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Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
ion 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 firstward and up to Bowling Green, then down to Cumberland Gap. It thus lapped over a little from Tennessee into Kentucky. Its weak point was the hole made in it by two rivers, the Tennessee and Cumberor twenty-one days. While he was still in bed, General Rosecrans, after preliminary success in Tennessee, got himself into the gravest difficulties at the battle of Chickamauga, where, but for the sp that general. He sent reassuring messages to Halleck about Burnside, who was threatened in East Tennessee. As we think of him during these days, reeling off orders and pulling the scattered shreds ghts, crossed the Tennessee and fought their share of Chattanooga and pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, they turned more than a hundred and twenty miles north, and compelled Longstreet to raise the
Cincinnati (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
rd in favour of the Union, we hang him to a limb of the first tree we come to. In Grant's reply the spirit of the Union is likewise drawn: After all, we are not so intolerant in St. Louis as we might be. I have not seen a single rebel hung yet, nor heard of one. There are plenty of them who ought to be, however. He next wrote from home to Washington offering his services, and with some hesitation saying that he felt himself competent to command a regiment. No answer came. He went to Cincinnati to see General McClellan, but, failing twice, gave this up too. Of his enforced idleness he writes May 30, During the six days I have been at home I have felt all the time as if a duty was being neglected that was paramount to any other duty I ever owed. But now the troops of the Twenty-first Illinois had become insubordinate. It was a regiment which he had mustered at Mattoon; and it would appear that the officers, dissatisfied with their colonel, had spoken to the governor of Grant. T
Yazoo City (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
is 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, and what the gunboats had to do in the narrow channels that enmeshed them with vegetation, draws the whole picture of this winter without need of further comment: I never yet saw vessels so well adapted to knocking down trees, hauling them up by the roots, or demolishing bridges. Yet, perhaps, Grant knew all this very well. His troops were in a wretched watery camp opposite Vicksburg. Disease had heavily visited them. The graves of their late comrades were forever in their
Bruinsburg (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
n six days the transports followed; and Vicksburg beheld the army that had been sitting in the mud for so many weeks depart, to return presently on its own side the river with a vengeance. Grant's arm was at length raised to strike. His first blow glanced at Grand Gulf, the southernmost defence of Vicksburg; but the next day he stood on the east shore, the tall, defended, baffling shore which Secession had called its Gibraltar. To do this, he had had to come down the river to cross at Bruinsburg, some thirty-one miles below Vicksburg. When this was effected, I felt a degree of relief scarcely ever equalled since, he says. I was on dry ground on the same side of the river with the enemy. He now manoeuvred to deceive Pemberton, and easily did so. On May 1 he won the battle of Port Gibson. He next made his great decision to cut loose from his base of supplies, and not inform Halleck until it was too late to stop him. When Sherman with several others strongly protested against t
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
eparate nations been at war, here they would have stopped. But one piece of a nation was trying to separate itself from the rest; and the rest had to follow it, and wholly crush it. This necessity was clearly seen then by no one so much as by General Grant. Off in the West by himself, his clear, strong mind had grasped it; and every blow he struck was to this end, and every counsel that he gave. The North began to feel this huge force resting for the moment on the banks of the now open Mississippi. It looked away from Virginia, scraped raw with the vain pendulum of advance and retreat, to Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg. Here it saw no pendulum, but an advance as sure, if as slow, as fate. Therefore, Grant's name began to be spoken with a different sound. And a Southern newspaper perceived in him the largest threat to Confederate armies. It called him the bee which has really stung our flanks so long. After Donelson, Grant had written Sherman: I feel under many obligat
is a story that he was introduced to his command by two orators, who both burst into eloquence and rhapsodised for some time. His turn came, and much was expected from him; but his speech was this: Men, go to your quarters. They presently discovered that they had a colonel, although the colonel had no uniform, being obliged to go home and borrow three hundred dollars to buy him horse and equipments. This regiment had volunteered for thirty days; but, after listening to McClernand's and Logan's patriotic addresses, Grant relates that they entered the United States service almost to a man. He does not say that a month later, in Missouri, when these same men whom he had severely disciplined heard that he was likely to be promoted, they requested to be attached to his command. He wrote his father this; but he adds that he does not wish it read to the others, for I very much dislike speaking of myself. His men did not know his feelings as he drew near what he thought was to be hi
across our country was quite seriously thought by Secessionists to divide 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, lik
he futile Fremont, now in command of the department; but Grant spoiled their plans, and they accordingly revived the story of his drinking. By order of his surgeon he had taken some whiskey; and that was the whole of it. But it was enough. General Prentiss, a little jealous about rank, departed from Grant's jurisdiction, saying, I will not serve under a drunkard. The slander reached Washburne through the newspapers; and he, his faith in Grant already great, but not yet impregnable as it soon ichardson, he handed it to Grant. The general, who had suffered keenly from these reports, read it with much feeling, and said emphatically: Yes, that's right,--exactly right. Send it by all means. It is a creditable story to every one except Prentiss and the contractors; and it reveals Rawlins in a bright light. No wonder Grant let him swear whenever he wanted. For a little while Grant was ordered about hither and thither in Missouri; but there is nothing decisive to record until, soon a
hile Vicksburg had made him a major-general in the regular army. Lincoln had written him his hearty personal thanks, and the cause of the Union had brightened at home and abroad. The London Times and Saturday Review had lately been quoting the Bible as sanction for slavery; for England dearly loves the Bible; but now many voices in London became sure that slavery was wicked; for England dearly loves success. Grant was more pestered than ever now with Jews and other traders. As he wrote Chase on July 21: Any trade whatsoever with the rebellious states is weakening to us. ... It will be made the means of supplying the enemy with what they want. His sound sense, however, could not wholly prevail against the politicians. One would gladly dwell upon the story of the cotton, historically important, and romantic in detail: how — for one example — a determined and beautiful lady with her French maid spent some six weeks on board a certain flag-ship, and came triumphant away, bringing
h an Abolitionist by no means, he says in a letter to his father-in-law at this time, In all this I can see but the doom of slavery. Believing he could better serve his state at Springfield, he declined the captaincy of a volunteer company, but helped them form and drill, and went with them to Springfield on the same train. But, though Washburne's belief in him was already considerable, his influence for a while wrought nothing in the chaos of intrigues and appointments. As the French Colonel Szabad vividly describes this period in our country: Never were commanders of such high rank created with more rapidity and less discernment. Those who had some knowledge of the art of war, as well as those who were ignorant of its first principles, well-educated and intelligent men, together with men totally illiterate and vulgar, all received their stars with an equal facility; and all alike believed themselves capable of leading to victory. Nor is this a supercilious European view. When t
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