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Colonel William Preston Johnston, The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston : His Service in the Armies of the United States, the Republic of Texas, and the Confederate States. 136 0 Browse Search
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1. 52 0 Browse Search
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant 44 0 Browse Search
Col. J. Stoddard Johnston, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 9.1, Kentucky (ed. Clement Anselm Evans) 28 0 Browse Search
Alfred Roman, The military operations of General Beauregard in the war between the states, 1861 to 1865 22 0 Browse Search
Jefferson Davis, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government 20 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 4. (ed. Frank Moore) 20 0 Browse Search
Horace Greeley, The American Conflict: A History of the Great Rebellion in the United States of America, 1860-65: its Causes, Incidents, and Results: Intended to exhibit especially its moral and political phases with the drift and progress of American opinion respecting human slavery from 1776 to the close of the War for the Union. Volume II. 14 0 Browse Search
Adam Badeau, Military history of Ulysses S. Grant from April 1861 to April 1865. Volume 1 14 0 Browse Search
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 12 0 Browse Search
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at different points from Columbus to Memphis might be expected to defy this fresh-water navy; but the River system of Kentucky itself was tributary to the North. The Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers, rising in the Alleghanies, flow first southwest, and thence by sharp bends to the North, traversing respectively the northern and Southern portions of Tennessee, and finally emptying close together into the Ohio near its mouth. The history of the attempt to defend these Rivers by forts at Donelson and Henry will be given in detail hereafter. General Grant had possession of Smithland and Paducah, at their mouths. Indeed, the outlets and navigable waters of all the Rivers of Kentucky, the Sandy, Licking, Kentucky, and Green, were in the hands of the Federals, and gave them the great military advantage of easy communication with their base by water-ways. Green and Barren Rivers, locked and dammed, cut the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, so as to render any point in advance of Bowlin
be left at Columbus, confronted by 25,000 men, who were being largely reinforced from Missouri. In a letter to the Secretary of War, November 15th, General Johnston thus explains his situation: I therefore revoked my order. General Polk's force is stated far below what I have estimated it; and, with a knowledge of the case as he presents it, I had left but the choice of difficulties — the great probability of defeat at Columbus or a successful advance of the enemy on my left. At Donelson or Henry. I have risked the latter. The first would be a great misfortune, scarcely reparable for a long time; the latter may be prevented. I have, however, at Nolin, on my front, about twenty-seven regiments, and a large auxiliary force at Columbia, on my right. The force on my front will await the success of movements on my left. My force must soon be put in motion. I am making every preparation with that object. It has taken much time to provide transportation (which is nearly a
ption of the army sent under Curtis against Price in Southwestern Missouri, about 12,000 strong, the whole resources of the Northwest, from Pennsylvania to the Plains, were turned against General Johnston's lines in Kentucky. Halleck, with armies at Cairo and Paducah, under Grant and C. F. Smith, threatened equally Columbus, the key of the Mississippi River, and the water-lines of the Cumberland and Tennessee, with their defenses at Forts Donelson and Henry. Buell's right wing also menaced Donelson and Henry, while his centre was directed against Bowling Green, and his left was advancing against Zollicoffer at Mill Spring on the Upper Cumberland. If this last-named position could be forced, the way seemed open to East Tennessee by either the Jacksboro or the Jamestown routes, on the one hand, and to Nashville on the other. At the northeastern corner of Kentucky there was a Federal force, under Colonel Garfield, of Ohio, opposed to Humphrey Marshall's command. Here it was that the f
sten their construction. Gilmer's orders were: To arrange the works for the defense and obstruction of the river at Donelson, Clarksville, and Nashville, and to intrust the construction to subordinates. He was to spare no cost, procuring barges Captain Dixon will do everything in his power to hasten forward the works at that point. Lineport, fifteen miles below Donelson, presents many advantages for defending the river; but, as the works at Fort Donelson are partially built, and the placee position, and construct the additional defenses as rapidly as possible. To obstruct the Cumberland at points below Donelson, old barges and flats have been sunk at Ingraham's Shoals, a few miles above Eddyville, and at Line Island, three miles at Fort Henry, and 2,300 or 2,400 more at Fort Donelson. On January 31st he had 3,033 effectives at Henry, and 1,956 at Donelson. The Fiftieth Tennessee, numbering 386, was transferred from Henry to Donelson, leaving 2,647 at the former and 2,342 a
m (February 7th) that we had troops enough at Donelson, and that they are powerless to resist the guccess at Fort Henry by an immediate attack on Donelson, took his measures on the supposition that Dolmer, after his escape from Henry, stopped at Donelson; and, with General Johnston's authority, engapplies. Under the circumstances, the army at Donelson might well be thought sufficient. At all eveuty of the hour was to concentrate rapidly at Donelson, dispute vigorously the roads from Henry, forreat along its south bank, and then fight for Donelson as became men who held the gateway to the lanmaking 18,600 men. The generals commanding at Donelson estimated the force there at from 12,000 to 1s force at 10,000 men. They were to land near Donelson, and cooperate with the army that marched acr itself along the entire Confederate front at Donelson. McClernand's division was on the Federal rie combats in the shadows of the dark woods of Donelson, and in those bosky valleys, where the snows [21 more...]
River to the invader; and, if either Henry or Donelson were given up, the rear of the armies at Bowln, which were alike threatened. Floyd was at Donelson in time, and could have been at Henry with anble warning. If there were not enough men at Donelson, it was not from defect of judgment, but fromof Donelson. He meant to defend Nashville at Donelson, if he could, and, if not, then to reunite hiof Fort Henry, and the condition of things at Donelson. He says, further: The occurrence of tndful of whatever might aid the commanders at Donelson, General Johnston neglected nothing to secured, February 15th, that a battle was raging at Donelson, he assumed that Buell might attack his rear,d retiring upon Nashville, the good news from Donelson kept the public mind in a state of unnatural st. Very soon all those who had escaped from Donelson began to arrive. . . . The arrival of these dbeen enhanced by their successful escape from Donelson; and their commander had qualities which pecu
ry west of the Tennessee River. The issue at Donelson left General Johnston with little more than hompelled to do so. But as soon as the army at Donelson surrendered the time had come when this move , March 8, 1878. As soon after the fall of Donelson as practicable, I repaired to General A. S. Jof Generals Floyd and Pillow of the events at Donelson, and suppose that he must have arrived by thiasters and a winter campaign. The fall of Donelson disheartened some of the Tennessee troops, anou have been held responsible for the fall of Donelson and the capture of Nashville. It is charged o you. I determined to fight for Nashville at Donelson, and gave the best part of my army to do it, o cover my front, and giving 16,000 to defend Donelson. The force at Donelson is stated in General Donelson is stated in General Pillow's report at much less, and I do not doubt the correctness of his statement; for the force at executed while the battle was being fought at Donelson. I had made every disposition for the defens[3 more...]
ran away, held their ground against sixty thousand chosen troops of the South, with their best leaders. In a letter to the editor of the United States service Magazine, published January, 1865, General Sherman says: It was General Smith who selected that field of battle, and it was well chosen. On any other we should surely have been overwhelmed. It cannot be said that the Federal generals availed themselves of the superior advantages of their position. Flushed with the victory at Donelson, they indulged the delusion of marching to an easy triumph whenever they might choose to advance and give battle. Sherman says ( Memoirs, vol. i., page 229): I always acted on the supposition that we were an invading army; that our purpose was to move forward in force, make a lodgment on the Memphis & Charleston road, and thus repeat the grand tactics of Fort Donelson, by separating the rebels in the interior from those at Memphis and on the Mississippi River. We did not fortify ou
iderable commands. These pages have evinced how many and how strenuous efforts had been made to raise troops in the South during that autumn and winter. Many regiments, long organized, were lying in rendezvous waiting for arms. The fall of Donelson hurried up volunteering, and these new levies were added to the others. At this juncture-at the critical moment, it may be said indeed, at the last moment — some cargoes of arms ran the blockade, and the troops were pressed to the front to rece — for we had whipped the enemy; and if the generals there commanding chose to surrender, and did so surrender, after victory and to a retreating foe, it is their fault — not yours. From this disastrous surrender, and not from the defense of Donelson, have resulted the subsequent retreat and concentration of your army here. We are in the right place, at the right time, and the proudest victory of the war awaits you, unless you commit suicide, by yielding up the command of your army when it<
nt acts of General Johnston, not fully understood by the public. I will, therefore, by the indulgence of the House, read this letter, that they may see the facts in the light by which his course was shaped previous and subsequent to the fall of Donelson. These facts triumphantly vindicate his fame as a true patriot and an able and skillful military leader. This letter, written under most trying circumstances, shows that no trace of passion was visible in the awful serenity of the pure, brave, son of Louisiana, who immediately succeeded him in command of the army; there was Bragg, his energetic and indefatigable chief of staff; there was Buckner, who so gallantly fulfilled the chieftain's orders by the heroic but fruitless defense at Donelson. It is remarkable, too, that, among this distinguished assemblage, there were three men-Beauregard, Bragg, and Hood — who had each in turn succeeded to the command of the army upon which the life and the death of its first leader seemed to i
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