xt74f47gqx1q https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt74f47gqx1q/data/mets.xml Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. 1908  books b92-276-32008268 English Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863 United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Campaigns. Kentucky History Civil War, 1861-1865. Tennessee History Civil War, 1861-1865. Campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee including the battle of Chickamauga, 1862-1864 text Campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee including the battle of Chickamauga, 1862-1864 1908 2002 true xt74f47gqx1q section xt74f47gqx1q 






             PAPERS OF

              VOL. VII

   NOTE. Other papers on these Campaigns follow in Volume VIII


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              TABLE OF CONTENTS

   I. THE DONELSON CAMPAIGN ........ .                   1
       By GEORGE A. BRUCE, Captain and Brevet Lieutenant-
       Colonel, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers.

  II. THE BATTLE OF SHILOHI. ........ . 31
       By HENRY STONE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Colonel,
       100th U. S. Colored Troops.

       By EPHRAIM C. DAWES, Major and Brevet Lieutenant-
       Colonel, 53d Ohio Infantry.

 IV. THE SECOND DAY AT SHILOH       ... . .  .   . 173
       By Captain EPHRAIM A. OTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen-

       By NATHANIEL S. SHALER, Captain of Independent Ken-
       tucky Battery, Field Artillery.

        OF 1862 .227
      By Captain EPHRAIM A. OTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen-

        KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE IN 1862 . . . 255
      By HENRY STONE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Colonel,
      100th U. S. Colored Troops.

VIII. THE MURFREESBORO CAMPAIGN        ... . .    . 293
      By Captain EPHERAIM A. OTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen-


Vi                   COANTENTS

IX. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN      . . . . . . . 321
       By H. V. BOYNTON, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Brig-
       adier-General, 35th Ohio Volunteers.

      By H. V. BOYSTON-, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Brig-
      adier-General, 35th Ohio Volunteers.

        1863 ................. . 409
      By GILBERT C. KNIFFEN, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S.

        VEMBER 30, 1864 ... .  . . . .  . . .   . 433
      By HEN-RY STONE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Colonel,
      100th U. S. Colored Troops.

        CEMBER 15 AND 16, 1864 ... . . .  . .   . 479
      By HENRY STONE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Colonel,
      100th U. S. Colored Troops.

    INDEX  .5...  . . . . . . . . .  . . . .   . 543

        SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS .5.4. .    .   . 554



Field of operations in Kentucky
  and Tennessee
Fort Donelson
Stone's River (Murfreesboro)
Chickamauga (September 19)
Chickamauga (September 20)

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Read before the Society December 30, 1907


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ON the first of January, 1862, there were 208,604 men in arms
on the line of the Potomac; 83,060 under Buell, most of them
grouped about and near Louisville; and 92,227 in the Depart-
mnent of the Missouri commanded by General Halleck. General
McClellan was the commander-in-chief and in direct control
of the Army of the Potomac.
  The last six months of the previous year had been princi-
pally given up to the organization of forces by the Union and
Confederate governments, with the result that their respective
Inumbers were very nearly in the ratio of five to three. At
this (late the line had been definitely drawn between the loyal
and disloyal states and sections of states, so that each govern-
ment knew from what population it could draw to carry on
the war. Missouri was still the most disturbed of the territory
under Federal control, but the insurgents there, so far as
organized forces were concerned, had been pretty nearly driven
from the state.
  In the East the Confederate troops held a line close up to
the Potomac, touching it at several points so as to command
its navigation; and west of the Alleghanies a line running
from Columbus on the Mississippi through Fort Henry, Fort
Donelson, Clarksville, Bowling Green, and Mill Springs to
Knoxville in East Tennessee.
  General Albert Sidney Johnston, whom Mr. Davis consid-
ered the ablest soldier in the Confederate service, was in com-
mand of Department No. 2, which embraced nearly the whole
of the Mississippi Valley on either side of the river of that
name. At Bowling Green, a bold salient thrust out a hundred
miles to the north of the general line, were stationed the divi-
sions of Hardee and Buckner, later reenforced by Floyd, Pil-



low, and Bowen, so as to make the number of men of all arms
just 24,000. At Columbus and other points on or near the
river, 22,000 could be counted under General Polk. Fort
Henry and Fort Donelson were garrisoned by 5000 men com-
manded by General Tilghman. During the period covered by
the Donelson campaign, General Johnston could never have
brought together within the field of operations over 50,000
men. The forces in East Tennessee, and the small division of
Crittenden, demoralized and scattered by the defeat at Mill
Springs, are excluded from this enumeration for the reason
that they were not available.
  The strategical campaign against Forts Henry and Donel-
son was the first in point of time, and first or second in im-
portance and brilliancy, as it may be viewed by different
students, of all the great campaigns of the Civil War. In my
opinion it ranks first in importance and value. To what
circumstances, at whose suggestion and impulsion it owes its
origin, the relation which Generals McClellan, Halleck, and
Buell bore to it, and its importance as a factor in the war, are
the objects I have in view to present in this paper.
  The impatience of the Administration and the public gen-
erally had nearly reached its limit at the inactivity of our
armies during the fall of 1861. The bulk of this feeling,
swelling at times into wrath and breaking out into words of
distrust, no doubt was concentrated on the person of General
McClellan. Halleck was in fact pretty free from it, for, during
the short time he had been in command of the Department of
the Mlissouiri, the task of straightening out the tangle which
Fremont had created or permitted had been pretty nearly
accomplished, and much progress had been made in solving
the military problem in that state. Elsewhere, save in sending
off the expeditions of Sherman, Butler, and Burnside, inaction
was the rule. General McClellan had been for nearly six
months in Washington, for two months commander-in-chief
of half a million men in arms, and no general plan for the



use of this large force had been made by him, nor any sulg-
gestion of value given to either of his two principal subordi-
nate commanders. He had urged upon Buell the necessity of
occupying East Tennessee, but he only made a feint at such
a movement, and really never intended to enter seriously into
it. It would, at the time, have been a false military move,
though supported by the President with all the earnestness of
a heart touched by the sufferings of a loyal people.
  So disheartening was the situation at the beginning of the
year that the President, McClellan being sick, took the reins
into his own hands, feeling, according to his quaint expression,
"if something were not soon done the bottom would be out
of the whole affair," and wrote to Halleck and Buell advising
them to get together and put their forces into the real work
of the war. There had thus far been no communication between
them, but the letters of the President resulted in an inter-
change of messages and nothing more.
  On the 29th of December Buell wrote to McClellan a long
letter of a familiar type, informing him, among other things,
that Bowling Green had been reinforced. IHe then went on
to tell him that "unless checked by strong demonstrations
and attacks on Columbus and the Tennessee and Cumberland
Rivers, the number can easily be increased to 50,000 or even
60,000 before I can get there. These facts make the co6pera-
tion I have in former letters mentioned as important quite
essential now to any great success. It is quite essential, too,
that the success should be speedly, or otherwise the enemny will
be so strong in West Tennessee and Kentucky from Bowling
Green to Columbus as to increase our work vastly."'
  At this time General Buell had no intention of making
any forward movement for months, and his use of the word
"speedy" must be interpreted in accordance with his now
well-known habits when in command of an army. But Mc-
Clellan, on receipt of this letter, not intending to move him-
                     7 W. R. 520, 521.



self, knowing well the complaints everywhere uttered and
muttered at his apparently interminable delays, -delighted,
perhaps, at the prospect of something that would draw off
the public attention from his own inactivity,-interpreted the
word "ispeedly  as it is commonly understood, and without
making any inquiry of Buell as to the time when his columns
would be on the road, ordered Halleck without a moment's
delay to make the required demonstrations. "As our success in
Kentucky," he says, "i depends in a great measure on our pre-
venting reenforcements from joining Buckner and Johnston,
not a moment's time should be lost in preparing these expedi-
tions." This would indicate that McClellan had no thought
of any movement in that field except one by Buell by land
against Bowling Green.
  Except a considerable aggregation under General Curtis
near the Arkansas border, Halleck's army was divided up into
small detachments and widely scattered. The nearest force
was that of General Grant within what was called the District
of Cairo, consisting of about 14,000 men doing garrison duty
at some five posts along the Ohio River. They were mostly
new troops and were without even brigade organization.
Halleck turned over McClellan's orders to Grant and re-
quested him to carry them out. Grant immediately formed
his infantry into two divisions: one under Smith was sent
to demonstrate against Fort Henry, and the other under
McClernand moved toward Columbus. With great propriety
Grant accompanied McClernand's column.
  There is one sentence in General Grant's letter to Halleck
just before leaving Cairo, which shines out in such marked
contrast with the disheartening complaints and excuses of so
many of our officers during this period, that it is worth quot-
ing: " The continued rains of the last week and more have
rendered the roads extremely bad, and will necessarily make
our movement slow. This, however, will operate worse upon
the enemy, if he should come out to meet us, than upon us."



There was one general always ready to move on receipt of
orders, his troops always equipped and supplied with food,
and plenty of ammunition. The two columns were out for
a week or ten days, during which time a severe storm, with
rain and sleet and snow, came on and made the roads, already
"extremely bad," the worst ever known, causing extreme
discomfort and much suffering. The number of men who
died and were disabled from these useless and inexcusable
demonstrations was equal to the casualties of a sharp battle.
Neither accomplished anything directly, but the indirect re-
sults were of the highest import. So far as accomplishing
what McClellan indicated as the object of these demonstra-
tions, they might as well have been made to the northward
toward Springfield, Illinois, as in the direction they took.
  There was no intention of sending reenforcements from
Columbus to Bowling Green, for the Confederate officers
rightly held that all other positions and places were of sec-
ondary importance to the Mississippi River. General Buell,
in the letter referred to, showed the belief and feeling, com-
mon to many in the early days, that the enemy were focusing
their eyes on him alone, and that, whenever he began to
move, every post would be stripped or abandoned, and all
their forces would be at once concentrated against his own
  It has been said more than once that General Grant had
not the gift of imagination. It is true that lie had not that
kind of imagination that sees an enemy where none exists;
that multiplies by five the number of those who happened to
be in his front; that discovers obstacles impossible to over-
come whenever there is a necessity to act; that sees the road
open and the way clear to victory when the foe is far away
and not threatening; that conjures up, on his near approach,
a multitude of impossible movements being made on the
flanks and to the rear; that sets the brain of a commander
into a whirl of doubt and uncertainty which generally ends



in a hasty retreat or ignominious defeat; but of that higher
type he was more richly endowed than any of his contempo-
raries save Lincoln alone.
  It was not through knowledge gained from books but
through the gift of an historic imagination in part that he
was enabled to see the true character of the great conflict in
which he was engaged, its relation to the past and its bear-
ing on the future; that enabled him to take in at a glance
the whole field of the war, to form a correct opinion of every
suggested and possible strategic campaign, their logical order
and sequence, their relative value and the interdependence
of one upon another; and finally at Appomattox, the moment
Lee let drop his flag, to see that the end had come and the
whole Southland was once more a part of a common country
and her conquered soldiers were again his countrymen.
  It has already been said that the indirect effect of the
movements against Columbus and Fort Henry was of the
highest import; this I will now endeavor to explain.
  Very soon after General Grant was assigned to the com-
mand of the District of Cairo he formed the opinion that the
weak point in the Confederate line was at the Tennessee
River, and that to break it there would result in disaster to
the enemy. With a settled plan in his own mind he sent a
request to Halleck to visit St. Louis for the purpose of laying
it before him. To this letter no reply was ever sent. Hal-
leek, without doubt, at this time put a low estimate on his
abilities and treated him with disrespect, if not with contempt.
During his demonstration against Fort Henry General Smith,
whom Halleck considered as a soldier very highly, went within
two miles of the fort, and having gained a good deal of in-
formation in regard to it and the means of approaching it,
had formed the opinion that it could be taken.
  Grant having his own opinion confirmed, if not strength-
ened, by the judgment of so good a soldier as Smith, and
knowing the value of the use of his name in favor of his own



designs, again asked permission to visit St. Louis, which was
finally granted. During an interview with Halleck he laid
before him his plans, but, being rudely rebuffed, he returned
to Cairo.
   Halleck, however, the next day wrote to Smith requesting
him to give all the information he had gained in regard to
Fort Henry during his demonstration, and, though there is no
record of his reply, there can be no doubt but one was sent.
  This project had taken so strong a hold upon the mind of
Grant that he could not drop it; and in several dispatches
pressed it upon the attention of his commander, and finally
drew on Commodore Foote, who, at his request, wrote Halleck
that the fort could and should be taken. On the first of Feb-
ruary Grant received authority to prepare the expedition. It
is not likely that Grant would have pressed the subject so
persistently upon Halleck but for the concurrence of Smith
in his plan, nor is it likely that Halleck would have given his
consent but for the opinion and information contained in
Smith's reply to him. So it happened that a crowning victory
and the auspicious beginning of a great military career can
be traced back to the use of the word " speedy " in a letter
from Buell to McClellan under date of the 29th of December,
  The next day after receiving his instructions Grant was
steaming up the Tennessee River with his army in transports
behind him. This promptness was the occasion of a curious
protest on the part of one whose slow and methodical mind
had been formed in a bureau where time was not considered,
and details were regarded as the real essence of military life.
  Fort Henry was taken on the 6th, and in making his report
to Halleck Grant informed him that Fort Donelson would be
taken on the 8th, a promise not fulfilled as to the date, but
accomplished eight days later with an enlarged measure of
success that more than compensated for a slight postponement
in time. It is quite certain that the taking and holding of



Fort Henry was all that was originally contemplated. It was
a sudden inspiration, after the landing and the first victory
was gained, that led Grant to extend the campaign and make
conquest of the Cumberland River.
  The cause of the delay was the coming on of a storm of
great severity which caused the river to overflow its banks for
a mile on either side; rendered the roads impassable for the
artillery, and imposed upon the men much labor to save the
ammunition from being spoiled and the supplies from being
injured. It was not until the morning of the 12th that the
army was able to move, but, before night came down, the
enemy had been driven within his works, and our lines were
drawn about them from Hickman's Creek to a point near the
  Information of the fall of Fort Henry was received by
General Johnston with surprise and consternation on the
afternoon of the 6th of February at Bowling Green. lie at
once called Generals Beauregard and Hardee into a confer-
ence. These officers indulged in no illusions, for each realized
the gravity of the situation. General Beauregard wrote out
a report of this conference, sending one copy to Richmond
and leaving another with General Johnston.
  They recognized that the armies of Generals Johnston and
Polk must thereafter act independently, as communication
between the two had been severed, save by a circuit of several
hundred miles, which also might soon be closed. It was
unanimously agreed that Bowling Green should be evacuated
and the army brought back to Nashville; that Columbus
should temporarily be defended by a force of about 3000
men, and other positions on the Mississippi held for the
purpose of retarding as long as possible our progress down
the river. Though not expressed in the report it is to be
inferred that the intention was that Fort Donelson should be
abandoned, for it states the opinion to be that it was no longer
tenable, and provided for the erection of new batteries on



the river a few miles from Nashville. The conference went
so far as to provide for the possible retreat of Johnston to
Stevenson and Polk into Mississippi. These retrograde move-
ments were thought likely to be necessary by reason of the
occupation of Fort Henry alone. That these officers formed
a correct opinion of the military situation and agreed upon a
rational plan of future operations is too clear for discussion.
   After the conference was dissolved it would seem that the
responsibility of giving up so much without a contest, of quit-
ting Kentucky and yielding up the greater part of Tennessee,
preyed upon the mind of General Johnston, deprived him of
the moral courage to carry out its decisions, and led to the
adoption of a compromising middle course that resulted in
  Commencing at once the withdrawal of his troops from
Bowling Green lie sent enough of them to Fort Donelson to
make the garrison number 18,500 effectives, and resolved, as
he expresses it, to make a fight there for the defence of Nash-
ville. His selection of General Floyd for a position of such
importance was bad enough, but his instructions to him, to
save the army if he was not able to hold the fort, were well
calculated to produce irresolution and vacillation at a time
when ldecision and resolute courage were most demanded.
  As General Johnston had concurred with Beauregard and
Hardee in the opinion that earthworks were not able to con-
tend successfully with ironclads, the placing of 18,500 men
in a position where they were sure to be surrounded on the
land, and liable to be cut off from their base by the passing of
the water-batteries by a single gunboat, which was Grant's
plan, and which Commodore Foote ought to have done, in-
stead of holding his fleet for hours within two hundred yards
of the muzzles of the enemy's guns, it would seem that he was
acting not in the line of a prudent and able commander.
Besides, since the loss of Fort Henry, Donelson had ceased
to be of much value, for the two forts had been built prin-



cipally to protect the railroad to Columbus, and that had been
put out of use by the destruction of the great bridge over
the Tennessee.
  In the meantime, Grant, in ignorance of the consternation
which his first success had caused in the Confederate camps,
and the proposed movements of the enemy, was alone prepar-
ing to bring his campaign to a close. There were but two edu-
cated officers in the army under him, General Charles F. Smith
and Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson, who was temporarily
serving on his staff. On the 13th of February his lines were
drawn more closely around the beleaguered garrison and elig-
ible positions secured for his batteries. General McClernand,
vithout the knowledge of his chief, attempted the capture of
a battery, but the assault made by three regiments was not
  On the 14th General Wallace was brought over from Fort
Henrv and a division of two brigades formed for him, consist-
ing of one commanded by General Thayer, and a second com-
posed of reenforcements sent up the Cumberland. He took a
position in the centre, enabling McClernand to move further
to the right. During the afternoon Commodore Foote engaged
the water-batteries, but was unable to silence them. His fleet
was badly damaged; one boat after another drifted out of
range, and all hope of much further assistance from the navy
was gone. Grant at once concluded that he would be com-
pelled to resort to a siege; but this was not to be.
  General Floyd, remembering the injunction of his chief, -
"if he could not hold the fort, to at least save the army,"
- evidently had his mind firmly fixed on the last part of his
instructions, and after consulting with his officers, decided
upon an attempt to break through the right of our lines and
get back to Nashville.
  In the early morning of the 15th, most of his army, bur-
dened with knapsacks and haversacks filled with cooked
rations, was brought to the left near Dover, and, at about




daylight, a vigorous attack was commenced on McClernand's
division with the expectation or hope of driving back our
right to a distance sufficient to uncover the roads leading to
  Though successful in shattering McClernand's division, or
a considerable part of it, the Confederate forces were so
broken up and scattered during the prolonged contest that it
was impossible to continue the battle or withdraw the army.
  It was at the moment when the battle had ceased and the
opposing forces were at a standstill fronting each other, with
a wide interval between the lines, if lines there were, that
Grant arrived from an interview with Commodore Foote on
board the flagship. Seldom, if ever, has so sudden and com-
plete a transformation taken place on a battle-field as his
presence produced. Learning from the men that the Confed-
erate army had come out with knapsacks and rations in their
haversacks, hle instantly divined the object of the enemy and
the character of the hostile assault. To every one else it ap-
peared that the Confederate officers had imposed an unneces-
sary hardship upon their men in ordering them into a battle
burdened in. this way. To him it revealed a plan to escape.
With that intuitive knowledge that men of genius possess, he
saw that the whole of the Donelson army had been massed
upon his right with the object of retreating to Nashville, if a
way could first be opened for them. In this they had failed.
The conclusion was necessary that nothing more than a skir-
mish line had been left behind, and the conclusion was in
accordance with the fact. Giving an order to McClernand
and Wallace to regain their former position, Grant rode in-
stantly - and he always had a fine horse - to the left, and
ordered General Smith to assault the lines on his front. Smith
was an accomplished soldier, and had been a professor at
West Point when Grant was a cadet. He had already dis-
covered that there was something beyond the ordinary in his
former student and was loyal and devoted to him. In a very


short time Smith had formed his division and was leading it
forward. As Grant had divined, there was but a single regi-
ment there to oppose him. Without serious loss, and, with
none of the desperate fighting that has been often described,
the lines were carried and a position gained that completely
commanded the water-batteries and enfiladed the works on
the right. The success gained came none too soon, for the
Confederate commanders, when the attempt to break through
had been defeated, at once ordered the troops to take up again
their positions in their defensive lines, and a delay of five
minutes would have enabled Johnson's division to have filled
them and doubtless held them against Smith's assault. The
greater part of the casualties in Smith's division occurred in
an attempt by Johnson to regain what  alad been lost. The
fort being no longer tenable, General Buckner, who had suc-
ceeded to the command, made an unconditional surrender of
his army the following morning.
  W'e often speak of this or that battle as "' the soldiers'
battle," but Donelson can with every propriety be designated
as Grant's battle. -Many soldiers were engaged in it, but his
genius brought the victory. His quick comprehension of the
whole situation on his return to the field; his divination of
the enemy's plan and object; his clear sight of the empty
lines on the left; his speedy ride to Smith's division and infu-
sion into its commander of that energy and promptness which
the emergency demanded make up a rounded whole of the
comprehensive vision of a battle-field and perfect conduct
of a battle that has never been surpassed. While preparing
this paper I have re-read the accounts of the famous battles
where the credit for victory has been specially awarded to
eminent commanders, and I can find none where the evidence
is so clear in the favor of any as that in favor of Grant at
  Thoug-h the Donelson campaign was Grant's in conception
and execution, yet Halleck, McClellan, and Buell had some



relations with it, and it is not without interest to see how
they viewed it and what each did to make it successful.
From the 5th to the 17th of February more than a hundred
dispatches passed between these three officers, most of which
have been preserved.
  During this period, both in his action and correspondence,
Halleck appears to better advantage than the other two,
though commendation must be so often qualified that the sum
of praise is not very large. From the first he commenced
gathering up and sending forward reinforcements with a zeal
and energy the most commendable. He sent his chief-of-
staff, General Cullum, a capable officer, to Cairo and kept
him there with authority to issue any order in his name that
migrht be helpful, Ile stripped his own department, begged
troops of Hunter from Kansas, and kept the wires trembling
with messages to Buell and McClellan for aid. It can be
said that during ten (lays, from the 6th to the 16th of Feb-
ruary, JIalleck rendered the greatest service to the country
that can be credited to him during the war by remaining in
his office in St. Louis and extending a helping hand to Grant.
It in no Rxay detracts from this that possibly the victory
might have been won with less aid.
  The strategical field into which Grant had boldly entered
with 15,000 raw troops, with only one educated soldier under
him with a command, could as well be studied and under-
stood in Washington from a map as on the ground itself.
It was the first important movement on a large scale of the
new year and the duty of every one in a position to aid, to do
all possible to make it successful, is too plain even to men-
tion. In this connection it should be remembered that the
President had written a private letter to both Buell and
ilalleck urging them to cooperate and put their forces into
activity. In a dispatch dated the 5th of February, Halleck
informed McClellan that it was reported that 10,000 men
had left Bowling Green to reenforce Fort Henry, and in



another on the 6th that the fort had been heavily reenforced
from both Columbus and Bowling Green, asking him in the
former for troops from Ohio, and, in the second, telling
him that unless he got some assistance Grant might not be
successful. Remembering the order the Commander of the
Army sent to Halleck, not to lose a moment in preparing
demonstrations against Columbus and Fort Henry, on the
receipt of a letter from Buell of the 29th of December, it is
surprising to learn, now that a campaign was really com-
menced and our army in the very presence of the enemy,
where success was of vital importance in a military sense as
well as for its moral effect on the country, that McClellan, after
the receipt of the first dispatch, sent 8000 men from Ohio and
Indiana to report to Buell,' and replied to the second that
he could not spare troops from Buell, who was then at Louis-
ville with 60,000 well-trained men, and unable to move, as
McClellan well knew. Instead of ordering reinforcements he
sent a telegram to Buell asking him " If report true "- that
10,000 men had been sent from Bowling Green to Fort
Henry - "can you not assist by a demonstration in direction
of Bowling Green" 2 This would seem to put the burden
upon Buell of ascertaining the truth of the report, before
beginning the demonstration, and as his troops were nearly
two hundred miles from Fort Henry and more than fifty from
Bowling Green, the value of this suggestion can very readily
be estimated.
  Buell understood fully the importance of Grant's strategic
campaign and foresaw the effect it would have, if successful,
upon the Confederate position.3 His attitude towards it can
be explained by inference, but on no rational principle. On
the 5th of February he wrote to Halleck: " I think it quite
plain that the centre of the enemy's line - that part you
are now moving against -is the decisive point of his whole
front, as it is also the most vulnerable. If it is held, or

l 7 W.R. 584.

2 7 W. R. 584.

,3 7 W. R. 936.



even the bridges on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers
destroyed and your force maintains itself at those points,
Bowling Green will speedily fall and Columbus will soon
follow. . . . There is not in the whole field of operations