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[52] all east from there was Union to the Atlantic. But just south came doubtful Kentucky, and south of that was Confederate Tennessee; and from there to the Gulf and east and west was all Secession. Kentucky, then, was the first point; after that, the great river, the highway whose gates were closed, and which ran between the banks of Secession all the way to New Orleans and the Gulf. Now Kentucky, like Missouri, had loyal citizens, but a Secession governor; and it was the part of the South to secure this state, if possible. But no sooner did General Polk with that aim move upon Columbus on the river, thus threatening Cairo, than Grant secured Cairo himself. The Mississippi was closed from Columbus down. If Polk should get Paducah, the Ohio would be locked up too. Grant saw this, and, telegraphing the futile Fremont, “I am nearly ready to go to Paducah, and shall start, should not a telegram arrive preventing ”

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