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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, V. (search)
mberland, crossing it twelve miles apart. Two forts barred these precious highways — Henry and Donelson. If these two gates were knocked down, the Union had a clear road to the heart of the South; fes helped him greatly. In dividing his thirty thousand men and sending but sixteen thousand to Donelson, Sidney Johnston made a perilous error. In giving the command to Floyd and Pillow, he made thefight; but Grant knew it meant, not fight, but flight. He saw that next morning would give him Donelson. He wrote to Halleck, They will surrender to-morrow, and, when asked if this was not a prematus some one has happily said, the army and the navy were the two shears of the scissors. From Donelson, Grant stepped into a broadening labyrinth of action. He wished at once to strike Polk at Colurant, and help him rise from Shiloh, and go on to Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Appomattox. As Donelson, so now Corinth opened more gates down the Mississippi--Fort Pillow and Memphis. Before the fi