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d I trust you will be able to concentrate a force which will defeat either attempt. The fleet which you will soon have on the Mississippi River, if the enemy's gunboats ascend the Tennessee, may enable you to strike an effective blow at Cairo; but, to one so well informed and vigilant, I will not assume to offer suggestions as to when and how the ends you seek may be attained. With the confidence and regard of many years, I am very truly your friend, Jefferson Davis. Decatur, Alabama, March 18, 1862. my dear General: I received the dispatches from Richmond, with your private letter by Captain Wickliffe, three days since; but the pressure of affairs and the necessity of getting my command across the Tennessee prevented me from sending you an earlier reply. I anticipated all that you tell as to the censures which the fall of Fort Donelson drew upon me, and the attacks to which you might be subjected; but it was impossible for me to gather the facts for a detailed report, or spa
he soldierly C. F. Smith to his cause. That the strength of Shiloh has not been overstated is evinced by the evidence of General Sherman, given then and afterward. He says, in his Memoirs, vol. i., page 229: The position was naturally strong. .... At a later period of the war, we could have rendered this position impregnable in one night, but at this time we did not do it, and it may be it is well we did not. He says of it in a letter to Grant's adjutant-general, Rawlins, March 18, 1862 (page 232): Magnificent plain for camping and drilling, and a military point of great strength. On the next day (page 233), he expresses himself- Strongly impressed with the importance of this position, both for its land advantages and its strategic position. The ground itself admits of easy defense by a small command, and yet affords admirable camping-ground for 100,000 men. On the trial of Colonel Thomas Worthington, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, who had severely criticised
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The capture of Fort Donelson. (search)
onsidered the foremost soldier of all who chose rebellion for their part. When the shadow of that first great failure fell upon the veteran, President Davis made haste to reassure him of his sympathy and unbroken confidence. In the official correspondence which has survived the Confederacy there is nothing so pathetic, and at the same time so indicative of the manly greatness of Albert Sidney Johnston, as his letter in reply to that of his chief. In this letter dated Decatur, Ala., March 18th, 1862, General Johnston says in part: The blow [Fort Donelson] was most disastrous and almost without remedy. I therefore in my first report remained silent. This silence you were kind enough to attribute to my generosity.--I will not lay claim to the motive to excuse my course. I observed silence, as it seemed to me the best way to serve the cause and the country. The facts were not fully known, discontent prevailed, and criticism or condemnation were more likely to augment than to cure
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 12.47 (search)
as practicable to recover some lost ground. General Johnston acceded to my views and request, though he did not put his troops in motion until the 28th of February, and although he regarded the projected attempt to unite his army with mine a hazardous experiment. If I join this corps to the forces of Beauregard (I confess a hazardous experiment), then those who are declaiming against me will be without an argument.--Life of General A. S. Johnston. Letter dated Decatur, Alabama, March 18th, 1862, p. 521.-G. T. B. The evacuation of Columbus was successfully completed on the 2d of March, apparently without any suspicion on the part of our adversary in that quarter that such an operation had been going on, or without the least show of that vigilance and vigor that were to be apprehended from him after the series of most serious disasters for the Confederate arms which had characterized the month of February, 1862. About seven thousand men were now placed at New Madrid, and i
n of Bowling Green was begun and ended on the 13th, and General Beauregard left for Columbus, Ky. On the 16th Fort Donelson fell. The loss of Forts Henry and Donelson opened the river routes to Nashville and North Alabama, and thus turned the positions both at Bowling Green and Columbus, and subjected General Johnston to severe criticism. The President was appealed to, to remove him; but his confidence in General Johnston remained unimpaired. In a letter to the President, dated March 18, 1862, General Johnston himself writes: The test of merit in my profession, with the people, is success. It is a hard rule, but I think it right. In reply to the letter from which the above is an extract, the President wrote him as follows: Richmond, Va., March 26, 1862. My dear General: Yours of the 18th instant was this day delivered by your aid, Mr. Jack. I have read it with much satisfaction. So far as the past is concerned, it but confirms the conclusions at which I had already
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 8: the siege and capture of Fort Donelson. (search)
. Johnston clearly perceived the importance of the post, and when it was threatened by the attack on Fort Henry, which was only twelve miles distant, he gave it all the re-enforcements in his power. I determined, he said, to fight for Nashville at Donelson, and have the best part of my army to do it, and so he sent sixteen thousand troops there, retaining only fourteen thousand men to cover his front at Bowling Green. Letter of General Johnston to Congressman Barksdale, at Richmond, March 18, 1862. It is difficult to conceive how a veteran soldier like Johnston could have intrusted a business so important as the command of so large a force, on so momentous an occasion, to such weak men as Gideon J. Pillow and John B. Floyd, who were successively placed in chief command of Fort Donelson, at that time. But so it was. Pillow had arrived there on the 10th of the month, Feb., 1862. and with the aid of Major Gilmer, General Johnston's chief engineer, had worked diligently in stren
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 9: events at Nashville, Columbus, New Madrid, Island number10, and Pea Ridge. (search)
ern and the Mobile and Ohio Railways; the former leading directly to Hickman, on the Mississippi River. under General Cheatham. The removal of special articles of value to Jackson, Tennessee, had been accomplished at that time. Then the cavalry set fire to the military buildings of the post, and, accompanied by Polk and his staff, followed the retiring columns, at three o'clock in the afternoon of the 2d. March, 1862. Report of Major-General Leonidas Polk to Colonel Thomas Jordan, March 18th, 1862. In five days, said Polk, in his report, we removed the accumulation of six months, taking with us all our commissary and quartermaster stores — an amount sufficient to supply my whole command for eight months; all our powder and other ammunition and ordnance stores (excepting a few shot, and gun-carriages), and every heavy gun in the fort. Two 82-pounders in a remote outwork were the only valuable guns left. These, with some smaller ones, were spiked. The whole number of pieces of a
ildings for quartermaster and commissary stores and hospital. I have preserved their muster rolls and other official documents, together with a number of important letters. My cavalry pursued them 6 miles into Virginia. There were no casualties on our side. The enemy lost 7 killed and wounded. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. A. Garfield, Brigadier-General, Commanding. Capt. J. B. Fry, A. A. G., Chief of Staff. headquarters Eighteenth Brigade, Piketon, Ky., March 18, 1862. dear sir: A few days ago I learned that General Marshall had ordered the militia of Wise, Scott, and Lee Counties to muster on the 15th instant, with six days provisions, and aid in guarding the mountain passes at the Cumberland and Pound Gaps. In order to prevent a concentration of forces at the latter place I left here on the 14th instant, with a detachment of infantry from the Fortieth Ohio, under Colonel Cranor; the Forty-second, under Major Pardee; the Twenty-second Kentucky, u
Jordan, Assistant Adjutant-General. [March 18 1862.--For A. S. Johnston to Jefferson Davis ine Series I, Vol. VII, p. 258.] Decatur, March 18, 1862. Maj. Gen. W. J. Hardee, Huntsville: Enton, General, C. S. Army. Decatur, Ala., March 18, 1862. Col. B. H. Helm, Tuscumbia: Make silenton, General, C. S. Army. Decatur, Ala., March 18, 1862. Major-General Bragg, Corinth: sir: I aer to General C. Braxton Bragg. C. F., [March 18, 1862--6 p. m. General A. Sidney Johnston: Pu Braxton Bragg, Major-General. Decatur, March 18, 1862. General Bragg, Corinth: Now moving for, Army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Miss., March 18, 1862. Col. Thomas Jordan, Assistant Adjutant-Geo. 49. Hdqrs. Western Department, Decatur, March 18, 1862. Military commanders are ordered to des and direction: Cumberland Gap, Tuesday, March 18, 1862. Major: * * * The force of the eneit with vigilance, and obey your orders of March 18, 1862, as follows: Burn the Florence Bridge
the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of the Mississippi, which includes the present Department of Kansas and the Missouri and the Department of the Ohio and country west of a north and south line drawn through Knoxville, Tenn., and east of the western boundaries of the States of Missouri and Arkansas. Headquarters of the Department of the Mississippi will remain, until further orders, at Saint Louis, Mo. * * * * * * * H. W. Halleck, Major-General, Commanding. March 18, 1862. General Halleck, Saint Louis: My advanced division is at Columbia. The heavy rains and the destruction of bridges by the enemy will of course retard our progress somewhat. I am carrying the telegraph along. I am told the communication with Island No.10 is kept up across the bend of the river only 3 miles. We are without money, and both our credit and efficiency are suffering in consequence. D. C. Buell, Brigadier-General. P. S.--Insert in the dispatch to General Halleck, if
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