impartial recital of the principal facts and incidents, now passed into history, of that great struggle for the Union
With a brief retrospect, I will pass to the consideration of my subject.
campaigns of 1861-62, had made manifest that a decisive blow must be struck in the Southwest
or the cause of the Union
The new department commanders-General Buell
in that of Ohio
, and General Halleck
in that of Missouri
-united their energies, and the capture of those important strongholds, Forts Donelson
, rapidly followed.
These successes led on to other operations.
With the opening spring it was resolved to follow up the retreating armies of the Confederacy
and strike an effective blow in the neighborhood of Corinth, Mississippi
, where it was known that the most formidable defenses were in course of construction.
In February, a new district was formed, called West Tennessee
, and by order of General Halleck
, General Grant
was appointed to its command, with headquarters in the field.
The most strenuous exertions were made to organize a force of sufficient strength to meet and overcome, in connection with the army of General Buell
, the Confederate forces at Corinth
expedition was ordered to rendezvous at Paducah
, at the mouth of the Tennessee river
, and every available Western regiment was hurried forward to join it. With how much haste this was done, I may mention that my own regiment, which had already received orders to join General Rosecrans
in Western Virginia
, had the order countermanded and, without arms, were hurried forward to the month of the Tennessee river
Steamers great and small were put into requisition, and by the 10th of March, a fleet of formidable strength was ready to ascend the Tennessee
About this time arose a dilemma.
, as alleged, on account of some dissatisfaction with the Donelson affair, was ordered to remain at Fort Henry
and to turn the command over to General Charles F. Smith
, an officer of the regular army, with few equals in or out of the service.
It was this officer to whom all agree in giving the honor of saving the day at Donelson
The expedition steamed up the Tennessee
and reached the point known as Pittsburg Landing
, two hundred and twenty miles from Paducah
, our (Sherman
's) division going into camp at Shiloh Church
on the 18th and 19th of March.
, ten miles below, was selected as the headquarters of the commanding general
The division of General Lew Wallace
was landed at Crump
's, four miles above Savannah
, and the other five divisions of McClernand
, and Prentiss
, disembarked at Pittsburg Landing
, which consisted of a warehouse,