and it remains to be seen what account it will render of those which now confront it at Columbus, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson.
Grant knew the nature of these works better than any other officer, and saw that Bowling Green and Columbus could both be turned as soon as Henry and Donelson fell.
Halleck and others were making great strategic movements, which amounted to nothing, but Grant kept his mind steadily fixed on these two forts, knowing the effect their fall would have.
On the 23d of January Grant visited Halleck at St. Louis, and urgently requested permission to make the attempt to take Forts Henry and Donelson; both of which General C. F. Smith, who had made a reconnoissance, reported could easily be done.
The gun-boats at that time were subject to General Halleck's orders, and Flag-officer Foote, who commanded them, had recommended a united movement of Army and Navy against the forts.
The desired permission was finally granted to these officers, but the gallant comman