and it is better that I should suffer than the country should lose the services of such officers.”
This generous spirit towards subordinates and associates he has manifested through his whole career.
Immediately after the battle of Belmont
, Major General Halleck
superseded General Fremont
in command of the Western Department.
was continued in command of his district, but for two months he was allowed to make no movement against the enemy.
In the mean time the rebels occupied a strong line, extending from Columbus
to Bowling Green
, in Kentucky
Both these places, especially the former, were strongly fortified; and midway in the line, where the Tennessee
and Cumberland Rivers
are separated but ten or twelve miles, they had forts commanding these rivers.
Thus all advance towards the rebel states by railroad or water was obstructed.
In January; in obedience to instructions from Halleck
sent two columns into Western Kentucky
to prevent reinforcements being sent from Columbus
at Bowling Green
There was no engagement, but the object of the movement was accomplished, for the rebels did not send reinforcements to Buckner
; and General Thomas
defeated the enemy at Mill Spring
, east of Bowling Green
The expedition led to the more important movements which first made General Grant
famous in the war.
General C. F. Smith
, an able officer, who commanded one of the columns sent into Western Kentucky
, reported to Grant
that the capture of Fort Henry
, on the Tennessee
, was feasible; and the latter went to St. Louis
to propose to Halleck
a movement against that post, and to obtain the latter's permission to undertake