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Chapter 10: General Mitchel's invasion of Alabama.--the battles of Shiloh.

Let us return to Tennessee, and observe what Generals Grant and Buell did immediately after the fall of Fort Donelson, and the flight of the Confederates, civil and military, from Nashville.

We left General Grant at the Tennessee capital, in consultation with General Buell.

Feb. 27, 1862.
His praise was upon every loyal lip. His sphere of action had just been enlarged. On hearing of his glorious victory at Fort Donelson, General Halleck had assigned
Feb. 14.
him to the command of the new District of West Tennessee, which embraced the territory from Cairo, between the Mississippi and Cumberland Rivers, to the northern borders of the State of Mississippi, with his Headquarters in the field. It was a wide and important stage for action, and he did not rest on the laurels he had won on the Tennessee and Cumberland, but at once turned his attention to the business of moving vigorously forward in the execution of his part of the grand scheme for expelling the armed Confederates from the Mississippi valley, For that purpose he made his Headquarters temporarily at Fort Henry, where General Lewis Wallace was in command, and began a new organization of his forces for further and important achievements. Foote's flotilla was withdrawn from the Cumberland, and a part of it was sent up the Tennessee River, while its commander, as we have observed, Went down the Mississippi with a more powerful naval armament to co-operate with the land troops against Columbus, Hickman, Island Number10, and New Madrid.

An important objective was Corinth, in Northern Mississippi, at the intersection of the Charleston and Memphis and Mobile and Ohio railroads, and the seizure of that point, as a strategic position of vital importance, was Grant's design. It would give the National forces control of the great rail. way communications between the Mississippi and the East, and the border slave-labor States and the Gulf of Mexico. It would also facilitate the capture of Memphis by forces about to move down the Mississippi, and would give aid to the important movement of General Curtis in Arkansas. Grant was taking vigorous measures to accomplish this desirable end, when an order came from General Halleck,

March 4.
directing him to turn over his forces to his junior in rank, General C. F. Smith, and to remain himself at Fort Henry. Grant was astonished and mortified. He was unconscious of acts deserving of the displeasure of his superior, and he requested Halleck [262] to relieve him entirely from duty. That officer, made satisfied that no fault could justly be found with Grant, wrote a letter to Headquarters that removed all misconception, and on the 14th of March the latter was restored to the chief command.1 This satisfied the loyal people, who were becoming impatient because of seeming injustice toward a successful commander.

Meanwhile the troops that gathered at Fort Henry had been sent up the Tennessee in transports. The unarmored gun-boats Tyler and Lexington had gone forward as far as Pittsburg Landing, at the termination of a road

Charles Ferguson Smith.2

from Corinth, and about twenty miles from that place. There they were assailed by a six-gun battery, which, after a mutual cannonade, was silenced. When the report of this success reached General Smith, sixty-nine transports, with over thirty thousand troops, were moved up the river.3 The advance (Forty-sixth Ohio, Colonel Worthington) landed at Savannah,
March 10, 1862.
the capital of Hardin County, on the eastern bank of the stream, and took military possession of the place. General Smith, whose headquarters were on the steamer Leonora, immediately sent out scouts in the direction of Corinth, where Beauregard was straining every nerve to concentrate an army to oppose this formidable movement. Their reports satisfied him that the Confederates were not then more than ten thousand strong in his front, and that their capture or dispersion would be an. easy matter. He hoped to be allowed to move upon them at once, and, as a preparatory measure, he ordered

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