Ulysses S. GrantÕs Original Notification to Union Headquarters That He Has Arrived at Fort Donelson (ÒAll is well hereÓ) and Is Facing the Powerful Forces of Confederate Generals Johnson, Buckner, Floyd and Pillow

Ulysses S. Grant

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His victory in this battle gave the North its first important victory, made GrantÕs career, and provided the maritime road that opened the Deep South to Union invasionAs 1862 opened, the war was not going well for the Union. In the east, Bull Run had been a disaster and led to the shake-up of command, with no results yet to show for it. In the west, the loss at WilsonÕs Creek gave the Confederates the upper hand. The Federal armies in the west then turned their attention to implementation of the Anaconda Plan - to cut the Confederacy in half by securing the Mississippi River from St. Louis all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, and clearing a maritime invasion route into the heart of the Confederacy by taking the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, which lay just to the east of the Mississippi. If successful, these maneuvers would cut Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana off from the main body of the South, hold Kentucky and Missouri firmly in the Union, and make it difficult for Tennessee to cooperate with her sister states. The first moves would be to take and hold commanding locations north on the Tennessee and Cumberland, and command of the operation was given to Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, an obscure and largely unproven leader. On February 6, 1862, Fort Henry, commanding the Tennessee River, was captured by GrantÕs forces. It had a poor defensive position, and was reduced mainly by the bombardment of gunboats on the river. Nonetheless, its fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping past the Alabama border, and provided a real victory for Union arms. Grant next focused his attention on Fort Donelson, eleven miles away on the more strategically important Cumberland River. This fort had a much stronger physical position, and the Confederates had placed some 20,000 men and a number of senior commanders on site to engage in its defense. They were not about to concede the fort, and they were ready and waiting for Grant. Grant arrived at Fort Donelson late on February 12 and on the 13th established his headquarters near the left side of the front of the line. That day was spent in battle preparation, with a few small probing attacks being carried out against the Confederate defenses.Col. Absalom Markland became a personal friend of GrantÕs when they were in their early teens. While Grant began a career in the U.S. military, Markland studied law and became a government official in the Office of Indian Affairs. During the presidential campaign of 1860 he supported Abraham Lincoln who, after his election, appointed Markland a special agent in the Post Office Department. When the war broke out, Markland was assigned to assist Grant, who used him not merely to manage and improve mail delivery to his armies, but more importantly as a trusted courier carrying letters and messages between Grant, headquarters, President Lincoln, and other generals. Markland was with Grant on this campaign, and a few miles away at Fort Henry.Autograph Letter Signed, in pencil, with the address panel on verso directing it initially to "Mr. Markland / Special Mail Agt. / Fort Henry / Tenn.", February 13, 1862, addressed ultimately to GrantÕs senior in command at "Head QuartersÓ, Gen. Henry Halleck, though sent in care of Markland in his role as courier, informing Halleck (and of course indirectly, Lincoln) that he had arrived at Fort Donelson and naming the Confederate generals his men were up against. ÒSend the mail steamer as soon as possible after receiving this. All is well here but we have a powerful force [in front of us]. Johnson, Buckner, Floyd and Pillow are all said to be here. U.S. Grant." After the war, Markland showed Grant this letter and Grant noted on it: "This was written from the front of Fort Donelson the 13th or 14th of Feby/62. After the words 'powerful force' the words 'in front of us' should have followed. U.S. Grant General May 3rd 1867". The battle was severe, with nearly 1,000 soldiers on both sides killed and about 3,000 w. N° de ref. de la librería

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Título: Ulysses S. GrantÕs Original Notification to ...

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