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[55] two gates were knocked down, the Union had a clear road to the heart of the South; for, by the Tennessee, troops could travel into Alabama, and be fed also. Thus Secession's frontier could be pushed back; and, as it receded down along the bank of the Mississippi, that highway almost inevitably must open. This was clear to many eyes, but to McClellan's it was not visible. This general-in-chief could see nothing beyond his own movements. At St. Louis, Fremont had been succeeded by a person equally incapable. General Halleck was the sort of learned soldier who brings learning into contempt., He was full of Jomini and empty of all power to master a situation. On him Grant, like others, urged the value of striking Forts Henry and Donelson. But Halleck, whether under McClellan's influence or for other reasons, snubbed him; and so for a while the matter rested. At length, however, after General Thomas near Cumberland

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