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 at Columbus would imperil the Mississippi river, nor could he hazard the loss of Nashville, and he, therefore, determined to make the fight at Forts Henry and Donelson, and soon Fort Henry fell. He had determined when the movement against Fort Henry was made to fall back on the line of the Cumberland, and make the fight for Nashville at Donelson. Buell was in his front with 90,000 men, and to save Nashville he had to fall back on it with a part of his army. He retained for this purpose some 14,000 men—of whom only 8,500 were effective to confront Buell's force—and concentrated at Fort Donelson 17,000 men under Generals Floyd, Pillow and Buckner, to meet General Grant with a force of 25,000 troops. When, on February 16, General Johnston learned of the defeat and surrender of the troops at Donelson, his first object was to save the remnant of his army, and he at once determined to abandon the line of the Cumberland, and concentrate all his available troops at Corinth, Miss., and prepare for a renewed struggle. On the 25th of March he had assembled an army of 23,000 at Corinth. He was re-enforced by General Bragg from Pensacola with 10,000 men, and on General Johnston's arrival at Corinth his army numbered 50,000 men. The fall of Forts Henry and Donelson and abandonment of Nashville raised a storm of indignation over the country, and especially in Tennessee, and a committee of congressmen was sent to President Davis to ask General Johnston's removal. To the committee Mr. Davis replied: ‘If Sidney Johnston is not a general, I have none.’ To a friend who urged him to publish an explanation in vindication of his course, General Johnston replied: I cannot correspond with the people. What the people want is battle and a victory. That is the best explanation I can make. I require no vindication; I trust that to the future. His plan of campaign was to concentrate at Corinth, and interpose his whole force in front of the bend of the Tennessee river, the natural base of the Federal army, and this effected, to engage and defeat Grant before the arrival of Buell. This required immediate action, but time was required for the reorganization of the troops of Bragg and Beauregard. This occupied ten days. Hope was entertained of the arrival of General Van Dorn with reenforce-ments before the arrival of General Buell, who was marching from Nashville with 37,000 men to join Grant, but who did not arrive until two days later. Hearing of Buell's near approach on the 2d of April, General Johnston determined to at once move to the
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