his efforts, though he gave no advice or encouragement for an advance.
It was Grant
's own plan in its conception and in its details.
Before all the reinforcements which were ordered to his support had arrived, he determined to move, believing that it was important to act promptly.
He therefore urged Flag Officer Foote
to hasten his preparations, and offered such aid as was in his power, in order to get some gunboats up the Cumberland
, to attack Fort Donelson
on the river side.
“Start as soon as you like,” he wrote; “I will be ready to cooperate at any moment.”
Such was his promptness at all times.
Other movements were never obliged to wait for him to be ready.
The gunboats at last being prepared, on the 11th of February Grant
's forces moved from Fort Henry
without tents or baggage, and with no supplies except ammunition and the rations contained in the soldiers' haversacks.
The march was accomplished without obstruction, and the Union
troops were in front of the rebel fort before night.
On the 12th and 13th they were gradually advanced till the fort was well invested.
No attack was made, owing to the non-arrival of the gunboats and reinforcements on the Cumberland
, but there was constant skirmishing, and one or two heavy engagements by reconnoitring parties, while the artillery also commenced operations, and there were all the indications of a general battle.
The weather grew intensely cold, snow fell, and the soldiers suffered much.
They could build no fires in consequence of the nearness of the rebel pickets, with whom their was a sharp skirmish during the night.
felt keenly for the sufferings of his men, he