and the saving of the Cumberland
, besides the great advantage and prestige of destroying one of the Federal
The means for such concentration were ample.
It could have been effected in two or, at most, three days, and in good season.
After the fall of Henry, on the 6th, General Grant
did not move upon Donelson
until the 12th, with fifteen thousand men, and was only reinforced to the number of twenty-five thousand on the evening of the 13th; while General Johnston
could have been present with twenty-seven thousand men on the 10th, at the latest.
No serious conflict occurred until the garrison itself attacked the Federals
, on the 15th, and, in view of the brilliant success of that effort in its first stages, there can be no room for doubt as to what the result would have been if the Confederate forces had been ten thousand stronger.
gave disproportionate consequence to the preservation of the depots of reserve supplies at Bowling Green
, and Nashville
Their accumulation at those points was a serious error on the part of the government; and upon the assembling of such large, threatening forces along General Johnston
's front, these supplies should have been speedily removed far to the rear, leaving the country and the army clear and free for action.
But, this having been neglected, the operations of the army and the opportunity to defeat the enemy should not have been subordinated and sacrificed to the immediate effort to save supplies which, after all, were destroyed at Clarksville
, and, in great measure, at Nashville
This concentration should, therefore, have been made, or else Donelson
should have been abandoned altogether; thereby saving its garrison, and part, at least, of the prestige of our arms.
, however, was left without specific instructions, until, with General Buckner
's advice, he began to withdraw the latter's division from the fort, but, upon General Pillow
's remonstrance, was ordered by General Johnston
, on the night of the 12th, to go into Donelson
with all the forces under his control, aggregating within the fort an effective force variously estimated at from thirteen thousand to fifteen thousand men, in the reports, and by other authorities at seventeen thousand.1
Upon the adoption of this