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Major General Grant had only just returned to Fort Donelson (from Nashville, late on February 28th), when he received:

Orders to Shiloh (3).jpg [from Sherman's Memoirs, page 224.]

A bit tongue-in-cheek, because there were no orders to Shiloh; and the above directive to MGen U.S. Grant (a telegram sent from Halleck at St. Louis on March 1st 1862) does not contain an "Orders Number."  Yet, this is the communication that started it all, and it reads more as "a collection of thoughts," than an actual set of orders (perhaps sent to alert General Grant to what General Halleck intended Grant to do next -- a sort of "pre-orders orders" -- which may be why the telegram does not contain an Orders Number.)

The March 1st "directive" could not have come at a worse time: Sherman, in his Memoirs (page 224) indicates that, "the telegraph line was rickety" and may have resulted in a February 25th telegram from Halleck not being received. [The 25 FEB 1862 telegram directed General Grant to move across from Fort Donelson to Fort Henry and establish his HQ ...(notice where the March 1st telegram is sent to).]

General Halleck was in process of the delicate negotiation to expand his Department (and absorb Don Carlos Buell into that new Department; while remaining on cordial terms with Buell.) [If Buell complained or raised a fuss (as he did about "Rebel wounded from Fort Donelson being dumped in his hospitals"), or suddenly decided to "take care of that pesky East Tennessee Problem that President Lincoln so urgently desired," it could have upset Halleck's Grand Plan.]

Shortly after sending the telegram of March 1st, General Halleck discovered, "something unusual had taken place at Nashville." First came word that C.F. Smith had gone over there [and Halleck ordered him back.] Then, Halleck learned that U.S. Grant, himself, had gone over there -- to Nashville -- and General Halleck knew that he had sent a directive (via what Halleck considered to be a reliable telegraph line) on February 25th, ordering Grant to set up HQ at Fort Henry. Soon as Grant's unauthorized visit to Nashville became apparent, the ball was set in motion for Grant "to set up those HQ at Fort Henry, and stay there." And  C.F. Smith (also mentioned in the March 1st telegram) was directed to take command of the Tennessee River Expedition.

Provided for a bit of clarity...

Ozzy

Referenceshttp://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002009162026;view=1up;seq=230  Sherman's Memoirs

N.B.  The 1 MAR 1862 telegram, Halleck to Grant, is also to be found OR 7 page 674 and Papers of US Grant, vol.4, page 310 (note at bottom of page.)

"Danville" was the site of the MC & L Railroad Bridge, a few miles south of Fort Henry, destroyed by Curtis Horse Federal cavalry in February 1862.

 

 

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