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The gunboats silenced the batteries before the investment was completed. I shall take and destroy Ft. Donelson on the 8th and return to Ft. Henry."

Here was evidence of confidence and action which had greater significance than the simple movement and proposition involved. The war had thus far given no substantial victory. It had brought forth no orderly plan and no man of grasp and genius. The people were dissatisfied and despondent. They were praying for a way out of the wilderness and wondering whether such way would ever be found. Grant's capture of Ft. Henry looked like business. His proposition to move on Donelson savored of the heroic. There would soon be applause, or else a deeper midnight.

In anticipation of a movement on Donelson, the Confederate General Pillow assumed command on the 9th, and began to make herculean effort for the coming struggle. Tilghman's force had already arrived from Ft. Henry. Floyd was sent with his command from Russelville. General Johnston at Bowling Green decided to fight the battle for Nashville and Middle Tennessee at Donelson. He drew all the force he dared from in front of Buell and sent it to Donelson.

Grant was equally active. He had not even been congratulated by Halleck for his work at Ft. Henry, though the design of the enterprise was undoubtedly his. He had been ordered to strengthen and hold Ft. Henry at all hazards, and if he moved at all to move cautiously. But disdaining slight and not being out on a pick and shovel campaign, he pushed his cavalry toward Donelson to feel the situation. It was a strong place," the strongest in that theatre of operation." Everything that military skill and engineering could do for it had been done. To repel attack, the natural position was formidable, and all the appliances of the science of war had been added.

On the 8th all the infantry and cavalry on the east bank of the Tennessee were notified to be prepared to move with two

days' rations, and "without incumbrance." Baggage and artillery could not be moved owing to the condition of the roads. The water rose higher and locked his forces in. A delay of several days occurred. It was not lost time, for it gave reinforcements opportunity to come up. They came from Buell, and from Hunter, in Kansas. Not a word from Halleck as yet in favor of the movement, but full instructions how to fortify and hold Ft. Henry, with promise of reinforcements. Grant saw that every day lost with shovel and pick at Ft. Henry was giving the Confederates an opportunity to strengthen Ft. Donelson.

He urged Com. Foote to send a fleet of gunboats up the Cumberland river to co-operate with him in the attack. "Start as soon as you like," was the reply; "I will be ready to co-operate at any moment." On the 11th Foote started with his fleet from Cairo. Six regiments of troops were sent by the same route, which were to follow the gunboats, land below the fort and establish a base of supplies.

On the same day (11th) McClernand moved out four miles on the two roads toward Donelson. On the 12th, fifteen thousand men left Ft. Henry and marched in the same direction, leaving two thousand five hundred behind as a garrison. Only eight light batteries were taken along. Tents and baggage were left behind. There were few wagons and no rations save only those in haversacks, all supplies having been ordered direct from Cairo to the Cumberland.

The foremost brigade was ordered to move direct on Donelson by the telegraph road, and to halt within two miles of the fort. The other brigades were to move by the Dover road, Dover being two miles south of the fort on the river. There was no obstacle to the march. The distance being only twelve miles, the troops were on the ground around the fort by noon, but without orders. "The necessary orders will be given on the field," was Grant's word as to details.

Ft. Donelson was on the west bank of the Cumberland, on a rugged and timbered ridge overlooking the river. It commanded both river and country. On the water front, in sunken batteries, were ten thirty-two pounders, one ten-inch Columbiad, and one heavy-rifled gun. On the land side were continuous main and inner lines of breastworks for over two miles, covered with abattis. Both flanks of these lines rested on creeks, the banks of which were overflowed by back-water from the Cumberland. Outside of all was a line of rifletrenches, extending to the town of Dover. Inside the fort were twenty-six regiments of infanty, two independent battalions and Forest's cavalry, numbering in all twenty-three thousand muskets and sixty-five guns, seventeen of which were heavy, the rest field-pieces.

Pillow had succeeded Buckner on the 10th. On the 13th Floyd succeeded Pillow, though all remained to prepare for the impending conflict. On the 12th Grant's advance encountered the Confederate pickets and drove them in. His first line was formed in open field opposite the enemy's centre. He threw up no entrenchments. "I hope to avoid the necessity of doing so with the aid of the gunboats," was his language. By night his lines ran from Hickman Creek to Dover, and the investment was complete. When the siege began General C. F. Smith held the left and McClernand the right.

As yet there was no appearance of the gunboats. The 13th was spent in reconnoitering and securing better positions. There was skirmishing, but no attack by the Confederates, though many men fell, the Federal losses being estimated at three hundred killed and wounded the first two days. No gunboats yet. The night grew cold and the men suffered greatly. All were obliged to bivouac in line of battle with arms in hand. No fires could be built, on account of the number and closeness of the enemy's pickets. Provisions were scarce. By morning a driving hail and snow storm had

set in. Many on both sides were frozen. Picket firing never ceased. The groans of the wounded between lines, freezing and athirst, filled the night with horror. Grant found his force weaker than the enemy's, and those he had left at Ft. Henry were sent for. Where was Foote with the gunboats? Through the gray mists of Friday morning, the 14th, Commodore Foote appeared with his fleet of turtle backs, as the gunboats were called. The reinforcements from Ft. Henry were coming in. Those commanded by General Lew Wallace were at once put in line. McArthur's brigade of Smith's division was on the extreme right. In the centre were forced the reinforcements which had come up the river with the boats. These dispositions were effected by noon of the 14th.

Grant, who had received no word from Halleck except to dig and shovel at Ft. Henry, sent a dispatch dated "In the Field near Ft. Donelson." It read :

"We will soon want ammunition for our ten and twentypound Parrott guns. Already require it for the twenty-fourpound howitzers. I have directed my ordnance officer to keep a constant watch upon the supply of ammunition, and to take steps in time to avoid a deficiency."

A reply came from General Cullum at Cairo: "The ammunition you want is not here, and scarcely any ordnance;" but he added, encouragingly, "You are on the great strategic line." This was the first favorable word Grant had received from headquarters or near it.

It may be asked why therefore was Grant moving? Was he not assuming responsibilities in spite of the department commander? He was moving inspirationally, yet in obedience to orders from a higher source. As early as January 27th, President Lincoln, through and at the instance of Secretary of War Stanton, had sent out word for "a general movement of the land and naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces on the 22d of February," Washington's

birthday. This was to break the impending gloom and inspirit the nation, which had become sick with waiting and discomfiture. Grant interpreted this order as meaning that he need not wait till the 22d.

At 3 P. M. of the 14th, Foote steamed into position, and opened fire at close range on the Confederate works with six gunboats, four of which were ironclad. Their batteries replied with telling effect. Still the ironclads advanced. They came within four hundred yards, and the action was close and hot for an hour and a half. The enemy's guns being elevated and having commanding sweep, they crippled the gunboats so that they had to haul off, with a loss of fifty-four men killed and wounded, among the latter being Commodore Foote and several officers.

Where were the land forces? Skirmishing all day, except McClernand's, which had gotten into a hard fight on the right, though without orders. Grant intended to make a general attack only in case the gunboats succeeded in silencing the Confederate batteries. As this failed he wrote: "Appearances now are that we shall have a protracted siege here. . . . I fear the result of attempting to carry the place by storm with new troops. I feel great confidence, however, of ultimately reducing the place." The losses up to this time had not exceeded three hundred and fifty killed and wounded.

There was another night of intense cold and suffering. The Confederates were in spirits because they had beaten off the gunboat attack. The Federal forces were depressed, but the idea had not entered General Grant's mind that he had lost the day. In the words of Oglesby, " he had gone there to take the fort and intended to stay till he did it."

At 2 A. M. of the 15th, Commodore Foote sent for Grant. He went aboard the flag-ship, and Foote told him he was compelled to put back to Cairo for repairs. He urged Grant to keep quiet till he could return. But reinforcements were

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