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  1. As we know, Grant’s Army of West Tennessee consisted of six divisions at the commencement of Battle of Shiloh. Few consider how those six divisions developed: First Division. After experience with a variety of brigade-sized organizations, Brigadier General Grant reported to Cairo in September 1861, and almost immediately took a handful of infantry regiments and artillery to Paducah (which formed the nucleus of the Second Division.) What remained behind at Cairo, coupled with elements of John McClernand’s brigade, and other units that found themselves at Bird’s Point and Fort Holt, became the First Division. Initially taking command of this division, himself, Ulysses S. Grant, after Battle of Belmont provided all possible assistance to BGen McClernand, for that officer to act as commander of the First Division. And the turnover of command took place by 2 FEB 1862 (prior to that time, John McClernand was commander of Post of Cairo and commander of 1st Brigade.) And General Grant exercised overall command against Belmont as Commander, District of SE Missouri; and against Fort Henry as Commander, District of Cairo. Second Division. A loose collection of infantry, artillery and company-sized units of United States Cavalry gravitated towards Paducah; and under leadership of Charles Ferguson Smith, former Commandant at West Point and Mexican War veteran, acting as Commander, Post of Paducah, these units were moulded quickly into what became the Second Division (by the time of Belmont, at least two brigade-sized organizations had been organized, one of which conducted a demonstration to the east of Fort Columbus, commanded by Eleazer Paine.) Lew Wallace, who had arrived at Paducah mid-August, was promoted to Brigadier General and took command of the 2nd Brigade before the end of October 1861. And John McArthur replaced the out-of-favor Paine, in command of 1st Brigade. Third Division. Following success at Forts Henry and Heiman, Grant’s Army of Cairo marched east to envelope Fort Donelson; and General Lew Wallace’s brigade (and other spare troops) were left behind on the Tennessee River to garrison the captured prizes. After a few days, Lew Wallace and most of his force was called east to join the Campaign at Fort Donelson; and upon arrival BGen Wallace was given command of the new Third Division (losing his own brigade to Smith’s Second Division) but gaining Cruft’s Brigade (former 13th Brigade, Buell’s Army of the Ohio) and enough new-arrived units to form a brigade under Colonel John Thayer of Nebraska. The Third Division provided valuable service, in time to stifle the breakout attempt, which helped result in the Confederate surrender on 16 FEB 1862. Fourth Division. Brigadier General Stephen Hurlbut completed “drying out” at Benton Barracks and was sent to join General Grant at Fort Donelson… but arrived a day or two after the Rebels surrendered. Initially given minor tasks to perform on Grant’s behalf, on 21 FEB 1862 IAW General Orders No.7 BGen Hurlbut was issued command of a complete, three-brigade Division (Fourth Division); possibly the quickest generation of a full division (under four days.) In addition, during Grant’s occasional absences from Fort Donelson (to visit Clarksville and Nashville) Stephen Hurlbut was given acting-Command of Fort Donelson. Next Division. When William Tecumseh Sherman arrived at Paducah from Benton Barracks in February 1862, he was tasked with forwarding on troops to Grant’s Fort Donelson operation and given authority (from Major General Halleck) to “siphon off” spare troops, in order to create his own division (which Brigadier General Sherman called “First” Division [OR 7 page 595]. By early March enough force had been withheld at Paducah to justify title of Sherman’s Division; and that division was ready to deploy south, up the Tennessee River, in support of BGen Smith’s campaign against Confederate railroads (after Grant’s suspension from field command.) The units assigned to what ultimately became recognized as the Fifth Division were adjusted continually through March and April, especially cavalry and artillery assignments. References: Sherman’s Memoirs page 249 (Orders of 13 FEB 1862) and page 253 (taking units for own division at Paducah). Papers of USG vol.4 page 236 (Hurlbut arrives Fort Donelson) page 241, 252, 254, 276 (note.) Lew Wallace Autobiography OR 3 and OR 7
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