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Illinois (Illinois, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
vide all Americans graphically into heroes and cowards. This tribal mania was very naturally heightened by the performances of Generals Butler and Schenck and the rout of Bull Run. In the East the Union cause looked dark enough, when light unexpectedly came from the West. General Grant stands the central figure in that light. To follow him, a survey of the country must be taken. Through the gallant Lyon and Blair and Curtis and Pope, Secession presently lost Missouri. This made safe Illinois across the river; for all east from there was Union to the Atlantic. But just south came doubtful Kentucky, and south of that was Confederate Tennessee; and from there to the Gulf and east and west was all Secession. Kentucky, then, was the first point; after that, the great river, the highway whose gates were closed, and which ran between the banks of Secession all the way to New Orleans and the Gulf. Now Kentucky, like Missouri, had loyal citizens, but a Secession governor; and it was
Donelson (Indiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
hose larger dimensions he felt and bowed to. Some further pictures of Grant at Donelson show several sides of the man. On the eve of the surrender, Pillow had made a one of the last to visit him, and take his hand. The pen would linger over Donelson; over Smith's gallantry that saved the day on the 15th, and his delightful addss was, after the fact of surrender, his first thought here, as it had been at Donelson. And with the same humane watchfulness, when he presently discovered a Missises. It called him the bee which has really stung our flanks so long. After Donelson, Grant had written Sherman: I feel under many obligations to you for the kind n from a rock upon the beleaguered, helpless army, felt much natural joy. Like Donelson, like Vicksburg, like Corinth, Chattanooga also was a vital strategic point, ater and gloat over his prize was in the conqueror's heart. As he had asked at Donelson, Why humiliate a brave enemy and as at Vicksburg he had forbidden a cheer to b
Holly Springs (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
rmies of the Mississippi and the Tennessee. The battles of Iuka and Corinth were fought. By November Grant was once again able to go on with his interrupted strategy of flanking the Mississippi. It was not until the following spring that he walked to his goal with a firm step. In the months between he was not only hampered by many external embarrassments, but his own mind had not come to a final clear determination. The jealousy of McClernand, the treachery that lost him his base at Holly Springs, and his own not very sound plan of co-operating with Sherman on the east bank — these among other causes helped his first failure. Then in the winter months his canal-cutting, and various operations upon both sides of the river, were defeated by Nature herself. Perhaps he should have known that land and water were tangled in such a chaos here that the first chapter of Genesis alone could have straightened them for an army. One sentence from Porter's report of the Yazoo Pass attempt,
Fort Henry (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
by two rivers, the Tennessee and Cumberland, crossing it twelve miles apart. Two forts barred these precious highways — Henry and Donelson. If these two gates were knocked down, the Union had a clear road to the heart of the South; for, by the Tes full of Jomini and empty of all power to master a situation. On him Grant, like others, urged the value of striking Forts Henry and Donelson. But Halleck, whether under McClellan's influence or for other reasons, snubbed him; and so for a while nt go with seventeen thousand, and seven gunboats under Commodore Foote. This was February 2. In four days, Grant had Fort Henry. In ten more, Fort Donelson and the gates to the rivers were open. Secession's frontier was crashed through from Colu; over McClernand's good fighting, and over Foote and his gunboats. About the navy, indeed, a word must be said. From Fort Henry, which it took unaided, to the day when Vicksburg fell and the great river rolled unvexed to the sea, the navy was not
Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
V. On Friday, April 12, 1861, news reached Galena that South Carolina had fired upon Fort Sumter. On Monday came tidings of its capture. On Tuesday there was a town meeting, with a slippery mayor. But two spirits of a different quality spoke out. Washburne said, Any man who will try to stir party prejudices at such a time as this is a traitor. Rawlins ended his fervent speech, We will stand by the flag of our country, and appeal to the God of battles. These two names must always be joined with Grant's fortunes; and this was the first night of their common cause. Washburne in Congress became Grant's good angel against the public, and Rawlins in Grant's tent was his good angel against temptation — John A. Rawlins, farmer, charcoal-burner, self-educated lawyer, swarthy, rough-hewn, passionate, as Mr. Garland writes of him. In later years Grant said, I always disliked to hear anybody swear except Rawlins. It was over Grant's whiskey that many of these oaths were raised; and,
Sailor's Creek (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
y were continually bringing in scores of prisoners from the woods on either side,--prisoners who would throw down their arms at the sight of blue uniforms and request to be captured. The steadfast women who begged them to turn back and face us again had been laughed to scorn. At dark on April 5 word came from Sheridan to Grant: I wish you were here. I see no escape for General Lee. Grant called for his horse, and rode through the night to Sheridan and Meade. And on the next day at Sailor's Creek the clouds sank lower round Lee. Again Grant's actions reveal his thoughts. On Friday, April 7, he wrote Lee: The last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance. I regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood by asking of you the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia. The unsuccessful battles, the dwindling regiments, the starvation, the retreat cut off,--all this was plainly the end; and it stared Lee in th
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
y treated the valley as it should have been treated at first. But Secession considered that Union should fight with gloves. When Union began to fight to a finish, Secession cried out. Sheridan is still denounced; but Secession's massacre of Fort Pillow and burning of Chambersburg are not mentioned. So the South knew that in Grant's deadly grip and will was something fateful, never met till now. And that grip was seizing it elsewhere. Besides Sheridan, Sherman was closing in upon it in Georgia, and Thomas soon struck it heavily at Nashville. These simultaneous strides of disaster had all been set and kept in motion by the single central will. And, no matter what the impatient country said, the president stood Grant's friend through thick and thin. The Secretary of War had made one supreme effort to maintain his dictatorship over the movements of the army. The report of his fall is thus: Hearing from Grant that certain troops were to be disposed in a certain way, he objected t
North Anna (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
npropitious country, and compelled a battle May 5. On that beginning day the two crossed weapons, both of perfect steel. Lee handled his like a great swordsman: Grant handled his like a great blacksmith. Lee had some seventy thousand men: Grant, some one hundred and twenty thousand. Day, and often night, the weapons struck fire at some point; day and night, during not weeks, but months. Some of these clashes have names forever reddened with slaughter,--the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor; but in between them flow nameless streams of blood continuously. More sublimely shines the American volunteer at Cold Harbor than at Chattanooga,--more sublime in walking calmly to visible death than in tumultuously rushing to victory. He stood in the centre with the enemy in a great half-wheel around him, and, knowing that some one had blundered, walked into this. First he wrote his name and home, and fastened the address to his clothes. Thus they would know whose body i
Belmont, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
ith, who was holding the mouth of the Cumberland, The principal point to gain is to prevent the enemy from sending a force in the rear of those now out of his command. Accordingly, two days after Grant steamed down the river in the morning upon Belmont on the west bank, and retreated up the river again in the evening. He had surprised and destroyed the enemy's camp; but Polk crossed with re-enforcements from Columbus, and, regaining the field, drove him from it with a loss of five hundred meng his horse aboard on a plank pushed out for him. In his plain dress, he looked like a private. There's a Yankee, if you want a shot, said Polk to his men; but they, busy firing at the crowded boats, thought one shabby soldier too poor a mark. Belmont was a defeat, but one of those which are successes, just as there are victories which are failures. It accomplished its object. Polk did not send the troops into Missouri, as he intended: he kept them at hand against further surprises. Sece
Columbus, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
ving, according to his view of war; but Fremont could not see that Columbus should be taken, and Polk was allowed to fortify there and to sendroyed the enemy's camp; but Polk crossed with re-enforcements from Columbus, and, regaining the field, drove him from it with a loss of five hises. Secession's frontier at this time was a slight curve from Columbus eastward and up to Bowling Green, then down to Cumberland Gap. Ite rivers were open. Secession's frontier was crashed through from Columbus to Cumberland Gap, and shrank many miles southward. It was quick oadening labyrinth of action. He wished at once to strike Polk at Columbus. Halleck prescribed caution; and Polk, unhindered, escaped south y Johnston the South was massing all the strength it could bring. Columbus fell to the Union; and New Madrid and Island No.10, the next two bit. It was not military, but it was deeply sagacious. It was like Columbus and the egg. It was also a confession of Lee's superiority. The f
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