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 tisons.
The Confederates perceiving the impossibility of holding both works against such a force, evacuated Fort Hieman, and gave all their attention to defending Fort Henry.
Grant was ignorant of this withdrawal, and that night ordered General C. F. Smith to seize the heights on the west with two brigades.
The rest of Grant's force, under Gen. McClernand, was to move at 11 A. M. on the 6th to the rear of Fort Henry, and take position on the road leading to Fort Donelson and Dover.