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[42] approached. Their comrades watched them breathlessly until they disappeared in the cloud of smoke. Only a few disorganized stragglers were finally swept back. The deadly canister had broken the spirit of that great Army of Northern Virginia.

In the West, the value of the artillery was no less than in the East. It will be impossible to notice the minor affairs in which field-batteries took an active and a decisive part. In Missouri particularly was this the case. General Lyon, before his untimely death, used this effective weapon to its full capacity, as did Pope, Fremont, Grant, and the other Union leaders who participated in shaping up the campaign against the Confederacy in Missouri and Kentucky.

Early in 1861 the Confederates took possession of a line from Columbus to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Forts Henry and Donelson were in the center, and formed the keystone of the arch. Grant saw their value, and directed himself to their capture. He obtained permission from Halleck and McClellan to reconnoiter up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and sent General C. F. Smith with two brigades from Paducah.

On the strength of Smith's report, Grant made strong representation to Halleck, his immediate superior, that the move was advisable. After some delay, the orders were issued, and Grant moved up the Tennessee with seventeen thousand men. The immediate assault on Fort Henry was threatened by General McClernand, with two brigades, each having two batteries. The work was a solidly constructed bastion Fort with twelve guns on the river face, and five bearing inland. It was evacuated without attack from the land forces, as the gunboat bombardment was sufficient to drive out the defenders, but not without considerable damage to the fleet.

Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland, was the next objective. On the 8th of February, 1862, Grant telegraphed to Halleck that he proposed to take Fort Donelson with infantry and cavalry alone, but he moved out from Fort Henry with fifteen thousand men and eight field-batteries. Some of the guns were

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