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and Buell, Jan. 29,
CHAP. VII. the direct proposal: “ With permission, I will take to Halleck, Fort Henry, on the Tennessee, and establish and 1862. w.'R. hold a large camp there.” It would appear that no
immediate answer was returned, for on the following day Grant renewed his proposition with more emphasis.
It is easy to perceive what produced a change in Halleck's mind. Grant's persistent urging was evidently the main influence, but two other events contributed essentially to the result. The first was the important victory gained by Thomas at Mill Springs in Eastern Kentucky on January 19, the certain news of which was probably just reach
ing him; the second was a telegram from WashingMcClellan ton, informing him that General Beauregard, with to Halleck fifteen regiments from the Confederate army in Vir1862. W. r. ginia, was being sent to Kentucky to be added to
Johnston's army. “I was not ready to move,” ex
plains Halleck afterwards, “but deemed best to anpp. 587,593. ticipate the arrival of Beauregard's forces." It is
well also to remember in this connection that, three days before, President Lincoln's General War Order No. 1 had been published, ordering a general movement of all the armies of the Union on the coming 22d of February. Whatever induced it, the permission now given was full and hearty. “Make your
preparations to take and hold Fort Henry,” Hal1962. W. r. leck telegraphed to Grant on the 30th of January;
“I will send you written instructions by mail.”
Grant and Foote had probably already begun their preparation. Receiving Halleck's instructions on February 1, Grant on the following day started his expedition of fifteen thousand men on transports, and Foote, on the 4th, accompanied him
Grant, Jan, 30, Vol. VII.,
nand, Report, Feb. 10,
with seven gunboats for convoy and attack. Their CHAP. VII. plan contemplated a bombardment by the fleet from the river, and assault on the land side by the troops. For this purpose General McClernand, with a division, was landed four miles below the fort on February 4. They made a reconnaissance on the 5th, and, being joined by another division under General Smith, were ordered forward to invest the fort on the 6th. This required a circuitous march of eight Meclermiles, during which the gunboats of Flag-officer Foote, having less than half the distance to go by 1862. W.'R. the river, moved on and began the bombardment. pp. 126-130. The capture proved easier than was anticipated. General Lloyd Tilghman, the Confederate commander of the fort, had, early that morning, sent away his three thousand infantry to Fort Donelson, being convinced that he was beset by an overpowering force. He kept only one company of artillerists to work the eleven river guns of the fort; with these he defended the work about two hours, but without avail. Foote's four iron-plated gunboats steamed up boldly within six hundred yards. The bombardment, though short, was well sustained on both sides, and not without its fluctuating chances. Two of the heaviest guns in the fort were soon silenced, one bursting, and the other being rendered useless by an accident with the priming wire. At this point, a rebel shot passed through the casemate and boiler of the gunboat Essex, and she drifted helplessly out of the fight. But the remaining gunboats continued their close and fierce attack, and five more of the rebel guns being speedily disabled, General Tilghman hauled down his flag and went on board to surrender the fort. Mc
CHAP. VII. Clernand's troops, from the land side, soon after
entered the work and took formal possession. On the same day Grant telegraphed to Halleck, “Fort
Henry is ours"; and his dispatch bore yet anto Halleck, other significant announcement eminently char
acteristic of the man, “I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th."
Feb. 6, 1862.
W. R. Vol. VII.,
CAMERON AND STANTON
HEN the men of the South plotted secession Chap. VIII.
and declared war to perpetuate and extend slavery, they little dreamed what a sure and relentless agency for its destruction they set in motion. It has been related how hostilities opened with
April 23, Butler's offer to suppress a slave rising in Maryland, and how from some of the earlier camps fugitives were returned to their owners; also how in a few months the practice of the army changed to giving them wholesale shelter and employment, and to enforcing the confiscation act of Congress which broke the legal bondage of those whom the rebels employed in hostile military service. The unavoidable processes of war soon moved the question forward another step. If the army undertook to employ negroes in military work at exposed points, must it not protect them, and, as a necessary consequence, must it not permit them to protect themselves and furnish them weapons for defense ? This question became important when the sea-coast expeditions were organized, particularly in the one destined for Port Royal, where a district with a largely preponderant slave population was to be attacked. Friendly blacks in great numbers would be sure to
CHAP. VIII. flock to the Union lines, and, the climate being
extremely unhealthy for Northern troops, it was desirable to employ them for labor and fatigue duty whenever possible. The Government could not do otherwise than give the commander permission to use every military advantage which might present itself.
In drawing up instructions on this point, the Assistant Secretary of War, after referring to prior orders, continued: “Special directions adapted to special circumstances cannot be given. Much must be referred to your own discretion as commanding general of the expedition. You will, however, in general, avail yourself of the services of any persons, whether fugitives from labor or not, who may offer them to the National Government. You will employ such persons in such service as they may be fitted for - either as ordinary employés, or, if special circumstances seem to require it, in any
other capacity, with such organization (in squads, W.'R. companies, or otherwise) as you may deem most
beneficial to the service.” When this instruction was read to President Lincoln, he foresaw that the latitude it gave might cause a terrible outcry of malicious criticism, and he therefore interlined with his own hand the following qualifying sentence: “This, however, not to mean a general arming of them for military service.”
If any political design lay hidden within the original phraseology of the instruction as it came from the War Department, it escaped notice or comment, because it represented the actual requirements of the moment in all save the cautionary
limit which Mr. Lincoln's amendment supplied.
T. A. Scott
to T. W. Sherman,
Oct, 14, 1861. Vol. VI., p. 176.
I.N. Arnold, “Lincoln