previous next
[227] course and adopted General Beauregard's suggestions, made to him on the 6th of February, after their inspection of the works around Bowling Green.

General Grant, according to his official report, brought to the attack of Fort Henry, on the 6th of February, a force of fifteen thousand men of all arms. After a delay of a week he appeared before the unfinished defensive works of Fort Donelson with the very same troops, and was there joined, not earlier than the evening of the 13th, by a reinforcement of ten thousand men, including Lew Wallace's division of Buell's army. Buell's army, meanwhile, was at Bacon Creek (on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, about fifty-five miles northeast of Bowling Green) and in southeast Kentucky, with not less than seventy-three thousand five hundred effectives in all. He would have had to march at least one hundred and twenty-five miles by the shortest distance, and on unmacadamized roads, crossing two streams (the Big Barren and Cumberland), to form a junction with General Grant; which movement, with his many new levies, unused to marching, would have required at least ten days. That junction could not have been made before the 17th: whereas General Johnston had, at Bowling Green, on the 7th, about fourteen thousand men, of whom ten thousand could have been transported by rail—about eighty miles—to Cumberland city, thence, by boat—about twenty miles —to Fort Donelson, or by railroad to the vicinity of the fort, in two days at most; as there was ample rolling-stock available in west and middle Tennessee, and there was also a sufficient number of steamboats at Nashville.1 General Floyd had, at Russellville, eight thousand men, who, with over three thousand at Clarksville, could have been moved by railroad to Fort Donelson in two days at most from the date of the order. Fort Donelson already contained a force of five thousand seven hundred and fifty men. Thus, after leaving some troops—chiefly cavalry—at Bowling Green, to keep up appearances of occupation and to delay Buell at the Big Barren River while removing the public property collected there to Nashville, or southward, a force of about twentyseven thousand men could have been thrown suddenly upon General Grant's forces near Fort Donelson, by the 10th of February

1 There were, at that time, ten steamboats at Nashville, three of them in very good order. These three could have towed the others down the stream.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (3)
Buell (3)
Lew Wallace (1)
A. S. Johnston (1)
John B. Floyd (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 6th (2)
February 10th (1)
13th (1)
7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: