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o the enemy; and of course correspondingly important for us to possess ourselves of. With Fort Henry in our hands we had a navigable stream open to us up to Muscle Shoals, in Alabama.
The Memphis and Charleston Railroad strikes the Tennessee at Eastport, Mississippi, and follows close to the banks of the river up to the shoals.
This road, of vast importance to the enemy, would cease to be of use to them for through traffic the moment Fort Henry became ours.
Fort Donelson was the gate to Nashville — a place of great military and political importance-and to a rich country extending far east in Kentucky.
These two points in our possession, the enemy would necessarily be thrown back to the Memphis and Charleston road, or to the boundary of the cotton states, and, as before stated, that road would be lost to them for through communication.
The designation of my command had been changed after Halleck's arrival, from the District of Southeast Missouri to the District of Cairo, and th