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said that he had little confidence in the defensive works on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, to inspect, strengthen, and complete which , we could have time to escape from between the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and establish ourselves behind the new defensive line of Ducndred and ten strong—across the neck, to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, remaining himself to work the guns with a handful of men—abousterday into the hands of the enemy, and Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, not being tenable, preparations should at once be made for the removal of this army to Nashville, in the rear of the Cumberland River, a strong point some miles below that city being fortified forthwith,d have met the same fate, had they landed on the left bank of the Cumberland. Such a victory over General Grant would certainly have deterredy boats held ready for the purpose, at Cumberland city, on the Cumberland River, or at Benton, where the Memphis and Louisville Railroad cross
hold my rear at Island No.10, I would then take the field with at least forty thousand men, march on Paducah, seize and close the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers; aided by gun-boats, I would also successfully assail Cairo, and threaten, if not, indeed, take, St. Louis itself. In this way, be assured, we may most cence and historical value justify us in transcribing it here: Jackson, Tenn., February 21st, 1862. My dear General,—By the fall of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, the forces under General Polk (now to be under me) are entirely cut off from those under General A. S. Johnston, and must henceforth depend upon themselves via New Madrid or Columbus, with ten thousand more, we could thus take the field with forty thousand men, take Cairo, Paducah, the mouth of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and, most probably, be able to take also St. Louis, by the river. What say you to this brilliant programme which I know is fully practicable, if we can get
utant-General in the Utah expedition, shortly before the late war between the States. He was brave and intelligent, but was generally considered too much of a disciplinarian to effect great results with irregular troops. had entered Bowling Green on the 15th of February, the day after it was evacuated by the Confederates, and one day before the surrender of Fort Donelson. He had then advanced leisurely on Nashville, about seventy-five miles distant, arriving opposite that city, on the Cumberland River, on the 23d. It was surrendered to him on the 25th, by the civil authorities, and he occupied it the next day. The rear guard of the Confederate forces, under General Floyd, had left Nashville for Murfreesboroa, thirty-two miles distant in a southerly direction, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, when the enemy appeared on the south side of the river. General Buell remained at Nashville, a passive spectator of General Johnston's slow and quiet retreat, first to Murfreesboroa
t case, our objective points must be, first, Louisville, and then Cincinnati. How best to reach them from Chattanooga, with Buell at Huntsville and Stevenson, is the question. It is evident he has the advantage of two bases of operations, the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and that if we advance towards our objective points without getting rid of him, we would expose our lines of communication with Chattanooga. We must, then, give him battle first, or compel him to retire before us. Shou Mobile and East Tennessee to follow him rapidly and defeat him in a grand battle, when we would be able to resume our march as before indicated. We must, however, as soon as practicable, construct strong works to command the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, for otherwise our communication would be cut off by the enemy as soon as those two rivers shall have risen sufficiently to admit the entrance of their gunboats and transports. The best positions for said works are about forty miles belo
nsideration of the military exigencies. On that occasion it was determined that, Fort Henry having fallen, and Fort Donelson not being long tenable, preparations should be made at once for the removal of the army on that line in rear of the Cumberland River at Nashville, while a strong point on that river, some few miles below the city, should be fortified forthwith against the approach, by that way, of gunboats and transports. The troops then at Clarksville were to be thrown across to the southern bank of the Cumberland, leaving only a sufficient force in the town to protect the manufactories and other property in which the Confederate government was interested. In the event a further retrograde movement became inevitable, Stevenson was chosen as a suitable point for a stand, and subsequent movements were to be determined by circumstances. It was likewise determined that the possession of the Tennessee River by the enemy, consequent upon the capitulation of Fort Henry, must