreed with Grant and every other soldier, as to the impropriety of intrusting a man like McClernand with important commands, he was, of course, obliged to be subordinate; and, when directed by his superiors, inquired of Grant how
lans of others, as soon as it became evident that only through those plans could victory be achieved. Grant had now about forty thousand men for duty, and on the 23d, orders were given for the axe and the shovel to support the bayonet. The hot season was at hand, the troops had already endured many hardships, they were almost arman's order. The greatest vigilance will be required on the line, as the Vicksburg garrison may take the same occasion for an attack also. To McPherson, on the 23d: Have your forces in readiness for any action. To Ord: The utmost vigilance should be observed in watching the crossings of the Big Black. To Sherman, on the 25thprovisions freely with them; and, with Grant's approval, issued orders for the distribution of two hundred barrels of flour and one hundred barrels of pork. On the 23d, he moved to Clinton, where again the utter exhaustion of the provisions of the country compelled him to supply the hospitals of the enemy, as well as the country p
s, and mountains formed by Nature to resist assault. Their strength and spirits were depleted by the lack of food; they could not use artillery, for the horses were all dead or sent away; and they could not even be reenforced, for, with no means of supplying themselves, it was worse than mockery to send more troops to consume the scanty rations that were now doled out. The gloom of that night seemed impenetrable. Grant went at once to Thomas's headquarters, and at half-past 9 P. M. on the 23d, he telegraphed to Halleck: Have just arrived. I will write tomorrow. Please approve order placing Sherman in command of Department of the Tennessee, with headquarters in the field. This request was promptly acceded to, and Sherman was placed in Grant's old command. Thomas behaved with great magnanimity; he said there had been rumors that an independent command was intended for him when Rosecrans should be relieved, but that he would not have accepted it; he thought it should be given to
ling on the verge so long. Grant was unwilling to allow Bragg to withdraw in good order; and, early on the morning of the 23d, he instructed Thomas to ascertain at once the truth or falsity of this report. If Bragg is really falling back, Sherman corps. He was so frequently exposed to fire, that great anxiety was felt for his safety. At last, on the night of the 23d, Sherman's third division arrived opposite the mouth of the South Chickamauga, about four miles above Chattanooga. Davis's line thus crossed the ridge in a general direction, facing southeast. The Army of the Cumberland, having done, on the 23d, what Grant had intended should be done on the 24th, was now in advance of the movements of Sherman. Thomas, therefore, s left, without sufficiently strengthening the right; withdrawing one division (Walker's) from Lookout, on the night of the 23d, but leaving still six brigades on the mountain; enough to make a struggle on the left that could only end in failure, whi
ctions to hold to the very last moment, and we shall not only relieve him, but destroy Longstreet. The next day, he wrote to Granger, at length: . . . . On the 23d instant, General Burnside telegraphed that his rations would hold out ten or twelve days; at the end of this time, unless relieved from the outside, he must surrender oorce through Mississippi, in about two weeks, to clean out the state entirely of all rebels. This was the germ of what has been known as the Meridian raid. On the 23d, he said to Halleck: I am now collecting as large a cavalry force as can be spared, at Savannah, Tennessee, to cross the Tennessee river, and cooperate with the cavd. Sherman marched as far as Union, and then sent a cavalry force of three regiments, under Colonel Winslow, to scour the whole region in search of Smith. On the 23d, the two infantry columns came together, at Hillsboro, after which, they marched, by separate roads, to the Pearl river. On the 26th, they bivouacked at Canton, to
Appendix to chapter XII. Bragg's Report of battle of Chattanooga. headquarters, army of the Tennessee, Dalton, Ga., November 30, 1863. sir: On Monday, the 23d, the enemy advanced in heavy force, and drove in our picket line in front of Missionary ridge, but made no further effort. On Tuesday morning early, they threw over the river a heavy force opposite the north end of the ridge, and just below the mouth of the Chickamauga, at the same time displaying a heavy force in our immediate front. After visiting the right and making dispositions there for the new development in that direction, I returned towards the left, to find a heavy cannonading going on from the enemy's batteries on our forces occupying the slope of Lookout mountain, between the crest and the river. A very heavy force soon advanced to the assault, and was met by one brigade only —Walthall's, which made a desperate resistance, but was finally compelled to yield ground—why this command was not sustained