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[334]
General Buell had not yet1 received an intimation that General Grant was in any danger, or that there was need of haste in the movement of his army, and, desiring to have his forces in good shape to meet a comrade army, obtained permission from General Halleck to stop for rest at Waynesboro. The army commander had also under consideration the propriety of moving to Hamburg, above Pittsburg Landing, and thence to the place of conjunction. Stronger evidence could not be adduced than this project of stopping at Waynesboro, that neither General Halleck nor General Buell, at this time, thought that there was anything actual, probable, or possible, in the situation at Pittsburg Landing, to demand the hurried advance of the army of the Ohio. But General Nelson [commanding the leading division], ignorant of this proposal to halt at Waynesboro, and alive to the probability of an early attack upon General Grant, hurried through the place for rest and trimming up for a handsome introduction to the Army of the Tennessee, and, by sweeping impetuously on the road to Savannah, he both defeated the deflection towards Hamburg and the halt at Waynesboro; for before General Buell thought it necessary to give orders to Nelson, other divisions, to which the speed of the first had been communicated, were also beyond Waynesboro, and could not then be recalled.

That General Grant felt secure at this time is equally manifest. Telegraphic communications between him and Nelson were established on the 3d of April. The latter telegraphed that he could be at Savannah with his division on the 5th. On the 4th, General Grant replied that he need not hasten his march, as transports to convey him to Pittsburg Landing would not be ready before the 8th. Nevertheless, Nelson hastened on, and it was well he did, for he gave motion to the whole army behind him, and General Johnston was even then on the march from Corinth, with his entire army, to crush General Grant before General Buell could give him assistance. . . .

A variety of facts support the assumption that neither General Halleck, General Grant, nor the division commanders on the field beyond Pittsburg Landing, had the remotest expectation that the enemy would advance in offence from Corinth with full strength. General Halleck proposed to command the united armies in their advance upon Corinth, and yet he was not to leave his headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri, until the 7th. On the 5th, General Sherman, though not the senior division commander, yet virtually so, from the confidence reposed in him by General Grant, telegraphed to the latter: “All is quiet along my lines now; the enemy has cavalry in our front, and I think there are two regiments and one battery six miles out.” 2 Again: “I have no doubt that nothing will occur to-day more than some picket firing. The enemy is saucy, but got the worst of it yesterday, and will not press our ”

1 On the 31st of March.

2 The Confederates were then within that distance with their whole army of nearly forty thousand men, and they formed their lines of battle that afternoon about a mile and a half in his front. They had passed the night of the 4th at Monterey, only nine miles from his headquarters.

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