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y instructions. To say nothing of the strategical value of East Tennessee to the Union, the fidelity of its people is shown in the reports sent to the Confederate government that the whole country is now in a state of rebellion ; that civil war has broken out in East Tennessee ; and that they look for the reestablishment of the Federal authority in the South with as much confidence as the Jews look for the coming of the Messiah. Henry W. Halleck, born in 1815, graduated from West Point in 1839, who, after distinguished service in the Mexican war, had been brevetted captain of Engineers, but soon afterward resigned from the army to pursue the practice of law in San Francisco, was, perhaps, the best professionally equipped officer among the number of those called by General Scott in the summer of 1861 to assume important command in the Union army. It is probable that Scott intended he should succeed himself as general-in-chief; but when he reached Washington the autumn was already l
irs existed in the first great military field east of the Alleghanies, the outlook was quite as unpromising both in the second-between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi --and in the third-west of the Mississippi. When the Confederates, about September I, 1861, invaded Kentucky, they stationed General Pillow at the strongly fortified town of Columbus on the Mississippi River, with about six thousand men; General Buckner at Bowling Green, on the railroad north of Nashville, with five thousand;on, by way of the Shenandoah valley, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, between Virginia and the Gulf States, accomplishing in the winter of 1861 what was not attained until two years later. Mr. Lincoln urged this in a second memorandum, made late in September; and seeing that the principal objection to it lay in the long and difficult line of land transportation, his message to Congress of December 3, 1861, recommended, as a military measure, the construction of a railroad to connect Cincinnati, by
ight the one great battle for which he could never get ready. Sherman was so distressed by the seeming magnitude of his burden that he soon asked to be relieved; and when Brigadier-General Buell was sent to succeed him in command of that part of Kentucky lying east of the Cumberland River, it was the expectation of the President that he would devote his main attention and energy to the accomplishment of a specific object which Mr. Lincoln had very much at heart. Ever since the days in June, when President Lincoln had presided over the council of war which discussed and decided upon the Bull Run campaign, he had devoted every spare moment of his time to the study of such military books and leading principles of the art of war as would aid him in solving questions that must necessarily come to himself for final decision. His acute perceptions, retentive memory, and unusual power of logic enabled him to make rapid progress in the acquisition of the fixed and accepted rules on whi
the Alleghanies and the Mississippi --and in the third-west of the Mississippi. When the Confederates, about September I, 1861, invaded Kentucky, they stationed General Pillow at the strongly fortified town of Columbus on the Mississippi River, withof the Shenandoah valley, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, between Virginia and the Gulf States, accomplishing in the winter of 1861 what was not attained until two years later. Mr. Lincoln urged this in a second memorandum, made late in September; and srch and successfully held Knoxville, even without a railroad, which Thomas with a few regiments could have accomplished in 1861; and that in the final collapse of the rebellion, in the spring of 1865, the beaten armies of both Johnston and Lee attemp was, perhaps, the best professionally equipped officer among the number of those called by General Scott in the summer of 1861 to assume important command in the Union army. It is probable that Scott intended he should succeed himself as general-in
llion. Railroad building appeared to them altogether too slow an operation of war. To show how sagacious was the President's advice, we may anticipate by recalling that in the following summer General Buell spent as much time, money, and military strength in his attempted march from Corinth to East Tennessee as would have amply sufficed to build the line from Lexington to Knoxville recommended by Mr. Lincoln--the general's effort resulting only in his being driven back to Louisville; that in 1863, Burnside, under greater difficulties, made the march and successfully held Knoxville, even without a railroad, which Thomas with a few regiments could have accomplished in 1861; and that in the final collapse of the rebellion, in the spring of 1865, the beaten armies of both Johnston and Lee attempted to retreat for a last stand to this same mountain region which Mr. Lincoln pointed out in December, 1861. Though the President received no encouragement from senators and representatives in
s phenomenal rise was fatal to his usefulness. The dream that he was to be the sole savior of his country, announced confidentially to his wife just two weeks after his arrival in Washington, never again left him so long as he continued in command. Coupled with this dazzling vision, however, was soon developed the tormenting twofold hallucination: first, that everybody was conspiring to thwart him; and, second, that the enemy had from double to quadruple numbers to defeat him. For the first month he could not sleep for the nightmare that Beauregard's demoralized army had by a sudden bound from Manassas seized the city of Washington. He immediately began a quarrel with General Scott, which, by the first of November, drove the old hero into retirement and out of his pathway. The cabinet members who, wittingly or unwittingly, had encouraged him in this he some weeks later stigmatized as a set of geese. Seeing that President Lincoln was kind and unassuming in discussing military
rength in his attempted march from Corinth to East Tennessee as would have amply sufficed to build the line from Lexington to Knoxville recommended by Mr. Lincoln--the general's effort resulting only in his being driven back to Louisville; that in 1863, Burnside, under greater difficulties, made the march and successfully held Knoxville, even without a railroad, which Thomas with a few regiments could have accomplished in 1861; and that in the final collapse of the rebellion, in the spring of 1865, the beaten armies of both Johnston and Lee attempted to retreat for a last stand to this same mountain region which Mr. Lincoln pointed out in December, 1861. Though the President received no encouragement from senators and representatives in his plan to take possession of East Tennessee, that object was specially enjoined in the instructions to General Buell when he was sent to command in Kentucky. It so happens that a large majority of the inhabitants of eastern Tennessee are in fa
December 15th (search for this): chapter 18
me and gone. McClellan and his brilliant staff galloped unceasingly from camp to camp, and review followed review, while autumn imperceptibly gave place to the cold and storms of winter; and still there was no sign of forward movement. Under his own growing impatience, as well as that of the public, the President, about the first of December, inquired pointedly, in a memorandum suggesting a plan of campaign, how long it would require to actually get in motion. McClellan answered: By December 15, --probably 25 ; and put aside the President's suggestion by explaining: I have now my mind actively turned toward another plan of campaign that I do not think at all anticipated by the enemy, nor by many of our own people. December 25 came, as November 25 had come, and still there was no plan, no preparation, no movement. Then McClellan fell seriously ill. By a spontaneous and most natural impulse, the soldiers of the various camps began the erection of huts to shelter them from sno
October 28th (search for this): chapter 18
lying south of the Ohio River, and from those lying east of the Mississippi River. Yielding to our superior force, they will gradually retreat to the more defensible mountain districts, and make their final stand in that part of the South where the seven States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia come together. The population there is overwhelmingly and devotedly loyal to the Union. The despatches from Brigadier-General Thomas of October 28 and November 5 show that, with four additional good regiments, he is willing to undertake the campaign and is confident he can take immediate possession. Once established, the people will rally to his support, and by building a railroad, over which to forward him regular supplies and needed reinforcements from time to time, we can hold it against all attempts to dislodge us, and at the same time menace the enemy in any one of the States I have named. While his hearers listened with i
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