“I have just returned from Pittsburg. The roads back are next to impassible for artillery or baggage wagons.”

Mar 21 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “I have just returned from Pittsburg.  The roads back are next to impassible for artillery or baggage wagons.  I have certain information that the thirteen trains of cars arrived at Corinth on the 19th with twenty cars to each train, all loaded with troops.  This would indicate that Corinth cannot be taken without a general engagement, which from your instructions is to be avoided.  This taken in connection with the impassible state of the roads, has determined me not to move for the present without further orders.

“The temper of the rebel troops is such that there is but little doubt that Corinth will fall much more easily than Donelson did, when we do move.  All accounts agree in saying that the great mass of the Rank and file are heartily tired.  One thing I learn however is against us.  Most of the impressed troops from this state are being sent to the Sea coast and older soldiers brought from there.

“I do not think as yet any steps are being taken to interfere with the navigation of the river.  Bands of Cavalry are prowling all over West Ten, collecting men who have been drafted into the service and such supplies as they can get.  Some nine or ten men made their escape from the Cars at Bethel and came in here yesterday.  From them I learn there are about 400 men at Union City; Two regiments of infantry and probably some Cavalry at various points on the road.  Paris and Bethel are deserted.  They think the force at Union City is anxious to be captured.  I have just learned today that your dispatches to me, after the taking of Fort Donelson, reach Fort Henry, some of them at least, but were never sent to me.  What has become of the operator at Henry, I don’t know.  At present a soldier detailed from the ranks, is filling the station.  I have received no Mail matter from below for several days though boats are arriving constantly.  My returns for the 20th will be ready to mail tomorrow.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 400-1

O.R., I, x, part 2, 55-56

Comments are closed.