Chapter IV: 
The Tennessee River Campaign



by C. Kay Larson

Foreword by
James S. Wheeler
Professor of History (retired)
U. S. Military Academy


About Great Necessities:

Anna Ella Carroll, the daughter of Gov. Thomas King Carroll of Maryland, broke all the rules for a Southern lady of the Civil War era. Carroll was a leader of the American (Know-Nothing) Party during the 1850s, establishing nationwide press and political contacts. During the secession crisis in the spring of 1861, she assisted Gov. Thomas H. Hicks and the Lincoln administration in keeping her state loyal, publishing and distributing able political/constitutional tracts in Washington and Maryland.

In 1861-62, she played a decisive role in the formulation of the Tennessee River military campaign in which Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, and Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, USN, commanded joint operations that resulted in the capture of Confederate Forts Henry and Donelson.  As William T. Sherman wrote, these constituted the "first real" victories for Union forces. Carroll also did staff work for Lincoln on colonization and wrote essays on the rights of freedmen.

As the only female member of Pres. Abraham Lincoln's "kitchen cabinet," Anna Ella Carroll was the most important woman involved in electoral politics in the nineteenth century, yet she is little known. She operated at the highest levels of politics and government for more than twenty-five years and contributed to democracy's survival. As Linda Grant De Pauw, Ph.D., author of Battlecries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present, has written, "Anna Ella Carroll was unique in her active participation in mainstream politics in the United States many decades before women were enfranchised. Great Necessities fills a gap in the historical literature and should be part of all Civil War and women's history collections."

This NYMAS full text resource has been made available with the permission of the publisher, Xlibris Corporation, a division of Random House, Philadelphia, Pa. Copyright: C. Kay Larson 2004. Not to be reproduced without permission.

[Great Necessities: The Life, Times, and Writings of Anna Ella Carroll, 18151894. Phila.:, 2004. 693 pp., illustr., appendix (reprinted political columns/pamphlets, ca. 200 pp.), biblio., index. Go to: Review copies available at 888-795-4274, ext. 477.]

Author: C. Kay Larson ( is a member of the board of NYMAS. In 1995, she published the only military history of women in World War II: 'Til I Come Marching Home: A Brief History of American Women in World War II. Pasadena, Md.: Minerva Press (an expanded edition is in production). She also has published two "Bonny Yank and Ginny Reb" articles on women in nontraditional roles in the Civil War (MINERVA: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military, Spring 1990/Summer 1992). In 2005 for NYMAS, she prepared (with Bob Rowen) and wrote the introduction of Women's War Work, 1916, edited by Lady Randolph (Jennie Jerome) Churchill, a compendium of accounts of women on the home front and in battle during World War I, throughout Europe, America, and the Commonwealth nations.



Kay Larson's insightful account of the contributions made to our nation by Anna Ella Carroll redresses a major inequity in the historiography of nineteenth-century America. Carroll played an important role in Maryland politics and was instrumental in efforts to keep that state in the Union in 1861.  As a major force in Maryland politics, Carroll was a close confidante of that state's leading politicians.  She also played a crucial role in the development of Federal military strategy in late 1861, and this is the part of her life that is so very often ignored by most American historians.

Larson's interest in Anna Ella Carroll stems from multiple sources, to include gender, religious affiliation, and Civil War curiosity. Larson has conducted thorough research in available political and military archives in her efforts to understand fully Carroll's place in American history and to determine why Carroll's important political and military efforts have been ignored or often underestimated.  Larson's account of Carroll's contributions makes for riveting reading and will certainly affect the way historians and the public understand American political and military history.

Anna Carroll was involved in Maryland politics for over twenty-five years. She was an influential member of the Know-Nothing Party and a firm advocate of the unionist cause in the 1850s. Through her letters to the major political figures in Maryland, Carroll helped keep the state within the Union.  During the Civil War, she wrote well-informed pamphlets concerning the issues involved in the war, thereby helping to sway Maryland public opinion in a manner favorable to Lincoln's Administration and the Federal war effort.  These contributions alone make her a major figure in our history.

Perhaps more surprising to most students of history and historians is the role that Kay Larson indicates Anna Carroll played in the development of Federal military strategy in 1861-62.  In 1861, a critical part of the Federal struggle was to keep the border states of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri in the Union, and to develop a military strategy that would lead to the defeat of the Confederacy.  Gen. Winfield Scott, Commanding General of the United States Army, developed what is known as the Anaconda Strategy to defeat the Southern rebellion. This strategy called for the encirclement of the Confederacy by Federal naval and army forces. The land component of that strategy was for Union forces to drive down the Mississippi River, cut the Confederacy in two, and open the river to the shipment of agricultural products from the Northwestern states of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana to ocean commerce at New Orleans.

The concept was sound, but the idea to make the main thrust in the West down the Mississippi River was misguided.  Anna Carroll, while on a visit to St. Louis, Missouri, in mid-1861 came to the conclusion that the Mississippi was not the proper route for Federal fleets and armies to follow.  She determined this after being informed by a river pilot that the Mississippi often was unsuitable for the passage of ironclad warships and that the Confederates could easily interdict such an advance with strong fortifications overlooking the river at places such as Vicksburg. Carroll evaluated this intelligence and decided that the proper strategy in the West should rely on a thrust southward, up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.  These rivers, she learned, were suitable for the passage of large ironclads and supply ships the year round. And they were much more difficult for the Confederates to defend than was the Mississippi. This avenue of advance also would allow the Union to interdict Confederate west-east railroads at Chattanooga and further south.

Anna Carroll acted on her new-found insights and wrote a letter to Asst. Secty. of War Thomas Scott, whom she had met earlier in Washington, D.C.  She related to Scott the intelligence she had gathered about the rivers and outlined to him the modification of the Anaconda plan. Secretary Scott was immediately impressed with her ideas and relayed them to President Lincoln. According to Larson, Lincoln, who was already frustrated with the lack of strategic insight and innovation displayed by senior army leaders such as McClellan, adopted Carroll's plan and looked for a suitable secretary of war to oversee its implementation.  Edwin Stanton, who also had been informed of, and impressed with the Carroll plan, was the man Lincoln found.  According to Larson, he was willing and able to force senior army leaders to concentrate the main effort in the West to the Tennessee-Cumberland Rivers, rather than to dissipate Union strength on the Mississippi avenue.

Stanton was confirmed as secretary of war on 15 January 1862, three weeks before Ulysses Grant and Admiral Foote captured the Confederate Forts Henry and Donelson, on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, respectively. This thrust, Larson maintains, was a direct result of Lincoln's faith in Carroll's plan, and that Stanton was appointed largely because of his belief in the plan.

There is no question about the fact that the drive up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers split the Confederacy and made rebel positions on the Mississippi untenable.  It also secured Kentucky and much of Tennessee for the Union and allowed Federal forces to cut major Confederate rail lines to the West.

Larson's discussion of how Carroll affected American politics and strategy is a major contribution to our understanding of the Civil War.  It is also a major addition to the study of women in American history.  Larson properly criticizes military and political historians for ignoring Carroll's roles, and for their omission of the role women played in mid-nineteenth- century American politics and war. This fine book is an important contribution to a more balanced understanding of our history.

James S. Wheeler
Professor of History (retired)
United States Military Academy



Chapter IV

The Tennessee River Campaign


The great story of the opening of the Mississippi is but the most striking illustration of an action that was going on incessantly all over the South. At every breach of the sea frontier, war-ships were entering. The streams that had carried the wealth and supported the trade of the seceding States turned against them, and admitted their enemies to their hearts. Dismay, insecurity, paralysis prevailed in regions that might, under happier auspices, have kept a nation alive through the most exhausting war. Never did sea power play a greater or a more decisive part than in this contest which determined that the course of the world's history would be modified by the existence of one great nation, instead of several rival states, in the North American continent.

-- Alfred Thayer Mahan,

The Influence of Sea Power on History, 1660-1783


By September of 1861, the threat of secession in Maryland had been successfully thwarted with the arrest of the secessionist members of the state legislature and the partial military occupation of the state. Thus, Anna Ella Carroll could turn her attention to another facet of the Lincoln Administration's war effort: the plans for military operations in the West.

In the early fall, Anna Ella Carroll advised Asst. Secty. of War Thomas A. Scott that she was planning to visit relatives in St. Louis for the purpose of familiarizing herself with the local military situation and to do research on her second war powers paper. "He urged me to go, asking me to write him fully of every point and fact investigated." En route she visited various military encampments including Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's in Louisville, Kentucky. Carroll wrote of her trip, "I had a cordial welcome at all the military camps from most in command."

Once in St. Louis, Carroll met Lemuel Evans, a Unionist from Texas, essentially in exile because of the war. Evans had been elected a Know-Nothing Congressman from east Texas in 1855 and attended the national convention in Philadelphia in 1856 where he and Carroll first may have met. He had originally been sent West by Secretary of State Seward as a secret government agent seeking to return to Texas, but had not left yet due to military conditions in the Southwest. While in the city he was also engaged in writing. Evans and Carroll saw each other almost daily and frequently discussed the military situation in that department. 1.

The military situation at that time was not encouraging for Union folk residing in either the East or the West. Due to political pressure and over the objections of General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, President Lincoln had pressed his military commanders for a battle in July of 1861. The result was the first Battle of Bull Run which was both a military and psychological defeat for the Union. By December, Union naval forces occupied parts of the Carolina coast; Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and his mostly German-American troops from St. Louis had secured the state of Missouri for the federals, having chased the pro-Southern governor and his troops into its southwest corner. Otherwise, prospects for a significant defeat of Confederate forces or a major advance into their territory looked dim throughout the fall and early winter.

In November, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took over command of the Union armies from the retiring General Scott. Since the summer of 1861, Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont, the Pathfinder of the West, had been in charge of the armies there, from his headquarters located in St. Louis. Because of a lack of military successes, rumors of corruption, and some impolitic deeds, Lincoln replaced Fremont with Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck in November. Halleck's reputation as a military strategist had preceded him. He had written, Elements of Military Art and Science, and translated Jomini's Life of Napoleon. Events would show he did have a good eye for strategy, but was weaker on implementation. Yet during his first months of command, Halleck effectively organized and trained his forces and kept a lid on the simmering conflict in Missouri. At the same time, Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, a McClellan protégé, took over from Sherman as commander of the Department of the Ohio. 2.

The major planned military operation in the West was one to send Union ironclad gun- and mortar boats down the Mississippi river to open that great trade route to the upper Middle West. Fremont stated in later Congressional testimony that although he took over the command without being furnished a plan of campaign, "The general discussions at Washington resulted in the understanding that the great object in view was the descent of the Mississippi, and for its accomplishment I was to raise and organize an army, and when I was ready to descend the river I was to let the President know."

Credit for this effort can be given to Gen. Winfield Scott and Atty. Gen. Edward Bates. In the spring of 1861, Scott proposed what became known as the "Anaconda" plan that called for a Union naval blockade and the opening of the Mississippi by a land and river force; thus the arterial strangulation of the South would be accomplished in the manner of the South American reptile, the plan's namesake. Bates was a friend of James B. Eads, the St. Louis engineer and eventual contractor for the gunboats. Eads had put in touch with the Navy Department, first suggesting the establishment of a base at Cairo, Illinois and that a river snagboat be converted to a gunboat to blockade Southern commerce on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Ultimately, the submission of Eads's plan led to the approval for the construction of a gunboat fleet. The engines and crew quarters of the wide-beamed, flat-bottom, 13-gun ships were protected by sloped casement sheathed with 2.5 inches of iron armor, giving them the appearance of turtle-shelled floating fortresses. Indeed, they became known as "Pook's turtles" after the casement designer. Asst. Secty. of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox suggested the idea of the mortar boats that were schooners and scows loaded with 13-inch mortars. By August 1861, construction of seven of the newly designed ironclads and thirty-eight mortar boats had begun in St. Louis and Mound City, Illinois; other boats had been purchased previously and were retrofitted.

In September, Capt. Andrew Hull Foote, known as the "Stonewall Jackson" of the U.S. Navy (as of November, Flag Officer), assumed command of naval operations on the Western rivers. Foote was a dynamic, principled naval leader whose adventuring Puritan ancestors had settled the state of Connecticut. While on station off China, he had achieved a stunning combat victory at the Battle of the Barrier Forts in Canton in 1856. A tenacious, religious, temperance man, he was the strongest advocate for eliminating the daily grog ration and was one of the few captains who doggedly pursued slavers off the African coast. In his new assignment, Foote labored under much personal strain and considerable bureaucratic difficulties supervising construction of the gunboat fleet. At the end of December 1861, he wrote Fox, "I only wish that you could have spent one day here, for the last six weeks, as no imagination can fancy what it is, to collect materials and fit out Western Gun Boats with Western men, without a Navy yard--in the West where no stores are to be had." Obstacles partly arose from the fact that all of the ironclads and mortar boats were being built simultaneously, stretching already thin resources.

After Halleck's arrival Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was assigned to command the District of Cairo where Foote's gunboats would be centered, and the area comprising the mouths of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers on the Kentucky side of the Ohio. Grant who needs little introduction was a terse, modest, cigar-smoking, West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran from Galena, Illinois. He and Foote had not previously worked together, but they were like-minded which is not surprising, as both their families were originally from the hardscrabble state of Connecticut. Both men conducted their business with gritty, bulldog determination and a strong sense of professionalism. Grant wrote that he and Foote freely exchanged views on operations about which they were in solid agreement. 3.

* * * *

Beyond being the font of strategic plans, the Mississippi River was critical to the Union war effort for economic and political reasons. Anna Ella Carroll's and others' contributions to its opening can only be appreciated by understanding the relationship between these factors and the Union victory in 1865.

Given the amount of manpower and resources the Northwestern states ultimately furnished the Union, it was imperative that political support for the Lincoln Administration be maintained in the area. The Mississippi River had to be opened in order for that abundant agricultural region to have outlets for trade and, thus, maintain its economic vitality. Following secession the Confederates seized the lower Mississippi, the Union naval blockade was instituted, and the river trade collapsed which threw the Northwest into a grave economic depression in 1861-62. Great farm surpluses were created, as grain and livestock could not be sold, and farm prices plummeted. In some sections corn prices were less than 10 cents a bushel and in 1861, hog prices were halved. The commercial and financial markets were also thrown into chaos. Before the war many Midwestern states had invested heavily in Southern state bonds which were used to back local paper currency. Once these securities began to depreciate, many banks went under, leaving a shortage of currency with which to finance the fall harvests. In July 1861, in the state of Wisconsin alone, thirty-eight banks declared bankruptcy. In addition, once the Mississippi River was closed to trade, farmers were put at the mercy of the railroads for transportation of goods to markets. The railroads, taking full advantage of this situation, more than doubled their freight rates. 4.


Click on the map for a larger image

On a purely perceptual basis the opening of the Mississippi was important to Lincoln, for on it hinged support in his primary political base. The new administration would be greatly threatened, to say nothing of embarrassed, if Lincoln lost support for the war effort in his home region. As the Northwest went, so probably would go the rest of the country. As early as March 1861, Bates wrote in his diary that, "If the present difficulties [Fort Sumter] should continue and grow, I am convinced that the real struggle will be at the Mis[sis]sippi for it is not politically possible for any foreign power to hold the mouth of that river, against the people of the middle and upper vall[e]y." Thus for the Northwest, control of the Mississippi, in and of itself, was a war issue. In May, the governors of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania met in Cleveland to determine how they might best coordinate efforts to support the national government. From that conference came a memorial which in part urged the President to make the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers the principal base of operations against the enemy. By 1862, the political situation had become so grave that various parties, North and South, entertained thoughts of forming a Northwest confederacy to negotiate a separate peace with the South, partly to gain use of the Mississippi River. 5.

For the Confederates, control of the Mississippi River Valley also meant economic and political survival. The river flows more than 2,000 miles and it or its tributaries drained seventeen Northern, Border, and Southern states. It served as a breadbasket for the South, as well as the North. In addition control of the river determined the South's ability to access supplies such as sugar, grain, and beef from Texas and powder, copper, lead, saltpeter, specie, and other materials imported through Mexico. The railroad lines that crossed the river constituted the South's internal logistical and communications lines, allowing supplies and troops to move east-west.

As Lemuel Evans wrote in a pamphlet defending Carroll's claim to the Tennessee River campaign plan, the Mississippi River valley was also a political keystone:

Could they [the Confederates] have retained their power over the Mississippi valley a few months longer, they would have so connected themselves with France through Texas, and with England through the States of the Northwest, as not only to have made good their independence, but to have dwarfed the United States to the area of the old thirteen [states], and taken the lead as the controlling political power on this continent. The Government was under the absolute necessity therefore, of inflicting some decisive blow upon the rebellion in the next few months, not only to ward off foreign intervention and invasion, but to smother the spirit of secession in the northwest and prevent financial bankruptcy, which of itself must destroy the nation. 6.

Although the Mississippi River was a critical trade route and its possession held the key to Lincoln's political survival in the region these facts did not necessarily mean that the River was the best line of invasion. As will be discussed later, it could have taken years just to secure the river itself for Northern trade. And as for providing a means of invasion for troops, what would the Union forces have done once they landed on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River? Perhaps after taking major losses just getting onto Confederate territory, they would have been situated with their backs to the river facing Confederate armies massed along potentially hundreds of miles of front lines. However, there were other strategic options.

The Chinese character for crisis is a representation of two others that denote "danger" and "opportunity". In the winter of 1861-62, the Mississippi River Valley represented both a grave danger for the Union as well as its best strategic opportunity. As the British military historian, J. F. C. Fuller has written, the theater of war east of the Appalachias was, ". . . .'the stage of the great political operations. . .in. . .which the chief object was to win world support by seizing either Richmond or Washington, or by striking at Pennsylvania--the key State of the North. The theater west of the mountains, however, was the 'great strategic' arena." Geography formed the basis for the difference, The lower Mississippi Valley both produced the victuals of war and cradled the "web-like river system" that could be employed to plunge a military dagger into the heartland of the Confederacy to begin its vivisection. Whereas in Virginia, the river systems ran perpendicular to Northern lines of invasion, the rivers and railroads of the Mississippi River valley ran parallel to them. At that time the use of rail facilities was the fastest way of moving and concentrating forces. However, tracks and bridges can be destroyed, but rivers can't. So the rivers of this valley offered the best opportunities for strategic mass movement of Union troops.

Conversely, Confederate success would have been a mirror image of Union failure, that is, victory snatched from the jaws of Northern inaction. The South's best chance of achieving independence was to carry out a successful defensive campaign, prevent a full-scale invasion and disruption of internal communications and supply lines, and gain European recognition. Thus, peace would be demanded by a war-weary and financially drained North. By January 1862, these events were close to being realized. A continuing threat existed that England and France, deprived of their vital cotton supplies, would recognize the Confederacy, if not intervene and raise the naval blockade of the South. The public treasury was being drawn down at a rate of $ 2 million dollars per day and Treasury notes were beginning to fall on the market.

As Evans pointed out, although the South was primarily an agricultural region:

In the autumn of '61, the Confederate States had acquired an organization and consistency, strong enough to put in the field and maintain a military power too formidable to be overthrown by any power the National Government could bring against it, on any of the lines of operation known to the administration.

If this rebel power could gain time to prepare for replenishing its warlike material by the creation of machine power, it was numerous enough and rich enough in intellectual and material resources to resist indefinitely, if not able to destroy the Union altogether. No blockade could so curtail its supplies of warlike material but what was rapidly being supplemented by the energies of the people.

Could the National armies, however, penetrate the central region so as to break up their internal lines of connection and, at the same time, disorganize their industrial system, the Confederacy would be geographically cut in two, and their ability to create resources for large armies forever destroyed. 7.

To prevent invasion, the Confederate northern defensive line had to be held across several hundreds of miles of territory which centered at the Mississippi river and extended from the Alleghenies to Kansas and Indian territory. However, if Union armies could penetrate the line at any point, Confederate forces to the north of either side of an invasion might be forced to retreat south to prevent being cut off and surrounded.

Unfortunately in the winter of 1861-62, the Union had no generals who thought in these geo-political strategic terms. Lincoln quipped that his only war experience had been fighting mosquitoes as an enlisted man in the Black Hawk War in Illinois. With the exception of Winfield Scott, who was about to retire, in the early months of the Civil War the Lincoln Administration lacked the political and military minds that could make broad policy decisions concerning the major theaters of military operations. Success was thought of in terms of winning battles and taking capitals, not winning the war. Richmond was in a strong position as troops defending it were in their home territory and operated on interior lines, a number of rivers had to be crossed from Washington to reach it, and its surrounding terrain was difficult. Moreover, the city was a transparent target and forces had to move within a somewhat confined area. Tactically, troops had to overcome strong defenses that were protected by musket and rifle ranges which could go up to 300 yards. If the Union had found no line of invasion that could cut deep into the Southern interior, a protracted stalemate such as that experienced by the Allies in World War I may have resulted.

In contrast in the West, with the exception of a few strategic centers such as Vicksburg, New Orleans, and Atlanta, armies became the strategic targets and territory was occupied. Therefore, a war of maneuver could be more easily fought as specific objectives along a line of march or naval incursion were not always clear and there was geographic room to mass and maneuver troops. For instance the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers offered the advantages of: a northern river flow into the Confederates' rear; better navigability along a straighter course for large steamers; a good supply and communications line from the North (at the time twenty-tree rail lines ran south from Chicago); and the strategic ability to turn right to the Mississippi or left toward Richmond. By opening a line of invasion in the West, the Northern armies could mass and concentrate their forces using the rivers and railroads, build strategic advantages, achieve forward movement, cut up and occupy territory, and begin a geographic attrition of the Confederacy.

Although on the surface they looked much more promising, in actuality the South's prospects for engaging in a successful defensive operation were not very encouraging in that winter of 1861-62. From the beginning, the best thing they had going for them was their commander. By Special Orders No. 149, Albert Sidney Johnston, a graduate of West Point and veteran of the Mexican War, was appointed General Commanding the Western Department of the Army of the Confederate States of America on September 10, 1861 Johnston was highly regarded by military men North and South; in his memoirs Grant later wrote, "His contemporaries at West Point, and officers generally who came to know him personally later and who remained on our side, expected him to prove the most formidable man to meet that the Confederacy would produce." 8.

Upon arriving at his headquarters in Nashville, Johnston had his work cut out for him. By November, he had 33,000 ill-equipped and poorly trained troops pitted against some 60,000 federal ones. His main strategic job was to check federal movement along the 400 miles that stretched between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi. Along this line five places were pierced by rivers or railroads. Because of the lack of good east-west rail connections, moving troops laterally from Virginia or locally to reinforce various points, would prove difficult. The two locations serving as the anchors for the Confederate line were Columbus, Kentucky on the shores of the Mississippi and the Cumberland Gap in the eastern part of the state. The major federal encampments were Cairo, Illinois that controlled access to the Mississippi and Ohio rivers; Paducah, Kentucky also on the Ohio; and Camp Dick Robinson near Louisville. In September, Johnston had made the decision to make Kentucky the Confederate northern defensive line and sent Brig. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner to occupy an additional point, Bowling Green. In his letter to Jefferson Davis, he also complained of a lack of troops and arms--his hope being to hold his line until reinforcements came and support within the state could be organized. Initially Johnston's greatest challenge was to conceal from the enemy his paltry numbers and equipment while readying his army to withstand a major Union attack. In an effort to make good his bluff, from September on, Johnston had small units of infantry and cavalry engage Union troops occupying exposed positions along their line and sent out heavy reconnaissances, trying to create an impression of an, "'advance guard of a menacing force.'" As of November 1861, Johnston's skirmishing had proved successful. Sherman ultimately gave up his command of the Department of the Ohio because he believed the Confederates would be able to "walk into" Louisville.

Johnston also guarded his naval flanks. A Northern advance with its strong gunboat fleet was taken for granted. Thus, Confederates reinforced Mississippi River garrisons at Columbus, Island No. 10, Memphis, and Vicksburg. Yet, "So fully were they [the Confederates] possessed of the theory [of a direct descent] that they immeasurably neglected the possibility of invasion by way of the Cumberland and Tennessee." Although, the Tennessee state government had ordered the construction of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland to guard against advances south, this effort came late. Johnston continued construction, but only after he occupied his headquarters in Nashville in November, and perceived that the central rivers would be Nashville's defensive line. 9.

As for the Union forces, although positioned better, the worst thing they had going for them initially were their commanders. Don Carlos Buell seemed to have the same kind of "slows", as Lincoln put it, that McClellan did. Like McClellan in the East, Buell wanted to move only when he felt his troops were well prepared. So "the Army of the Ohio lay in camp and gathered strength and waited." Meanwhile, Halleck, situated in St. Louis, felt it was all he could do to maintain federal control in that state which was immersed in a Byzantine civil war all of its own. 10. So as of December 1861, President Lincoln had no one on whom he could rely for broad strategic war planning, and three of his top generals had mired the U.S. armies in a Serbonian bog of inaction.

* * * *

Meanwhile Carroll was located in St. Louis, making use of the Mercantile Library to research her next legal paper for the administration. Edward William Johnston, the stubborn and outspoken older brother of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, was the head librarian there. He was happy to share Confederate confidence that there was no way to take the Mississippi and that the conflict would be over by spring. As Carroll later wrote:

I gained a great deal of information as to what was expected to be accomplished. . . .While assuming great confidence in the Union cause I confess my apprehension of danger grew daily more intense and my determination to find some mode of solution stronger. . . .I saw that battle torn regiment the 7th Iowa, as it fled into Benton Barracks that memorable autumn morning, after the Battle of Belmont. It so sickened my heart--and a conviction fastened upon me, that there was a way of escape, that either the Tennessee or Cumberland Rivers might afford the needed depth of water for the passage of the gunboats into the heart of the South. I meant to find out if I remained there a month longer. It struck me the pilots ought to be able to satisfy one as to the depth & width of all the western rivers. I resolved to see them, for I knew the high military men would never inquire of them as I told General Grant long after. 11.

During her stay in St. Louis, Carroll was a guest at the Everett House, a local hotel. She asked the proprietor how she could get in touch with one of the river boat pilots and he told her the wife of one was staying at the hotel. She called on a Mrs. Charles M. Scott whose husband was a pilot connected with the Mississippi expedition and was told that she would send her husband to see her. When Captain Scott returned to St. Louis after the Battle of Belmont, Carroll sent a note requesting him to call.

As later related in pages of congressional testimony, when Scott called, Carroll began to question him on the merits of the Mississippi River expedition. Scott told her that it was:

. . . .impossible to reduce Columbus [Kentucky] with the gunboats without a very large co-operating land force, and after a very long siege; that the gunboats were not suited to fight on the Mississippi, on account of its strong current; that there were a great many positions on the Mississippi that the enemy could make as strong as Columbus; that they would be fortified as our fleet descended, so that innumerable battles must be fought, and it would take years to open that river; and this, he said, was the belief of every pilot connected with the expedition.

Then Carroll "inquired as to the navigability of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers". Scott responded that the Cumberland was navigable for gunboats to Nashville and the Tennessee was at all stages to the Muscle Shoals in Alabama. Upon the mention of the navigability of the Tennessee River, the thought flashed through Carroll's mind of diverting the intended invasion from the Mississippi to the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

Then, "Judge Evans. . .fortunately called at that moment. I was greatly excited at the thought and meeting him in the hall, inquired if that movement could not be made. . . .and I invited him to come and join me in interrogation of the Pilot, Mr. Scott, on all his special knowledge. . . .". Upon hearing of the idea, Evans concurred that this was the move and they proceeded to question Scott in more depth.


In answer to our inquiries, Captain Scott stated the draft and speed of the gunboats, and number of guns; the width and depth of the channel of the Mississippi; the number of bluffs upon the river, and the wide extent of the swamp or overflowed lands; also the width and depth of the channel of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. He did not think the gunboats could pass over Muscle Shoals, in Alabama. We inquired as to the practicability of the naval expedition reaching Mobile, and as to the navigability of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers. He thought the fleet could not pass the bar, some seven miles below that city; said the Tombigbee afforded good steamboat navigation to Demopolis, which is one hundred and fifty miles from the Muscle Shoals, in the Tennessee river.

Scott was familiar with these rivers as he had "traveled on foot from Memphis to where the town of Eastport (in the northwest corner of Mississippi) now stands, in 1832, and again when the Chickasaw Indians were removed to Arkansas." He had "made other trips as a young man on flatboats bound for New Orleans."

At Judge Evans's suggestion, Carroll requested Scott to give her a memo as to the facts of the situation, telling him that it was her purpose to induce the government to change its plan and divert the Mississippi expedition up the Tennessee River. Scott was at first reluctant to do this because, as he confessed, he was not very literate. She insisted and requested him to write to her from time to time giving her information from the field. In later congressional hearings, Carroll testified that her conversation with Scott not only impressed her with the idea that the Tennessee River was the true line of invasion but that, "On learning the navigability of the Tennessee I perceived the strategic advance of an army up that stream to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and with such clearness and strength of conviction as to secure its realization. . . ."12.

The same day Carroll wrote Atty. Gen. Edward Bates and Asst. Secty. of War Thomas A. Scott urging the importance of a change of campaign. Soon thereafter, Carroll left St. Louis to return to Washington. Upon her return she saw Scott who, ". . . .said he had received my letter from St. Louis, and shown it to the President who was as anxious as himself to see me back and hear all I had to say." Carroll then prepared a complete statement of the plan and presented it to the Assistant Secretary on November 30, 1861.

The civil and military authorities seem to be laboring under a great mistake in regard to the true key of the war in the Southwest. It is not the Mississippi but the Tennessee river. All the military preparations made in the West indicate that the Mississippi river is the point to which the authorities are directing their attention. On that river many battles must be fought and heavy risks incurred before any impression can be made on the enemy, all of which could be avoided by using the Tennessee river. This river is navigable for middle class boats to the foot of the Muscle Shoals in Alabama, and is open to navigation all the year, while the distance is but two hundred and fifty miles by the river from Paducah, on the Ohio. The Tennessee offers many advantages over the Mississippi. We should avoid the almost impregnable batteries of the enemy, which cannot be taken without great danger and great risk of life to our forces, from the fact that our boats, if crippled, would fall a prey to the enemy by being swept by the current to him, and away from the relief of our friends. But even should we succeed, still we will only have begun the war, for we shall then have to fight the country from whence the enemy derives his supplies.

Now, an advance up the Tennessee river would avoid this danger; for, if our boats were crippled, they would drop back with the current and escape capture.

But a still greater advantage would be its tendency to cut the enemy's lines in two, by reaching the Memphis and Charleston railroad, threatening Memphis, which lies one hundred miles due west, and no defensible point between; also Nashville, only ninety miles northeast, and Florence and Tuscumbia, in North Alabama, forty miles east. A movement in this direction would do more to relieve our friends in Kentucky, and inspire the loyal hearts in East Tennessee than the possession of the whole of the [M]ississippi river. If well ex[e]cuted, it would cause the evacuation of all the formidable fortifications upon which the rebels ground their hopes for success; and, in the event of our fleet attacking Mobile, the presence of our troops in the northern part of Alabama would be material aid to the fleet.

Again, the aid our forces would receive from the loyal men in Tennessee would enable them soon to crush the last traitor in that region, and the separation of the two extremes would do more than one hundred battles for the Union cause.

The Tennessee river is crossed by the Memphis and Louisville railroad and the Memphis and Nashville railroad. At Hamburg the river makes the big bend on the east, touching the northeast corner of Mississippi, entering the northwest corner of Alabama, forming an arc to the south, entering the State of Tennessee at the northeast corner of Alabama, and if it does not touch the northwest corner of Georgia, comes very near it. It is but eight miles from Hamburg to Memphis and Charleston railroad, which goes through Tuscumbia, only two miles from the river, which it crosses at Decatur, thirty miles above, intersecting with the Nashville and Chattanooga road at Stephenson. The Tennessee river has never less than three feet to Hamburg on the ‘shoalest’ bar, and, during the fall, winter, and spring months, there is always water for the largest boats that are used on the Mississippi river. It follows from the above facts that in making the Mississippi the key to the war in the West, or rather in overlooking the Tennessee river, the subject is not understood by the superiors in command. 13.

Scott was clearly in a position to be familiar with Southern rail facilities and to appreciate the importance of being able to move troops by water and rail. Previously he had been a vice president of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad and had been brought into the War Department by Secretary of War Cameron to coordinate government use of telegraphs and railroads. As Carroll later told it:

After reading my plan and hearing my verbal arguments, Mr. Scott's countenance brightened and he exclaimed, 'Miss Carroll, I believe you have solved the question.' He hurried at once, with the plan in his hands to the White House and with much excitement gave it to the President. Mr. Lincoln read it with avidity, and when he had finished it Mr. Scott told me that he had never witnessed such delight as he evinced."

As the document came from no one connected with the military it was decided not to reveal the source and the paper was left unsigned. Carroll said she allowed this to be done, "caring absolutely nothing in those supreme moments, if it but saved the country, whether it should be denied or forgotten that she was its author."

This account was basically confirmed by Captain Scott in an interview conducted with the St. Louis River Pilot newspaper on June 16, 1874. During this time Scott was claiming that the Tennessee River plan was his idea and Carroll was only the messenger carrying it by hand to Washington (see chapter on congressional hearings), but the general facts corroborate Carroll. Notes in the newspaper morgue files read, "This [the plan] was sent care of Miss Carroll for the war dept." and "the authorities were delighted." Further, "In December she wrote again to Scott saying that the campaign up the Tenn. R. was resolved on, and asking Scott to hold himself ready to accompany the expedition."

On January 5, Carroll sent a letter to Assistant Secretary Scott giving additional thoughts on the movement, based on more field data sent to her by Charles Scott.

Having given you my views of the Tennessee river on my return from the West, showing that this river is the true strategical key to overcome the rebels in the Southwest, I beg again to recur to the importance of its adoption. This river is never impeded by ice in the coldest winter, as the Mississippi and Cumberland sometimes are. I ascertained, when in St. Louis, that the gunboats then fitting out could not retreat against the current of the western rivers, and so stated to you; beside, their principal guns are placed forward, and will not be very efficient against an enemy below them. The fighting would have to be done by their stern guns, only two, or if they anchored by the stern, they would lose the advantage of motion, which would prevent the enemy from getting their range. Our gunboats, at anchor, would be a target which the enemy will not be slow to improve and benefit thereby.

The Tennessee river, beginning at Paducah, fifty miles above Cairo, after leaving the Ohio, runs across south-south-east, rather than through Kentucky and Tennessee, until it reaches the Mississippi line, directly west of Florence and Tuscumbia, which lie fifty miles east, and Memphis, one hundred and twenty-five miles west, with the Memphis and Charleston railroad eight miles from the river. There is no difficulty in reaching this point any time of the year, and the water is known to be deeper than on the Ohio.

If you will look on the map of the Western States you will see in what a position Buckner would be placed by a strong advance up the Tennessee river. He would be obliged to back out of Kentucky, or if he did not our forces could take Nashville in his rear, and compel him to lay down his arms.

Then immediately after the fall of Fort Henry, she suggested to Secretary Stanton the practicability of advancing the army onward to Mobile or Vicksburg.

Later testimony given by Sen. Benjamin F. Wade, the Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, revealed that it was the fact that the plan was devised by a civilian which caused the delay in its implementation. According to Blackwell, McClellan opposed it. He and other high ranking officers in the army either had the backing of politicians in Congress or were former politicians themselves. These men were aware that whichever generals were responsible for major victories, they would be more-than-viable candidates for the presidency. Although in some cases politicians may have added a degree of ineptness to the army, Lincoln recognized that he had to give military commissions to Republican and Democratic office holders in order to maintain support for the war. 14.

In the winter of 1861-62, the administration's hold on the politicians and the country was slipping for want of a military victory. Excerpts from congressional proceedings portray the sense of desperation of the members. Rep. Henry L. Dawes estimated that the Treasury of the United States would not be able to finance the war beyond the next sixty days. On January 7, 1862, Sen. Henry Wilson of Massachusetts stated:

Why, sir, you can be borne all over this country upon a wave of popular murmur against the Government at this time, and I must say, too, in regard to the men controlling the civil and military affairs of the country. . . .It springs from that deep disappointment of the people of the country, who have poured out five hundred thousand men, and hundreds of millions of dollars, and who see no results. They see no policy in the administration of the country; they see no plans; they read of no victories.

On January 29, House member John A. Gurley of Ohio expressed his frustration:

Murmurs, deep and strong, are everywhere coming up from the people against the inaction of the army. . . . Meanwhile, the public Treasury is being drained for their support; the fleets of three powerful nations are nearing our shores, and if our military do not rouse themselves to speedy action, . . .these fleets may make a visit to our southern coast, politely announce to us that cotton is an absolute necessity in Europe, and the blockade must continue no longer. All this is not only possible, but in the contingency of continued inactivity. . .highly probable.

As late as February 4, two days before the fall of Fort Henry on the Tennessee, Rep. Roscoe Conkling of New York spoke:

But I was saying what the people must know about the use to be made of their money. . . .No sir, neither the people nor their Representatives want to discuss advances or to interfere with movements or details. . . they simply want to know that the people's servants are using the people's money and the nation's Army to hurl swift destruction upon the nation's foes. . . .Unless we appeal to the monied interest of the country with an adequate policy, we can get no money, and ought not to get it; we shall not deserve it. 15.

Blackwell wrote that President Lincoln, ". . . .saw from the beginning the vital importance of regaining the Mississippi and controlling the resources of its great valley, and therefore reserved to himself the direction of this expedition as Commander- in-chief." Carroll's plan convinced him that the Tennessee River would provide the Union great strategic advantages, yet was it doable? As Judge Evans testified on Carroll's behalf, up until she submitted her paper:

It had not been perceived that moving a force up the Tennessee River into Northern Mississippi or Alabama strong enough to maintain itself and command the Memphis and Charleston Railroad would render all the fortifications from Bowling Green to Columbus and from Columbus to Memphis valueless to the enemy, and cause their evacuation and bring the whole Mississippi Valley under the control of national arms. 16.

According to Wade's later testimony the appointment of Edwin Stanton as secretary of war was part and parcel of this perception.

By January 1862, it was clear that Secty. of War Simon Cameron, the political and corporate magnate from Pennsylvania, had to go Many men in the Congress did not trust him, the Committee on the Conduct of the War was finding graft and corruption in the government contracts being let, and Thaddeus Stevens went so far as to tell President Lincoln that he thought Cameron was so dishonest he would steal a red hot stove. Thus on January 11, 1862, the President requested Cameron's resignation. 17.

On January 15, Edwin M. Stanton was confirmed by the Senate as secretary of war. Stanton's appointment mystified many. Although he had the backing of Chase, Cameron, and Seward, he was still an unlikely candidate in that some thought there was lingering animosity between he and the President dating from a case they had tried before the war; in the nine months since Lincoln had taken office, it was well known in Washington that  had not felt favorably about the administration. Finally, he had been attorney general in Buchanan's Democratic Cabinet. This would not have endeared him to the Republican members of Congress. According to A. K. McClure, the head of the Pennsylvania Senate Military Committee on the War, the nomination came as a surprise as, ". . . .there was not a single member of his Cabinet who had knowledge of his purpose to do so until it was done. . . ." According to Wade, however, Lincoln selected Stanton partly because Wade convinced him that Stanton would implement the Tennessee River plan, over potential objections from the military and members of Congress. In a statement submitted as a letter (dated April 4, 1876) to the congressional committee investigating Carroll's claim Wade wrote:



I had no part in getting up the committee [on the Conduct of the War]; the first intimation to me was that I had been made the head of it. But I never shirked a public duty and at once went to work to do all that was possible to save the country. We went fully into the examination of the several plans for military operations then known to the government; and we saw plainly enough that the time it must take to execute any of them would make it fatal to the Union.

We were in the deepest despair, until just at this time Colonel Scott informed me that there was a plan already devised that if executed with secrecy would open the Mississippi and save the national cause. I went immediately to Mr. Lincoln and talked the whole matter over. He said he did not himself doubt that the plan was feasible, but said there was one difficulty in the way, that no military or naval man had any idea of such a movement, it being the work of a civilian, and none of them would believe it safe to make such an advance upon only a navigable river with no protection but a gunboat fleet, and they would not want to take the risk. He said it was devised by Miss Carroll, and military men were extremely jealous of all outside interference. I plead earnestly with him, for I found there were influences in his Cabinet then adverse to his taking the responsibility, and wanted everything done in deference to the views of McClellan and Halleck. I said to Mr. Lincoln, 'You know we are now in the last extremity, and you have to choose between adopting and at once executing a plan that you believe to be the right one, and save the country, or defer to the opinions of military men in command, and lose the country.' He finally decided he would take the initiative, but there was Mr. Bates, who had suggested the gunboat fleet, and wanted to advance down the Mississippi, as originally designed, but after a little he came to see no result could be achieved on that mode of attack, and he united with us in favor of the change of expedition as you recommended.

After repeated talks with Mr. Stanton, I was entirely convinced that if placed at the head of the War Department he would have your plan executed victoriously, as he fully believed it was the only means of safety, as I did.

Mr. Lincoln, on my suggesting Stanton, asked me how the leading Republicans would take it--that Stanton was so fresh from the Buchanan cabinet and so many things said of him. I insisted he was our man withal, and brought him and Lincoln into communication, and Lincoln was entirely satisfied; but as soon as it got out the doubters came to the front, Senators and members called on me, I sent them to Stanton and told them to decide for themselves. The gunboats were then nearly ready for the Mississippi expedition, and Mr. Lincoln agreed, soon as they were, to start the Tennessee movement. It was determined that as soon as Mr. Stanton came in the department that Colonel Scott should go out to the western armies and make ready for the campaign in pursuance of your plan, as he has testified before committees.

It was a great work to get the matter started; you have no idea of it. We almost fought for it. If ever there was a righteous claim on earth, you have one. I have often been sorry that, knowing all this, as I did then, I had not publicly declared you as the author. But we were fully alive to the importance of absolute secrecy. I trusted but very few of our people, but to pacify the country I announced from the Senate that the armies were about to move and inaction was no longer to be tolerated, and Mr. Fessenden, head of the Finance Committee, who had been told of the proposed advance, also stated in the Senate that what would be achieved in a few more days would satisfy the country and astound the world.

As the expedition advanced Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Stanton, and myself frequently alluded to your extraordinary sagacity and unselfish patriotism, but all agreed that you should be recognized for your most noble services, and properly rewarded for the same. The last time I saw Mr. Stanton he was on his death-bed; he was then most earnest in his desire to have you come before Congress, as I told you soon after, and said if he lived he would see that justice was awarded you. This I have told you often since, and I believe the truth in this matter will finally prevail. 18.

B. F. Wade


* * * *

As will be discussed later, the timing of Lincoln's decision to make the advance up the Tennessee river is indicated by army and navy records and those in his and Stanton's files. The date of Edwin Stanton's confirmation as secretary of war and remarks made by Senator Wade in Congress on January 27, 1862, also suggest Lincoln's timetable.

And so, on February 2, 1862, Foote's gunboats moved against the Confederate-occupied Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Grant's 15,000 troops that had been loaded on to transports landed below the fort. They were delayed by muddy roads and Confederate General Tilghman had already surrendered to Foote by the time Grant's forces arrived. Following its capture on February 6, Grant shot off a victorious telegram to Halleck, "Fort Henry is ours." From there Grant and Foote proceeded to take Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River which fell on February 16 after several days of fighting. Johnston had made a major strategic mistake by dividing his forces. He kept 14,000 men to cover Buell at Louisville which left 16,000 at Donelson to face Grant's troops. As Sherman later wrote these were the "first real" victories for Union forces. 19.

* * * *

In their writings, historians admit much confusion as to whom the credit should go for the Union victories at Forts Henry and Donelson. For the most part, only Grant, and less so Halleck, has been credited. In both cases, however, credit is taken out of context of the events happening in the Washington from November 1861 until January 1862. Considering that the military plan to descend the Mississippi originated in Washington many months previous, and that success in the Mississippi River valley was critical to Lincoln's political support in his home section, it is unlikely that either Halleck or Grant acted on his own without the knowledge and concurrence of Lincoln and other decision-makers in Washington. Memoranda in the official war records clearly reveal the military situation in the West from November 1861 to February 1862. They show the invasion was initiated with little discussion among field commanders, after months of debate among Lincoln's senior generals about the various strategies which could be pursued. However, Halleck's move was strongly supported by the Administration, it is believed, in part as a result of the submission of Carroll's plan in November.

To review the discussion and events leading up to the campaign, in November 1861 Buell replaced Sherman in Ohio and Halleck had replaced Fremont in Missouri. At the end of the month Buell wrote McClellan of his conception of the general plan which should be implemented. It read in part as follows:

First, to establish a sufficient force before Bowling Green to hold Buckner there, while a column moves into East Tennessee by Somerset and the route we had in view; second, to hold him in check while a column moves rapidly past him on Nashville by the turnpike via Gallatin; and, third, holding him in check at Bowling Green and throwing in columns on both Somerset and Nashville routes. . . .In conjunction with either of these should be the movement of two flotilla columns up the Tennessee and Cumberland, so as at least to land and unite near the State line, and cut off communication between Bowling Green and Columbus, and perhaps run directly into Nashville. A strong demonstration should at the same time be made on Columbus by the Mississippi. The details of all this, such as the destruction of railroads, so as to cut off communication, and a thousand other details, I do not go into, nor is it necessary.

On November 29, McClellan responded saying that he agreed with Buell's views and that he had telegraphed Halleck for information on the gunboats. In addition he stated:

Inform me some little time before you are ready to move, so that we may move simultaneously. . . .Make the best use of your time in organizing and drilling your command. Unless circumstances render it necessary, do not strike until I too am ready. Should I be delayed, I will not ask you to wait for me. I will at once take the necessary steps to carry out your views as to the rivers.

Then in early December, McClellan wrote again inquiring as to the needs of the river expedition. "Give me at once in detail your views as to the number and amount of gunboats necessary for the water movement, the necessary land forces, . . . .Let me again urge the necessity of sending something into East Tennessee as promptly as possible." On December 10, Buell wrote McClellan expressing general anxiety over the gunboats saying that he did not know well of the description or the capacity of the gunboats or the transports to be used. In addition, ". . . .I do not know anything about the quality of the troops and officers." He also said that he had not been unmindful of McClellan's wishes in regard to East Tennessee.. The same day McClellan wrote Halleck in Missouri about the planned joint operation. "Can you yet form any idea of the time necessary to prepare an expedition against Columbus or one up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, in connection with Buell's movements?" 20.

During these two months the bulk of Buell's forces were being mustered in, training and awaiting supplies and the completion of the gunboats. McClellan had basically agreed with Buell's plan for a three-pronged movement further south into Kentucky and Tennessee. There was much pressure being applied from political circles for the movement into East Tennessee, as there was a large Unionist population there who needed the protection of federal troops. In spite of McClellan's and Buell's general "slows", a portion of Buell's forces under Gen. George H. Thomas operated against the Confederates in eastern Kentucky, in the area of Lebanon during December, although no major battles took place.

At the end of December, the consensus on and ability to implement Buell's plan began to break down. On December 29, Buell wrote McClellan saying he had just received information that the Confederates were reinforcing Bowling Green from Columbus and possibly Mississippi. He estimated 30,000 men to be presently at Bowling Green, adding that the number could easily be increased to 50,000 or 60,000 before he could get there, unless checked by "strong demonstrations and attacks on Columbus and the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers". He then discussed what he now saw as the center of strategic operations.

It is my conviction that all the force that can possibly be collected should be brought to bear on that front of which Columbus and Bowling Green may be said to be the flanks. The center, that is, the Cumberland and Tennessee where the railroad crosses them, is now the most vulnerable point. I regard it as the most important strategical point in the whole field of operations.

Although this Confederate movement changed Buell's priorities, he was still planning to send 12,000 men into East Tennessee under Thomas. Thomas's operations notwithstanding, in terms of an overall movement of the remainder of his forces, up to this date Buell had stated nothing definite as to the readiness of his troops or submitted any specific plans or dates of operations. To further complicate matters, on the 30th, Thomas wrote Buell suggesting a change of plans. He requested permission to move on Nashville rather than Knoxville in East Tennessee. 21.

In spite of these second thoughts, Washington still seemed to think that Buell was proceeding with his initial plan for Lincoln, himself, wrote Generals Halleck and Buell on December 31, asking if they were ready to act.

Washington, D.C., December 31, 1861

General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:

General McClellan is sick. Are General Buell and yourself in concert? When he moves on Bowling Green, what hinders it being re-enforced from Columbus? A simultaneous move by you on Columbus might prevent it.

A. Lincoln

(A similar memo was sent to Buell.)

On January 1, on the same day, Buell responded to the President's missive:

There is no arrangement between Halleck and myself. I have been informed by General McClellan that he would make suitable disposition for concerted action. There is nothing to prevent Bowling Green being re-enforced from Columbus if a military force is not brought to bear on the latter place.

That night, he wired that he telegraphed Halleck with a view to arranging a concert of action. On the same day Halleck also wrote to the President, "I have never received a word from General Buell. I am not ready to co-operate with him. Hope to do so in a few weeks."

These memos indicate that for the first time, Lincoln was personally interjecting himself into the military situation. Entries in Bates’s diary further indicate that up to this date, McClellan had been keeping all plans to himself, [December 31, 1861] "It now appears that the Genl. in chief has been very reticent--kept his plans absolutely to himself, so that the strange and dangerous fact exists, that the Sec of War and the Prest. are ignorant of the condition of the army and its intended operations." 22.

Probably at Lincoln's urging McClellan wrote Halleck on January 3, that it was of the greatest importance that the Confederates be prevented from reinforcing eastern Kentucky and in order to prevent this, an expedition should be sent up the Cumberland River to act in concert with Buell's forces. The same day, Buell wrote Halleck emphasizing the importance of an attack on the center of the Confederate front (between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers) and that it should be by two gunboat expeditions with 20,000 men on the two rivers. Finally, he added, "I say this much rather to lay the subject before you than to propose any definite plan for your side."

On the 4th of January then, the President wrote Buell still concerned about the movement into East Tennessee. "Have arms gone forward for East Tennessee? Please tell me the progress and condition of the movement in that direction." In response, Buell wrote on January 5, that although he had been planning such a movement he was against it, ". . . .if it should render at all doubtful the success of a movement against the great power of the rebellion in the West, which is mainly arrayed on the line from Columbus to Bowling Green and can speedily be concentrated at any point of that line which is attacked singly."

The next day, McClellan wrote Buell:

I was extremely sorry to learn from your telegram to the President that you had from the beginning attached little or no importance to a movement in East Tennessee.

My own general plans for the prosecution of the war make the speedy occupation of East Tennessee and its railway matters of absolute necessity. Bowling Green and Nashville are in that connection of very secondary importance at the present moment. My own advance cannot, according to my present views, be made until your troops are solidly established in the eastern portion of Tennessee. If that is not possible, a complete and prejudicial change in my own plans at once becomes necessary.

Interesting as Nashville may be to the Louisville interests, it strikes me that its possession is of very secondary importance in comparison with the immense results that would arise from the adherence to our cause of the masses in East Tennessee, West North Carolina, South Carolina, North Georgia, and Alabama, results that I feel assured would ere long flow from the movement I allude to.

Halleck, from his own account, will not soon be in a condition to support properly a movement up the Cumberland. Why not make the movement independently of and without waiting for that? 23.

The strategic differences between Lincoln, McClellan, and Buell clearly presented an untenable situation. To add to the problem, on January 6, Halleck responded to President Lincoln's request for troops in very discouraging terms.

I have at Cairo [Illinois], Fort Holt, and Paducah [Kentucky] only about 15,000, which, after leaving guards at these places, would give me but little over 10,000 men with which to assist General Buell. It would be madness to attempt anything serious with such a force, and I cannot at the present time withdraw any from Missouri without risking the loss of this State. The troops recently raised in other States of this department have without my knowledge been sent to Kentucky and Kansas.

I know nothing of General Buell's intended operations, never having received any information in regard to the general plan of campaign.

Lincoln in near despair forwarded Halleck's letter to someone and added this footnote, "The within is a copy of a letter just received from General Halleck. It is exceedingly discouraging. As everywhere else, nothing can be done." 24.

In spite of Halleck's forces being stretched so thin, as opposed to Buell, he responded positively to the President's request. On January 6, the same day as his letter to the President, he ordered Grant to move in support of Buell's advance against Buckner, aided by Flag Officer Foote's gunboats.

I wish you to make a demonstration in force on Mayfield [Kentucky] and in the direction of Murray. Forces from Paducah and Fort Holt should meet at Mayfield and threaten Camp Beauregard and Murray, letting it be understood that Dover is the object of your attack. But do not advance far enough to expose your flank and rear to an attack from Columbus, and by all means avoid a serious engagement.

The object is to prevent re-enforcements being sent to Buckner. Having accomplished this, you will slowly retire to your former positions, but, if possible, keep up the idea of a general advance.

Be very careful, however, to avoid a battle; we are not ready for that. . . ."

Correspondingly, the next day Halleck wrote President Lincoln, "I have asked General Buell to designate a day for a demonstration to assist him. It is all I can do till I get arms. I have no arms. I have sent two unarmed regiments to assist in the feint." Lincoln also wrote Buell for the same purpose.

On the 9th, Halleck advised McClellan that he had ordered General Grant's forces to Mayfield and had asked Buell for a date for the demonstration. He again complained about lack of troops:

If a sufficient number of troops are to be withdrawn from Missouri at the present time to constitute an expedition up the Cumberland strong enough to afford any reasonable hope of resisting an attack of the enemy, we must seriously peril the loss of this State. I can make with the gunboats and available troops a pretty formidable demonstration, but no real attack. The gunboats are not ready, but probably will be within a week or two. 25.

The next day Lincoln told Quartermaster Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, he saw no way out of the military abyss into which his administration fallen: Chase had no money and couldn't raise more; McClellan was incapacitated. "The bottom is out of the tub. What shall I do?" Meigs advised him to consult with senior military advisers and that night the President met with Generals Irvin McDowell and William B. Franklin, with Seward, Chase, and Asst. Secty. of War Peter Watson joining the group. They mainly discussed strategy in the East.

At this point the Western Union command was still planning to proceed with Buell's initial plan, a three-pronged movement into Tennessee, and apparently the Mississippi expedition as well. As to the former, the problem was Buell. As of January 13, he still had not given Halleck a date for a demonstration, meaning that he had no date when he himself was to make the movement toward Buckner at Bowling Green. So on January 11, Halleck informed Grant, "I can hear nothing from Buell, so fix your own time for the advance." 26.

On the 13th, McClellan joined Lincoln in the strategy council. Lincoln repeated the reasons for immediate action and asked what could be done. After McClellan reiterated his fear of being outnumbered by Confederate forces, Chase asked him directly what his plans were. McClellan said he was reluctant to divulge them as he thought they would be leaked. Lincoln was finally satisfied with a pledge from McClellan that he did have a specific plan and date for an advance. Most likely it was shortly after this meeting that McClellan wrote Buell, "You have no idea of the pressure being brought to bear here upon the government for a forward movement. It is so strong that it seems absolutely necessary to make the advance on Eastern Tennessee at once. I incline to this as the first step for many reasons." In addition McClellan saw Buell's movement into East Tennessee as helpful to his position in the East, "Your possession of the railroad there will surely prevent the main army in my front from being re-enforced and may force Johnston to detach. Its political effect will be very great. Halleck is not yet in condition to afford you the support you need when you undertake the movement on Bowling Green." The same day Buell responded, having resigned himself to a movement only into East Tennessee as this was clearly McClellan's priority and he believed Halleck could help him out.

I did not mean to be understood in my dispatch to the President as attaching little importance to the movement on East Tennessee; on the contrary, it is evidently of the highest importance, if thoroughly carried out; but I believe that if the other object were attained the same result would be accomplished quite as promptly and effectually. . . .As I told you in my dispatch, I shall now devote myself to it, contenting myself, as far as Bowling Green is concerned, with holding it in check and concealing my design as long as possible. 27.

Meanwhile Gen. George Thomas had been operating against Confederate forces in eastern Kentucky. Although Thomas had received orders as of December 29, to march in conjunction with Gen. Albin Schoepf and attack the Confederates about Somerset, Kentucky, on January 19, the Confederates seized the initiative. Generals George B. Crittenden and Felix K. Zollicoffer attacked Thomas's forces at Mill Springs, Kentucky. Thomas emerged victorious, giving the Union a tangible victory and on January 23, he wrote Buell saying that the Confederate troops under Zollicoffer had been entirely dispersed and suggested moving against Bowling Green in cooperation with the main army. He did not want to continue the advance into East Tennessee, as there would be no enemy to encounter. Buell responded on the 26th ordering Thomas to have Brigadier-General Carter start toward London, Kentucky at once. However, within hours the advance into East Tennessee began to bog down. On the 27th, Buell wrote, Adj. Gen. Lorenzo Thomas in Washington that the roads into East Tennessee were impassable, the troops could not obtain sufficient forage from the countryside and, ". . . .it has been barely possible to keep the force at Somerset from starving. . . ." Thus his troops could not move beyond Somerset, Kentucky. He added:

The General-in-Chief is advised that in carrying out his views it was my purpose to move upon East Tennessee on two routes. The column on the Cumberland Gap route I have put in motion; the other is detained by the circumstances I have described. The first alone cannot be expected to penetrate the State, but it will at least encourage the loyal inhabitants and guard Kentucky against invasion by that route.

In the meantime Grant's forces (under Generals John A. McClernand and Charles F. Smith) and Foote's boats had been functioning in western Kentucky as ordered. On the 17th of January, Foote's gunboats feigned an assault on Fort Henry. On the 18th of January, Grant ordered McClernand, near Blandville to withdraw, "The object of the expedition having been accomplished, all the forces will now be withdrawn to their former positions as expeditiously as practicable." By the 25th, Grant had returned to Cairo, Illinois and informed St. Louis headquarters that the remainder of the troops would be withdrawn the next day. 28.

At this point it is clear that Union efforts to date had been mostly concentrated on the attempted movement into East Tennessee and that Buell had originally suggested a move up the Tennessee or the Cumberland rivers as part of his initial three-pronged plan. However, because no move was made against Bowling Green, the river scenario was never played out. And as of the last week in January 1862, the only active Union operation, Thomas's in eastern Kentucky, was clearly bogged down due to bad weather and logistical problems. Given this context then, it can be concluded that the movement up the Tennessee River on February 2 with Fort Henry as the objective was a totally new strategic effort undertaken by the administration.

The set of correspondence that historians quote from Grant in order to give him credit for the Tennessee River campaign largely come from his memoirs, and two memos in the war records. Grant wrote that the reconnaissance expedition completed by Gen. C. F. Smith in January confirmed his views that the true line of operations was the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. On January 6, he requested permission to visit Halleck in St. Louis to press his case. Upon arriving, he was rudely rebuffed and he returned to his command at Cairo. Then, at the end of the month, he and Foote wired Halleck, again, urging the importance of the effort. The first wire from Foote read, "Commanding General Grant and myself are of the opinion that Ft. Henry, on the Tennessee River, can be carried with four iron-clad gunboats and troops to permanently occupy. Have we your authority to move for that purpose when ready?" The same day Grant wrote, "With permission, I will take Ft. Henry, on the Tennessee, and establish and hold a large camp there." Again, the next day he communicated:

In view of the large force now concentrating in this district [the reinforcements at Bowling Green] and the present feasibility of the plan, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of subduing Ft. Henry, near the Kentucky and Tennessee line, and holding the position. If this is not done soon there is but little doubt that the defenses on both the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers will be materially strengthened. From Ft. Henry it will be easy to operate either on the Cumberland, only 12 miles distant, Memphis or Columbus. It will, besides, have a moral effect upon our troops to advance them toward the rebel States. The advantages of this move are as perceptible to the general commanding as to myself, therefore further statements are unnecessary.

Grant inferred that these memos convinced Halleck and on February 1, he received instructions to move on Fort Henry.

The major problem with giving Grant credit for the Tennessee River campaign is that given Halleck's previous reluctance to commit his sparse troops, there was clearly no way of supporting a major Union thrust into the region, if he acted alone. Also Grant could not have advanced without an order or permission from Halleck. Additionally, McClellan and President Lincoln had been exerting their authority over the Western military operations all along, so it is unlikely that Halleck would have given an order to move without an order or some kind of approval from Washington.

As for Buell's suggested movements, as stated previously, these were part of his East Tennessee plan which by January 27, had been mostly aborted. His later congressional testimony also makes it clear that he had no part in implementing the advance up the Tennessee.

Owing to the delay in procuring sufficient transportation for the expedition to East Tennessee, I had regarded the campaign against Nashville as the one which it would be necessary to enter upon first, in order to save time. I was waiting for the arrangement of the necessary concert between the forces on the Mississippi and my own to commence it, when, owing to the illness of the General-in-Chief, and at the request of the President, I wrote, on the 3d of January, to Major General Hallack [sic], who was in command in Missouri and proposed substantially the same plan I had submitted to the General-in-Chief and substantially the same as that which afterwards resulted in the capture of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Nashville. It contemplated an advance upon Nashville through Kentucky, a strong demonstration which might be converted into a real attack against Columbus, if the enemy should weaken that point to strengthen others that were threatened, and an advance of twenty thousand men up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, under the protection of gunboats.

General Halleck replied to my proposition that he could not spare forces enough to undertake it, and suggested the objection that the proposed operation was one upon outer lines, but he offered to make a demonstration from Paducah toward Columbus. These facts explain in part why I was not prepared to act as promptly as I could otherwise have done when General Halleck subsequently commenced his advance up the Tennessee River. 29.

Regardless of the above, the issue of Washington's authority would still have to be resolved, as Lincoln and McClellan were clearly involved in planning operations in the West. In order to support Anna Ella Carroll's claim that question also becomes critical. Although all congressional committees accepted the testimonies of Senator Wade and Assistant Sectary of War Scott that the administration did implement her plan, if that was so, then someone had to order one of the generals to do something in regard to an advance up the Tennessee River.

War records of early January indicate that Lincoln was still contemplating a Mississippi River move. On the 13th, Lincoln wrote Buell that he expected him to threaten Bowling Green and East Tennessee and Halleck to threaten Columbus and move "down-river". At this time also Lincoln was going through Navy Department channels to press for the completion of the construction of the mortar boats (as of the middle of January, twelve gunboats had been commissioned). Halleck was under extreme pressure from President Lincoln, Welles, et al., to complete the boats. The crush of war events finally precipitated the Union advance up the Tennessee.

On January 9, Foote sent a memo to Navy Secretary Welles complaining that he could obtain no authority to prepare the mortar boats and that Halleck had transferred the officer he had put in charge. On the 10th, Assistant Secretary Fox wired Foote saying that the President ". . . .desires immediately a full report of the number of your gunboats, armament, crew, etc., and full particulars relative to the mortar boats. . . ." Seven days later, Adjutant General Thomas in Washington gave Halleck his marching orders as to the mortar boats, ". . . .it is expected that some means will be devised to render the flotilla efficient at a very early day. The matter is placed in your hands, and it is thought that a full interchange of views between Commodore Foote and yourself will result in a solution of the difficulty." On the 23rd, H. A. Wise of the Navy Ordnance Department wired Foote, "The President directs me to inform you that he wishes the rafts and mortars and all their appointments to be got ready at the earliest possible moment." The President further directed him to send Wise daily telegrams on the status of the mortar boats, for Lincoln's perusal.

In his diary, Attorney General Bates wrote of the gunboats, [January 10, 1861]:

The expeditions for the South do not go--nobody knows why not--The boats and bomb-rafts at Cairo are not ready--not manned--Indeed we do not know that the mortars have reached there--Strange enough, the boats are under the War Dept., and yet are commanded by naval officers. Of course, they are neglected--no one knows any thing about them.

Bates also noted that he advised the President to restore all floating force to the command of the Navy Department with orders to cooperate with the Army. (Ten months later this was done.)

On January 26th, Lincoln had had enough. He informed Fox that "he must take matters into his own hands." The next day on the 27th, Fox wrote Foote indicating that the administration was shifting its planned operation from the Mississippi to the Tennessee River due to the fact that the mortar boats would not soon be completed about which the President was "very much exercised":

The plan matured and commenced last summer, the boats built, the gun boats in good condition, the river high, the time come to make the movement coincide with others, and only two [mortar] beds ready. The President has determined to remove Ripley from the Ordnance, and it has shaken the confidence in many others. The result of the whole matter is a delay, and change of Programme. . . .Halleck seems to take no interest in your part of the expedition, but I advise him to obey orders about furnishing you with men. Your daily telegrams to Wise, goes to the President who very wisely has taken this matter into his own hands. 30.

Other memoranda indicate that Halleck had been planning a move on Fort Henry. On January 21, Foote wrote Halleck apparently responding to the General's request for his views as to the mortar boats' usefulness on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Foote responded in the negative. The previous day Halleck had written McClellan as to his views on operations:

The idea of moving down the Mississippi by steam is, in my opinion, impracticable, or at least premature. It is not a proper line of operations, at least now. A much more feasible plan is to move up the Cumberland and Tennessee, making Nashville the first objective point. This would turn Columbus and force the abandonment of Bowling Green. . . .This line of the Cumberland and Tennessee is the great central line of the Western theater of war. . . .But the plan should not be attempted without a large force, not less than 60,000 effective men.

. . . .The main central line will also require the withdrawal of all available troops from this State; also those in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio,. . .and also the transfer to that route or near it of all the Kentucky troops not required to secure the Green River.

On January 29, Halleck advised Foote, "I am waiting for General Smith's report on road from Smithland to Fort Henry. As soon as that is received I will give orders. Meanwhile, have everything ready." Foote replied the same day that he would be ready on Saturday and would leave as soon as possible, depending on the water levels of the river.

On the 30th, Halleck wrote Grant, "Make your preparations to take and hold Ft. Henry. I will send you written instructions by mail." Later the same day Halleck sent a second memo ordering Grant to move on Fort Henry and sent an accompanying letter advising McClellan that the order to Grant had been given. The first document reads in part:

You will immediately prepare to send forward to Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, all your available forces from Smithland, Paducah, Cairo, Fort Holt, Bird's Point, &c. Sufficient garrisons must be left to hold these places against an attack from Columbus. . . .Flag Officer Foote will protect the transports with his gunboats. The Benton and perhaps some others should be left for the defense of Cairo. Fort Henry should be taken and held at all hazards.

Halleck informed McClellan:

I inclose herewith a copy of instructions sent this day to General Grant in relation to the expedition up the Tennessee River against Fort Henry. As Fort Henry, Dover [Fort Donelson],&c., are in Tennessee, I respectfully suggest that that State be added to this department.

General Grant has already been re-enforced with eight regiments of infantry, and several others, with three batteries of artillery, are under orders to join him. I will send down every man I can spare. 31.

In spite of Halleck's order of the 30th, other correspondence indicates that Lincoln already had decided upon the Tennessee plan. In a telegram dated January 28, Wise wired Foote telling him that the President had authorized work on Benton (his flagship), if it could be "positively" completed by February 22. The significance of the February 22 date is that on January 27, Lincoln issued General War Order No. 1, which is not contained in the volumes of the army or navy records that cite the correspondence and orders pertaining to the capture of Fort Henry.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 27, 1862

Ordered, That the 22d day of February, 1862, be the day for a general movement of all the land and naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces. That especially the army at and about Fortress Monroe; the Army of the Potomac; the Army of Western Virginia; the army near Munfordville, Kentucky; the army and flotilla at Cairo, and a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready to move on that day.

That all other forces, both land and naval, with their respective commanders, obey existing orders for the time, and be ready to obey additional orders when duly given.

That the heads of departments, and especially the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, with all their subordinates, and the general-in-chief, with all other commanders and subordinates of land and naval forces, will severally be held to their strict and full responsibilities for prompt execution of this order.


Thus, one day after Lincoln decided to take "matters into his own hands", he issued the above directive. It appears that Lincoln envisioned the move up the Tennessee to be part of an overall advance of Union forces, east and west. His concept was to overwhelm the enemy at all points with superior force. If the Confederates weakened one point and strengthened another, the weak one would be seized. Moreover, Lincoln was putting the weight of the whole government behind the order. Also on the 27th Stanton wrote Wade confidentially, "An order this day been made by the President requiring all the armies in the field to place themselves in fighting order immediately and to commence operations by a certain specific day. . . . .It is no less important that Congress should at once place itself in fighting condition by the rule for Executive Session in both houses.

In response, Wade introduced a resolution in the Senate that would change the rules of both houses to enable them to go into secret session to discuss measures to suppress the rebellion. Also on the 27th, he stated that it ought to be acted on immediately:

. . . .in contemplation of certain things [i.e., the President's War Order]. . . . Gentlemen do not seem to consider that we are now in flagrant war before the capital. . . .It is true this war is so much like peace so far that I do not wonder that gentlemen do not really consider that there is war almost at our doors [laughter]. But, sir, although the war lies dormant, still there is war; and it is not intended that it shall remain in this quiescent state much longer. The committee to which I have the honor to belong are determined, so far as they can exert any influence upon this Government, that it shall move, and move with energy.

In her later memorials, Carroll quoted this statement as proof of Wade's support of Lincoln's planned movement up the Tennessee.

The final pieces in the puzzle are memos regarding information received about Confederate Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard being sent west to aid Johnston. On January 29, McClellan wired Halleck and Buell that Beauregard was under orders to go to Kentucky, "A deserter just in from the rebels says that Beauregard had not left Centreville four days ago, but that as he was going on picket he heard officers say that Beauregard was under order to go to Kentucky with fifteen regiments from the [Confed.] Army of the Potomac." The next day on the 30th, Halleck wrote McClellan, "Your telegraph respecting Beauregard is received. General Grant and Commodore Foote will be ordered to immediately advance, and to reduce and hold Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, and also to cut the railroad between Dover and Paris." 32.

* * * *

Putting all of this together one can conclude as previously stated, that the receipt of Carroll's plan, coupled with the political pressures to advance and the failure to complete construction of the mortar boats, convinced the administration to abandon its plans for the Mississippi expedition and make the advance up the Tennessee River. Although Henry Walke stated that it was Halleck's memo of January 20 that convinced the administration to forgo the Mississippi plan, as stated previously, there is no evidence that McClellan shared Halleck's views with Lincoln and Lincoln's own writings indicate that he made the decision on January 26. Even though Carroll tried to make the case herself, it is immaterial who first thought of the idea, as it could and should have occurred to any competent military mind, as others have noted. Given his own thinking and the sequence of events in January, Halleck certainly would have ordered Grant and Foote to make the move regardless. Moreover, in government it's implementation that counts, as multitudes of plans have sat in officers' desk drawers gathering dust during many a war.

In the context of 1861-62, what was different about Carroll's and Halleck's thinking was that it constituted a single thrust up the Tennessee rather than a broader movement as Buell had envisioned. According to Sherman one night in December 1861, he and Chief-of-Staff Cullum were having dinner with Halleck in his room at the Planter's House in St. Louis. Afterward, they discussed the "much-talked-of-advance"; most persons advocated a Mississippi River movement. Halleck took out a map, the Confederate defensive line was drawn, and he asked the officers where was the proper point to break the line. Either Sherman or Cullum responded, "Naturally the center" which was at the Tennessee River. Halleck then said, "That's the true line of operations." However, as Wade wrote, even Lincoln recognized such a maneuver was risky, albeit obvious. This made the question of Union reinforcements also critical. Yet it appears that Carroll was the only one to present such a plan to Lincoln, as there is no evidence that McClellan shared Halleck's views regarding the Tennessee line with the President.

Although the St. Louis River Pilot article stated that Carroll wrote at the beginning of December the plan was decided on, quotes from Lincoln contradict this. Lincoln later may have encountered opposition from McClellan and/or others. The President also clearly wanted the military men to take responsibility for movements and, over and over again, pressed them to act. However, by January 26, he could wait no longer. Fox's January 27 memo to Foote stating a change of program, along with Lincoln's war order, and Halleck's order to Foote on the 29th to be ready to move, also suggest that Washington did communicate its wishes to Halleck, although this is not totally clear.

General War Order No. 1 then was issued on January 27 with the intent indicated, a movement of all Union forces east and west. The Tennessee expedition, replacing that on the Mississippi, thus, would be one facet of an overall strategic effort. But events interceded. The information received about Beauregard being sent to reinforce Johnston, so alarmed the administration that they allowed Foote's and Grant's movement on Fort Henry with the gunboats and crews ready at the time. Fortunately for the Union, only Beauregard himself (without reinforcing troops) was sent to Kentucky, whence upon his arrival he and Johnston disagreed on a basic plan of action concerning concentration of Confederate forces. 33.

Halleck's previous complaints about lack of troops, as well as Carroll's memo, also made the administration aware that they were not prepared for a major movement of Union forces in the West. Thus, Lincoln and Stanton sent Assistant Secretary of War Scott to organize reinforcements in the Midwest to be sent to Grant and Buell. Scott's activities verify that the advance on Fort Henry was not a solitary tactical venture, but constituted the beginning of the major Union thrust into the Confederacy which was what Carroll's plan had outlined.

Scott's job was to develop information on, ". . . .the number and location of the troops, their degree of organization and equipment, and the time by which they would be ready for the field." He also was to report on the facilities for rail and other transportation in each military department; the governors of each state were to submit weekly reports on the progress of mobilization in their states. Evidence of his directive is found in a letter written to Stanton on February 1, and by Scott's own later congressional testimony. The letter from Scott to Stanton read in part, "In accordance with your instructions under date of January 29, I left Washington the same evening for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Western Department." Scott also submitted congressional testimony verifying Carroll's contribution and discussing his part in the mobilization.


My Dear Sir: I take pleasure in stating that the plan presented by Miss Carroll, in November, 1861, for a campaign upon the Tennessee River and thence South, was submitted to the Secretary of War and President Lincoln. And after Secretary Stanton's appointment, I was directed to go to the Western armies and arrange to increase their effective force as rapidly as possible. A part of the duty assigned me was the organization and consolidation into regiments of all the troops then being recruited in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, for the purpose of carrying through this campaign, then inaugurated.

This work was vigorously prosecuted by the army, and, as the valuable suggestions of Miss Carroll, made to the Department some months before, were substantially carried out through the campaigns in that section--great successes followed, and the country was largely benefitted in the saving of time and expenditure.

I hope Congress will reward Miss Carroll liberally for her patriotic efforts and services.

Very Truly, yours,


Hon. Henry Wilson

Chairman, Military Committee, U. S. Senate 34.

That Scott was ordered West reveals that Lincoln and Stanton recognized that neither Halleck nor Buell had the wherewithal to organize the necessary reinforcements, transportation, and logistical support for such an effort.

Although Halleck, Grant, and Foote clearly deserve the lion's share of the credit for the success of the Tennessee River campaign, even by conservative standards one can say that Carroll contributed the following: she was instrumental in forcing a major change in administration plans as to military operations in the West; she hastened Cameron's dismissal and precipitated Stanton's appointment; with Halleck's advance McClellan was left with no choice but to support the program; and Carroll aided in the achievement of internal consensus on one of the major strategic decisions of the war. The general arguments and technical detail of her plan would also have given the administration confidence to massively reinforce Halleck's advance upon Fort Henry. Finally, the advance up the Tennessee River was the beginning of the end of McClellan's military career.

Moreover, Carroll's strategic thinking was more accurate than Halleck's in regard to the importance of the Memphis-Charleston Railroad. As she predicted as Union forces advanced up the Tennessee, the Confederates had to relinquish the state of Kentucky; Johnston evacuated Bowling Green after Fort Henry, then Columbus and Nashville after Fort Donelson, the Confederate line in eastern Kentucky having collapsed earlier following Thomas's victory over Crittenden at Mills Springs. From there Johnston's and Beauregard's forces from Columbus moved south to the town of Corinth, Mississippi to unite and make a stand to protect the Memphis-Charleston Railroad. Both Grant and Buell moved their respective armies toward that position in pursuit of Johnston.

Meanwhile Thomas Scott was traveling with Union advance forces trying to help coordinate between Halleck and Buell. On March 6 Halleck wrote him as to Beauregard's intentions in occupying Corinth, "It is his best point to cover Memphis and Chattanooga. What a mistake that Buell did not send forces to move with us up the Tennessee River, so as to seize that point. . . .I cannot make Buell understand the importance of strategic points till it is too late." Then on the 13th Buell wrote Halleck, "All information goes to show that the enemy is concentrating along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at the great southern bend of the Tennessee. Decatur seems to be the main point, but they also occupy Huntsville, Corinth and several intermediate points, besides Jackson and Humboldt." In order to facilitate troop movements in the area, Lincoln issued President's War Order No. 3 on March 11, relieving Buell of his departmental command and placing Halleck in charge of all union forces west of Knoxville, henceforth known as the Department of the Mississippi. In addition McClellan was relieved of his authority over troops in the West and was put in charge only of the Army of the Potomac.

In hopes of defeating Grant before he could be reinforced by Buell, in early April Johnston attacked Grant at Pittsburgh Landing near the Tennessee/Mississippi border where Grant narrowly emerged victorious. The 20,000 Union and Confederate casualties at the Battle of Shiloh disabused the North of the hope of a rolling victory over the South in the West. At the same time, however, it planted the Union boot firmly and deeply in Confederate territory. In July, Lincoln promoted Halleck to the position of General-in-Chief of the Union armies and for all practical purposes, Grant became a department commander. In spite of these changes, it would be still fifteen months before Grant, Gen. William T. Sherman and Adm. David D. Porter could deliver the crowning blow to the Confederates in the West--the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863.

In a somewhat ironic twist of history, the contemporary who provided perhaps the broadest, most prescient view of the strategic importance of Tennessee River campaign was Karl Marx. When the war broke out, Marx and Frederich Engels were living in London, exiles from the 1848 German revolution. Marx was a columnist both for the New York Herald Tribune and Vienna's Die Presse. Writing in the Austrian paper on March 27, 1862, Marx proclaimed that the Tennessee River campaign molded the true strategic character of the war. The Potomac was not the important theater, as success there would yield nothing militarily. Following the Confederate relinquishment of Kentucky and Tennessee, however, Union forces, east and west, could now operate in concert. Before they were too far apart and operated on different lines. Moreover, the Confederacy had been a compact whole. As a result of the Tennessee victories, a great wedge had been driven into the Confederacy that allowed for a direct Union line from Virginia through Tennessee to the trans-Mississippi. Given that there was no populous national urban center at the heart of the Confederacy, its geographic backbone had to be broken to achieve victory: The Confederate backbone was the state of Georgia.

. . . .Georgia is the key to Secessia. With the loss of Georgia the Confederacy would be cut into two sections which would have lost all connection with one another. A reconquest of Georgia by the Secessionists, however, would be almost unthinkable, for if the Unionist fighting forces would be concentrated in a center position, while their adversaries, divided into two camps, would have scarcely sufficient forces to summon to a united attack.

At the same time. . . no Southern republic is capable of living without the possession of Tennessee. Without Tennessee, Georgia's vital spot lies only eight or ten days' march from the frontier; the North would constantly have its hand at the throat of the South, and on the slightest pressure the South would have to yield or fight for its life anew, under circumstances in which a single defeat would cut off every prospect of success.

Of course, Marx was right. But first, as the Union leadership correctly perceived, the Mississippi had to be taken to close down support from the Western states, particularly Texas (not just Missouri as Marx wrote), as it supplied formidable numbers of men and amounts of supplies, as well as foreign goods through Mexico. In testimony to Marx's clear vision regarding Tennessee, note that Ulysses Grant was promoted to General-in-Chief after the Battle of Chattanooga that permanently secured that state for the Union. Then Sherman marched into Georgia. 35.

* * * *

Although a few members of Congress had known about the Tennessee River plan and that one had originally been submitted by Carroll, the administration tried to keep her responsibility for the campaign secret. In spite of these efforts, because Congress was so relieved that victories had finally taken place, Rep. Roscoe Conkling introduced a resolution on February 24, 1862, that thanked Generals Halleck and Grant for planning the "recent movements in their respective divisions" and for the men and officers for achieving victories. But Conkling further requested that the action lie over until:

. . . .the House and the country shall be in full possession of all the facts in the case, including reports to be made by different generals, and when we shall know whether these victories were organized or directed at a distance from the fields where they were won, and if so by whom organized, or whether they were the conceptions of those who executed them.

Some of those making a recommendation for a deferral of action knew who shared responsibility and that it would not do to reveal it at that time.

According to Carroll soon after the congressional debates, she spoke to Assistant Secretary Scott and he said that she, ". . . .'acted very properly in the matter; that there is no question of her being entitled to the vote of thanks by Congress; that she has saved incalculable millions to the country, etc., but that it would not do while the struggle lasted to make a public claim;" As for Carroll herself, she told Blackwell, "I was present through it [the Conkling resolution debates] all and could at any moment have satisfied Congress and the world as to the authorship of the plan, but from prudential reasons, I refrained from uttering a word." Congressman Albert Gallatin Riddle later wrote that when members asked Lincoln or Stanton who was responsible for the victory, they replied that secrecy was required and would not reveal the identity of the responsible person. 36.

Following the victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, the administration now could envision an overall military campaign plan for the Western region. Once the major army and navy objectives were clear, it was much easier for Lincoln to make decisions as to the capabilities of his commanders in the field and on the rivers. Then he could make personnel changes on the basis of success or defeat and this he proceeded to do.

* * * *

As was typical of her nature, the submission of the November 30, Tennessee River plan was not sufficient for Carroll. Through 1862, she sent Stanton several letters further detailing information received from the river boat Capt. Charles Scott, then in the field with Grant, and giving additional ideas as to the course of military operations. Blackwell reported that a visitor to her room in 1861 found that it:

. . . .was lined with military maps, her tables covered with papers and war documents. She would talk of nothing but the war. . .

When fresh news from the army came in she would step up to one of her charts and, placing a finger on a point, she would say: 'Here is General
----'s detachment; here is the rebel army; such and such are the fortifications and surrounding circumstances; and she would then begin thoughtfully to predict the result and suggest the proper move.

In a letter dated March 26, 1862, Carroll advised Stanton that the Union column be strengthened to seize the Memphis and Charleston Railroad as the readiest means of reducing Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River and all enemy strongholds south to Memphis. It read in part:

The failure to take Island 10, which thus far occasions much disappointment to the country, excites no surprise to me. When I looked at the gunboats at St. Louis, and was informed as to their power, and considered that the current of the Mississippi at full tide runs at the rate of five miles per hour, which is very near the speed of our gunboats, I could not resist the conclusion that they were not well fitted to the taking of batteries on the Mississippi river if assisted by gunboats perhaps equal to our own. Hence it was that I wrote Col. Scott from there that the Tennessee river was our strategic point, and the successes at Forts Henry and Donelson established the justice of these observations. Had our victorious army, after the fall of Fort Henry, immediately pushed up the Tennessee river and taken position on the Memphis and Charleston railroad, between Corinth, Mississippi, and Decatur, Alabama, which might easily have been done at that time with a small force, every rebel soldier in Western Kentucky and Tennessee would have fled from every position to the south of the railroad. And had Buell pursued the enemy in his retreat from Nashville without delay into a commanding position in North Alabama on the railroad between Chattanooga and Decatur, the rebel government at Richmond would have necessarily been obliged to retreat to the cotton States. I am fully satisfied that the true policy of Gen. H[alleck]. is to strengthen Grant's column by such a force as will enable him at once to seize the Memphis and Charleston railroad, as it is the readiest means of reducing Island 10, and all the strongholds of the enemy to Memphis.

The option presented was an extension of her thinking that if the Union armies had continued to press south at a rapid pace, the Confederates would have been forced to evacuate points north of the Union line in order not to be cut off and surrounded. And this is exactly what happened. Halleck arrived in Tennessee four days after the Battle of Shiloh and spent the next three weeks and one month moving his forces the twenty-two miles from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth, Mississippi. By the time he arrived at Corinth on May 30, Beauregard had already abandoned it. During this time (April and May), above this line three Confederate strongholds remained to be taken: Island No. 10, an island in the Mississippi to which General Polk had moved his arms and supplies when he abandoned Columbus; Fort Pillow, a garrison perched on the bluffs of the Mississippi; and Memphis further south, also situated on the banks of that great muddy river. 37.

At the beginning of March, Maj. Gen. John Pope and Foote launched a joint operation against Island No. 10 and enemy forces in the environs. Although Pope had taken the town of New Madrid early in the month, the problem was getting Foote's fleet past the Confederate batteries on the island, as well as those on the Tennessee side of the river. Without the use of the boats as transports, Pope's men could not cross the river to attack the Confederate positions. Having failed to reduce the Confederate batteries, during the first week of April, two of Foote's gunboats successfully ran them at night and arrived at New Madrid to transport Pope's men across the Mississippi. On April 7, Confederate forces on Island No. 10, finding themselves surrounded, surrendered to Flag Officer Foote; the rebels began to abandon the batteries on the Tennessee shore in the face of Pope's advancing troops and upon Pope's pursuit surrendered to him, on the 8th. Foote and Pope then moved on Fort Pillow. At the beginning of May, Capt. Charles H. Davis replaced Foote because of wounds he had received at Fort Donelson. Within seven weeks Corinth was occupied by Halleck making the Confederate position at Fort Pillow untenable and it was abandoned in early June. From Fort Pillow, the Union gunboat fleet under Davis's command descended the river, arrived at Memphis, and engaged the Confederate gunboats and rams at that city. Once these were sunk, disabled or had fled, the Confederate army evacuated that city and it was surrendered and occupied by Union troops on June 6.

Regarding, Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow, Carroll's point in her March 26 letter was that had Halleck moved faster against Corinth, Pope and Foote would not have had to spend the month of March trying to reduce the island for the occupation of Corinth would have made it untenable, as was the case with Fort Pillow and Memphis. After Halleck occupied Corinth, the railroad link to Memphis was cut and the Confederate positions at Forts Pillow and Randolph and Memphis were flanked. The two forts were evacuated, but the Confederates decided to try hold Memphis, an arms manufacturing center. In spite of the impact Corinth had on the viability of Confederate positions on the river, ultimately the Southern gunboat fleet would have had to have been dealt with. After the fleet’s virtual destruction during the battle for Memphis, the Mississippi River was cleared south to Vicksburg, the next high ground the U.S. Navy and Army had to take. 38.


* * * *

By the end of May 1862, a Navy fleet under the command of David Glasgow Farragut had taken the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge. and Natchez. On two trips up river in May and June, accompanying his officers and sailors on his transports were Gen. Ben Butler's troops from New Orleans. On both occasions when the fleet and troops arrived at Vicksburg, it was clear that Farragut had too few men to take the city. Under orders from President Lincoln and Navy Secretary Welles to open the river, Farragut sent messages to Commodore Davis and General Halleck requesting ships and troops and his fleet moved above Vicksburg. Halleck replied on June 30, that he could spare no troops and perhaps could in a few weeks. Davis's vessels moved down from Memphis to join Farragut--now above Vicksburg--and in July, they operated against Confederate batteries and gunboats in the area. However, on the 20th of July, Farragut was ordered to move down river because of the army's inability to supply additional troops. In the meantime the Confederates were heavily reinforcing the 200-foot bluffs on which Vicksburg was located. This and the many future months' delays were to have disastrous consequences for the Union and the people of Vicksburg. The Vicksburg campaign was one of the longest of the war, resulting in large military and civilian casualties. The fretful siege may have been avoided had the Confederates not been given a whole year to prepare their defenses. 39.

As usual Anna Ella Carroll had predicted the necessity of taking Vicksburg as quickly as possible. On May 14, 1862, two weeks before Halleck occupied Corinth, she sent a letter to Stanton stating in part:

It will be the obvious policy of the rebels in the event of Beauregard's defeat, to send a large column into Texas for the purpose of holding that country for subsistence, where beef and wheat abound.

Now all this can be defeated by strongly occupying Vicksburg and plying a gunboat or two on the Yazoo River. I would also suggest a gunboat to be placed at the mouth of the Red and Arkansas rivers.

Whether the impending battle in North Mississippi should occur at Corinth or within the area of a hundred miles, a large part of the enemy's forces will retreat by the Yazoo river and by the R.R. to Vicksburg, on the Mississippi, and will take the railroad through Louisiana into Texas.

These views were modified ones of those in a letter received from the river boat Capt. Charles Scott two weeks earlier. She enclosed Captain Scott's letter for the purpose of relaying the information on the skiffs and canoes; she also included his letter detailing the facts of the battle of Pittsburgh Landing. Scott's letter read as follows:

I think the enemy will retreat to the Grand Junction some 60 miles nearer Memphis and when our forces approach him then he will go down the Central Miss Railroad to Jackson and if there is another great Battle [sic] in the West it will be there. I think they will try to postpone any thing serious in this part of the country until after the Battle pending in Virginia is decided for if they do and are defeated [sic] every Leader will be taken without fail whilst if it is postponed until after that is decided the Leaders can bring what troops they have left and joining them to what they have here make one last struggle for life and if defeated escape across the Miss into Arkansas and through that into Texas and Mexico. You may rest assured that the Leaders will not be caught if they can get away with life and as to property they have that secured already. The only way this plan can be frustrated [is to] occupy Memphis & Vicksburg strongly [fortify] the latter and send one or more of our gunboats up the Yazoo River to watch every [creek and] inlet so that they may be unable to get ___ to the swamp by canoes and skiffs . . ..[If they reach the swamp] their escape would be easy as they would have 400 miles of the River to strike any part of which they would find friends to assist them over the Arkansas side of the River and from there pursuit would be useless. 40.

* * * *

On October 25, 1862, Ulysses Grant was appointed commander of the Department of the Tennessee. Since June he had utilized his forces to defend areas already taken in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Also in October, Buell was replaced by Gen. William S. Rosecrans as the commander of middle Tennessee. In October the Union gunboat fleet, which had operated with naval officers but under army command, was formed into the Mississippi Squadron under Naval command and headed by Acting Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter.

Following this reorganization the federal war machine was ready to initiate the campaign for Vicksburg. It began on November 2, 1862. In December Grant, at Oxford, Mississippi, sent Sherman back to Memphis with two divisions to assume overall command of the Mississippi expedition. There he was to join with Porter's squadron and descend the Mississippi River. Upon arrival in the vicinity of Vicksburg, their orders were to, ". . . .proceed to the reduction of that place in such manner as circumstances, and your own judgment, may dictate." With this accomplished Grant could hold Confederate Gen. John C. Pemberton north at his front and Sherman could get in Pemberton's rear and into Vicksburg. 41.

At this time, having knowledge of the planned assault on Vicksburg, in October Carroll prepared an elaborate paper and delivered it to the Secretary of War with a map. It recommended that Grant not try to take Vicksburg directly from the Mississippi River and instead advised a movement against it from Jackson in its rear. She wrote:

As I understand an expedition is about to go down the river for the purpose of reducing Vicksburg, I have prepared the enclosed map in order to demonstrate more clearly the obstacles to be encountered in the contemplated assault. In the first place it is impossible to take Vicksburg in front without too great a loss of life and material, for the reason that the river is only about half a mile wide, and our forces would be in point-blank range of their guns--not only from their water-batteries which line the shore, but from the batteries that crown the hills, while the enemy would be protected by the elevation from the range of our fire. By examining the map I enclose, you will at once perceive why a place of so little apparent strength has been enabled to resist the combined fleets of the Upper and Lower Mississippi. The most economical plan for the reduction of Vicksburg now, is to push a column from Memphis or Corinth down the Mississippi Central railroad to Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi. The occupation of Jackson and the command of the railroad to New Orleans would compel the immediate evacuation of Vicksburg as well as the retreat of the entire rebel army east of that line; and by another movement of our army from Jackson, Mississippi, or from Corinth to Meridian in the State of Mississippi, on the Ohio and Mobile railroad, especially if aided by a movement of our gunboats on Mobile, the confederate forces, with all the disloyal men and their slaves would be compelled to fly east of the Tombigbee.

Mobile being then in our possession with 100,000 men at Meridian would redeem the entire country from Memphis to the Tombigbee river. Of course, I would have the gunboats with a small force at Vicksburg as auxiliary to this movement. With regard to the canal, Vicksburg can be rendered useless to the confederate army upon the very first rise of the river, but I do not advise this, because Vicksburg belongs to the United States, and we desire to hold and fortify it, for the Mississippi river at Vicksburg and the Vicksburg and Jackson railroad will become necessary as a base of our future operations. Vicksburg might have been reduced eight months ago, as I then advised after the fall of Fort Henry, and with much more ease than it can be done to-day. 42.

In this, Carroll was correct--correct, that is given a set of optimal circumstances which did not exist. Although the naval forces accompanying Grant were absolutely necessary to help finally reduce the town through naval bombardment, the bluffs on which Vicksburg and those north and south of it were too heavily fortified to be taken from the river. However, the problem would be to establish a secure supply line in the rear.

In December Sherman had failed to take the heavily fortified bluffs directly above Vicksburg on the Yazoo River delta and Grant's supply base at Holly Springs, Mississippi had been lost to the Confederates. In the meantime Grant had also received orders from Washington to divide his forces into four corps, giving Gen. John McClernand command of that portion of the army which was to operate down the Mississippi. Complicating matters was the fact that Grant, Sherman, and Porter did not trust McClernand with such a responsibility. To add to the difficulties, Pemberton had also gotten back to Vicksburg before Sherman, precluding an easy occupation of that place. These circumstances left Grant with no choice but take personal command of the whole operation. Hence he returned to Memphis to make preparations to secure the territory behind him and on January 29 arrived north of Vicksburg.

Grant decided to establish a supply line from the Mississippi, in spite of the fact that marching troops on the land or navigating gunboats or transports on the river would prove difficult. This decision was made more for political than logistical reasons:

The strategical way according to the rule, . . .would have been to go back to Memphis; establish that as a base of supplies; fortify it so that the storehouses could be held by a small garrison, and move from there along the line of railroad, repairing as we advanced, to the Yallabusha, or to Jackson, Mississippi. At this time the North had become very much discouraged. Many strong Union men believed that the war must prove a failure. The elections of 1862 had gone against the party which was for the prosecution of the war to save the Union if it took the last man and the last dollar. Volunatry enlistments had ceased throughout the greater part of the North, and the draft had been restored to fill up our ranks. It was my judgment at the time that to make a backward movement as long as that from Vicksburg to Memphis, would be interpreted, by many of those yet full of hope for the preservation of the Union, as a defeat, and that the draft would be resisted, desertions ensue and the power to capture and punish deserters lost. There was nothing left to be done but to go forward to a decisive victory. This was in my mind from the time I took command in person at Young's Point.

Thus, "The real work of the campaign and the siege of Vicksburg now began. The problem was to secure a footing upon dry ground on the east side of the river from which the troops could operate against Vicksburg."

In February and March, Grant and Porter tried to establish water connections around Vicksburg, bypassing Confederate batteries, by cutting passageways through the levees and bayous in the area. These and other efforts failed leaving the Union forces to await the fall of the high river levels produced by the particularly heavy spring rains. 43.

In April, after an abortive attempt to take Grand Gulf, a town below Vicksburg, Grant decided to march his troops further south on the Louisiana side of the river to a location opposite Bruinsburg, Mississippi. Porter ran his transports past the Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf at night and the next day ferried Grant's troops across the river, landing them at Bruinsburg unopposed. By May 3, the Confederates had abandoned Grand Gulf. Grant's plan at this point was to establish Grand Gulf as a supply base, send McClernand to aid Gen. Nathaniel Banks in taking Banks at Port Hudson and await Banks's reinforcements. To do so, however, would have taken too much time--time during which the Confederates themselves would be reinforcing. But not to do so, left Grant without a reliable supply and communication line. In the most daring federal move of the war, Grant solved his problem by cutting his communications and supply lines, and deciding to forage from the country, marched his forces northeast. 44.

Grant's overall plan was to move his forces in between Pemberton at Vicksburg and Gen. Joe Johnston at Jackson, implementing a divide and conquer strategy. On May 14, 1863, Grant attacked Johnston at Jackson and forced him to withdraw from the city. Leaving Sherman to cover Jackson, Grant then went after Pemberton, ultimately forcing him to retire to Vicksburg.

Within five days, Grant had taken Confederate positions on the Yazoo, Vicksburg was invested, and a Union supply line by water had been secured. Porter then began a naval bombardment. Assaults made on Vicksburg on the 19th and the 22nd of May were repulsed. At this point, Grant made preparations to lay a general siege of the city. For more than a month, Porter and Grant bombarded Vicksburg from all sides and essentially reduced it to rubble. Pemberton, hoping for aid from Johnston, held out. Then on July 3, he asked for terms from Grant and Vicksburg was formally surrendered on July 4, 1863. 45.

Regarding the Vicksburg campaign, the correctness of Carroll's thinking in her October letter, was essentially confirmed by Grant in his memoirs. Grant concluded that the only reason Vicksburg was not evacuated after the surrender of Jackson was that Pemberton acted improperly.

We were now assured of our position between Johnston and Pemberton, without a possibility of a junction of their forces. Pemberton might have made a night march to the Big Black [River], crossed the bridge there and, by moving north on the west side, have eluded us and finally returned to Johnston. But this would have given us Vicksburg. It would have been his proper move, however, and the one Johnston would have made had he been in Pemberton's place. In fact it would have been in conformity with Johnston's orders to Pemberton.

Additionally, after Vicksburg Grant recommended a move on Mobile.

Having that [Mobile] as a base of operations, troops could have been thrown into the interior to operate against General [Braxton ] Bragg's army. This would necessarily have compelled Bragg to detach in order to meet this fire in his rear. If he had not done this the troops from Mobile could have inflicted inestimable damage upon much of the country from which his army and Lee's were yet receiving their supplies. I was so much impressed with this idea that I renewed my request later in July and again about the 1st of August, and proposed sending all the troops necessary, asking only the assistance of the navy to protect the debarkation of troops at or near Mobile. . . .Both requests were refused. 46.

* * * *

July 1863 proved to be one of the most fateful months of the Civil War. It marked the beginning of the end of the hopes of the Confederacy. In the East, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson had been playing havoc with a succession of Union generals' careers, as defeats cost George McClellan, John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joe Hooker their jobs. In the spring of 1863, in a risky gamble, Jefferson Davis sent Lee on an offensive invasion of the North. On July 3, Gen. George Meade defeated Lee's troops at the decisive battle near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After this the center of the war's action shifted to the Army of the Cumberland. In 1862, Buell had been pushed back into northern Kentucky by clever maneuvering on the part of Bragg. Because of these losses William Rosecrans replaced Buell and regained territory south to Chattanooga, Tennessee. By September of 1863, however Rosecrans found himself surrounded and boxed in by Confederates. George Thomas now replaced Rosecrans, and in a panic, two army corps under Hooker’s command were sent west from Virginia to reinforce Thomas. Sherman and part of the Army of the Tennessee were also sent east from Memphis. At this point, Grant was put in charge of all military operations west of the Alleghenies, except for those around New Orleans. On November 24 and 25, the Battle of Chattanooga was fought to a victorious conclusion for the Union forces and the Confederates retreated into northern Georgia. By this time, it was clear that Grant was slated to become the new general-in-chief of the Union armies. The war in the West was decided. Sherman would enter Georgia, the "keystone" state, and the vivisection of the South soon would be complete. To some extent future events in Virginia constituted a large mopping up operation.

So on March 9, 1864, unassuming Ulysses S. Grant was appointed head of all the Union armies. He gave Sherman command of the Western armies. For the first time, all Union forces began operating in tandem and the military objectives were very clear. No more effort would be spent occupying territory which was how Halleck had mucked away time in and around Corinth. No more time would be spent trying to take capitals. For Grant the only thing that counted was destroying the Confederate armies. Thus, Sherman went after Joe Johnston in Georgia and Grant went after Robert E. Lee in Virginia. 47.

As one traces the course of events which led to the final Union victory on April 9, 1865, with Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, it is clear that Anna Ella Carroll's contribution to the Union cause was not just an idea for a line of invasion. She also contributed to the line of victories which were won by Grant and as a result of which he finally rose to be the commander of the U.S. Army. And through it all, her basic strategic line of reasoning was correct. If the armies had followed her plan with the timing she suggested, Vicksburg might have been able to have been taken in the summer of 1862 and the war might have ended a year or more earlier. In his memoirs, Grant confirms the justification for her impatience with commanders throughout 1862.

After the capture of Corinth a movable force of 80,000 men, besides enough to hold all the territory acquired, could have been set in motion for the accomplishment of any great campaign for the suppression of the rebellion. In addition to this fresh troops were being raised to swell the effective force. But the work of depletion commenced. Buell with the Army of the Ohio was sent east, following the line of the Memphis and Charleston railroad. This he was ordered to repair as he advanced--only to have it destroyed by small guerrilla bands or other groups as soon as he was out of the way. If he had been sent directly to Chattanooga as rapidly as he could march, sending two or three divisions along the line of the railroad from Nashville forward, he could have arrived with but little fighting, and would have saved much of the loss of life which was afterwards incurred in gaining Chattanooga. Bragg would then not have had time to raise an army to contest the possession of middle and east Tennessee and Kentucky; the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga would not necessarily have been fought; then Burnside would not have been besieged in Knoxville without the power of helping himself or escaping; the battle of Chattanooga would not have been fought. These are the negative advantages, if the term negative is applicable, which would probably have resulted from prompt movements after Corinth fell into the possession of the National forces. The positive results might have been: a bloodless advance to Atlanta, to Vicksburg, or to any other desired point south of Corinth in the interior of Mississippi. 48.

With her indefatigable energy, Carroll did not begin and end her military career with commentary on Western strategies only. She monitored all military movements. In a letter written to Stanton in September 1862, she made recommendations for the Army of the Potomac. The missive was apparently written after the preliminary emancipation proclamation was issued. The Battle of Antietam then already would have been fought.

To my view the movements of the Confederate Armies are plain. Their movements upon the Potomac have not had for their primary object the capture of Washington, Baltimore, or Philadelphia, but to push a column up the Potomac or - crop the Alleghenies to the upper Ohio, there to meet the column which is now moving steadily up the Ohio through Western Va.

Certainly they would have captured everything in their march, but that was not their object. I have seen for some time that this vast power, moving from an extensive base, pointing in the form of a sharp wedge was designed to cut the loyal states in half at the narrowest point, Steubenville on the Ohio, and Cleveland on lake Erie. To carry this out successfully they will, if possible, keep our entire military force on this side of the Alleghenies until this column has made good its lodgment on the Ohio - and they will occupy all the troops of the West for the defence of the lower Ohio, until their column from the South has reached the point of designation. They hope then, this effort being successful, to drive the wedge right through to Cleveland and severing the United States in two.

They rely very confidentially upon counter revolution in the great Northwest and believe that through the emancipation proclamation they will succeed.

Carroll went on to advise Stanton to concentrate U.S. forces on the Ohio, at Pittsburgh, to prevent a Confederate force from crossing the Alleghenies. Other U.S. troops should drive Confederates out of West Virginia, as far south as the Virginia and Tennessee railroad. No positions in the East or the Mississippi Valley should be relinquished, to prevent the creation of a military vacuum the Confederates could fill. The reference to confidentiality suggests that Carroll had been given information as to Confederate hopes or intentions, particularly those regarding a Northwest uprising. In her assessment Carroll was only partially correct. Confederate Generals Bragg and Kirby Smith had invaded eastern Kentucky in August. Bragg did write that he hoped Gens. Earl Van Dorn’s and Sterling Price’s advance from Mississippi into western Tennessee would enable them all to "unite in Ohio." Smith’s troops did march within seventy-five miles of Cincinnati. Given the difficulties of the terrain, moving any large force across the Alleghenies would have been very difficult. The Federals had driven the main Confederate forces out of West Virginia in 1861, although they were still contending with very pesky opposition from guerrillas. The next year Confederate Gen. James Longstreet suggested to Davis that he reinforce Bragg so they again could try to drive north to the Ohio. Consequently, Grant might detach his forces from Vicksburg to come to the aid of Gen. William S. Rosecrans. Instead the Confederates decided to launch an offensive-defensive move into Pennsylvania that resulted in the Battle of Gettysburg. In this Lee hoped to relieve pressure from Union forces on the Rappahannock, further discourage a war-weary North, create political chaos for the Republican Party, and perhaps rekindle the idea of European recognition. Yet in the final analysis, Lee’s offensive strategic options were few, the same as Bragg’s. Writing on Bragg’s invasion James M. McPherson notes: "The rebels had neither the manpower nor the resources to convert a raid into an occupation and defense of the state [Kentucky] against aroused Federal countermeasures." The same applied to Lee in Pennsylvania. As stated previously the Confederates could only win by winning the defense. For the most part, Lee defended Richmond and attempted to deal a crippling blow to the Army of the Potomac which never happened. The end came, for all practical purposes, after the rest of the Confederacy had been conquered and the overall defense had been lost. Ultimately, no leader in the Confederacy ever was able to permanently block U.S. forces in the West that kept pouring in, once the line of invasion on the Tennessee River had been initiated.

Carroll was also not letting her gaze stray too far from the political situation in her home state. In August she produced another pamphlet for the administration apparently in support of the war effort. Attorney General Bates wrote that he trusted that its influence would go far toward helping fill the draft quota. In the only extant letter from him to Carroll, Lincoln complimented her on the document. "Like every thing else that comes from you I have read the address to Maryland with a great deal of pleasure and interest. . . .It is just what is needed now and you were the one to do it."

In what could be said to be one of the more back-handed compliments of the war, the Confederates themselves testified to the importance of the Carroll's military contribution to the U.S. victory. In a letter dated approximately six weeks before Lincoln's assassination, Confederate agents sent Carroll what amounted to a death threat.

Fort Delaware, March 1, 1865

Miss Carroll, Baltimore, Md.

MADAME: It is rumored in the Southern army that you furnished the plan of information that caused the United States Government to abandon the expedition designed to descend the Mississippi river, and transferred the armies up the Tennessee river in 1862. We wish to know if this is true. If it is, you are the veriest of traitors to your section, and we warn you that you stand upon a volcano.


* * * *

To tell the story of the Tennessee River Campaign is to tell the story of a group of people and a set of events that were absolutely critical to the ultimate outcome of the war three years later. At this time the Confederacy had the best chance of winning its independence. With victories, the Northern people would be shown to be willing to spill succeedingly greater amounts of their blood and treasure. Without victories, this may not have been the case. Had other events taken place in that winter, had other persons held office and made different decisions, had Anna Ella Carroll only concerned herself with capital politics or not been engaged in public affairs at all, our national heritage may have been quite different.

In his seminal work, On War, the Prussian Gen. Carl von Clausewitz limns a cogent portrait of the qualities required of a military leader:

As long as his men full of good courage fight with zeal and spirit, it is seldom necessary for the Chief to show great energy of purpose in the pursuit of his object. But as soon as difficulties arise. . .then things no longer move on of themselves like a well-oiled machine, the machine itself then begins to offer resistance, and to overcome this the Commander must have a great force of will. . . .As the forces in one individual after another become prostrated. . .the whole inertia of the mass gradually rests its weight on the Will of the Commander: by the spark in his breast, by the light of his spirit, the spark of purpose, the light of hope, must be kindled afresh in others: in so far only as he is equal to this, he stands above the masses and continues to be their master. . . .These are the weights which the courage and intelligent faculties of the military Commander have to overcome if he is to make his name illustrious. 50.

In the winter of 1862, Abraham Lincoln, Edwin Stanton, Gideon Welles, Gustavus Fox, Thomas Scott, Benjamin Wade, Henry Halleck, Ulysses Grant, Andrew Hull Foote, and Anna Ella Carroll were among those leaders who overcame the resistance of the federal war machine to achieve two of the first important Union victories of the war. President Lincoln, with the inertia of the Union cause resting on his shoulders, rose to his role as Commander-in-Chief. It is important to emphasize, however, that this was a collective effort. As deduced from the facts just arrayed, clearly no one person's star solely shined on the successes on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers in the winter of 1862.

* * * *

The author welcome comments on this chapter; contact her at


Photographs:  The military photographs in the text above have all been taken
from the National Archives online photo catalogue ( Bob
Rowen has enhanced the portrait photographs. The photographs of the
gunboats and transports on the Tennessee River have not been enhanced with the exception of the U.S.S. St. Louis. The print of the Battle for Fort Henry is from the Library of Congress online collection (



1. Blackwell, Military Genius, pp. 71, 72; Claim of Anna Ella Carroll,.House Misc. Doc., No. 179, 1876, pp. 9-15; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 9; Journal entry, 16 October 1861, Cradock-Jensen MSS; U. S., Senate, Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, "Conduct of the War, v. 3, pt. 11: Western Department, or Missouri", 37th Cong., 3d Sess., 1863, Senate Report No. 108, pp. 120-1; Evans to Seward, 7 September 1861, AEC MSS; Robert A. Griffin, "American Party," Texas Online, view/AA/waa1.html, pp. 1-3; McPherson, Battle Cry, pp. 290-93, 370-71.

2. Catton, Fury, p. 445; McPherson, Battle Cry, p. 394; Bruce Catton, The American Heritage Short History of the Civil War (New York, American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., Dell Publishing, Co., Inc., 1963), p. 56; Sandburg, War Years, Vol. 1, pp. 336-50; ORA, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 439; Senate Report No. 108, pp. 33-43; Documents, 22-27 November 1861, Lincoln MSS; Charles P. Roland, "Albert Sidney Johnston and the Loss of Forts Henry and Donelson", Journal of Southern History, vol. 23, no. 1 (February 1957):50.

3. Senate Report No. 108, p. 33; John D. Milligan, Gunboats down the Mississippi (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1965), pp. xxiv, 13-19; Blackwell, Military Genius, p. 74; Bern Anderson, By Sea and by River; the Naval History of the Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962), pp. 33, 41-42, 85-90; ORN, Vol. 22, pp. 278-79, 493, 502; James Mason Hoppin, Life of Andrew Hull Foote, Rear-Admiral, United States Navy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1874), pp. 154-55, 163-64; Bates, Diary, p. 300; Donald L. Canney, Lincoln's Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organization, 1861-65 (London: Conway Maritime Press, 1998), p. 174; McPherson, Battle Cry, p. 393; Spencer Tucker, Andrew Hull Foote: Civil War Admiral (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000), pp. 1-145; Abram William Foote, The Foote Family, Comprised of the Genealogy of Nathaniel Foote of Wethersfield, Connecticut and His Descendants (Rutland, Vt.: Marble City Press, The Tuttle Co., 1907-1932), s.v., Andrew Hull Foote et al.; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 15-170; Gustavus Vasa Fox, Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865, edited by Robert Means Thompson and Richard Wainwright, vol. 2 (New York: printed for the Naval Historical Society by the De Vinne Press, 1918-19), pp. 15-23, 42-43; Rowena Reed, Combined Operations in the Civil War (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1978), p. 82. Andrew Hull Foote was the descendant of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Deming Foote. Nathaniel was the lead man of the first "ten adventurers" who came from Massachusetts to settle Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1634. Of six children, this author's direct ancestor was the eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and Andrew Hull Foote and Harriet Beecher Stowe were descended from two of the sons, Robert and Nathaniel, respectively. Elizabeth Deming Foote was widowed and remarried Thomas Welles who was Gideon Welles's ancestor. Grant discusses his family's genealogy at the beginning of his memoirs. When finally completed, the mortar boats were engaged in Mississippi River and coastal operations throughout the war. In April 1862, nineteen 13-inchers were mounted on schooners and employed in the New Orleans campaign, bombarding Forts Jackson and St. Philip for six days and nights. Scows were towed into firing position; their length and beam measured 45 by 28 feet. They were first utilized at the battle for Island No. 10.

4. Frank L. Klement, Copperheads in the Midwest (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), pp. 3-10.

5. Bates, Diary, p. 180; Milligan, Gunboats, p. xix; Cochran, Northwest Confederacy, pp. 237-53; Evans, Material Bearing, p. 17.

6. Milligan, Gunboats, pp. xvii-xviii, xxi, 12-13; Evans, Material Bearing, pp. 6-8.

7. Evans, Material Bearing, p. 2; Milligan, Gunboats, pp. xxi, xxii-xxiii; Peter Franklin Walker, "Building a Tennessee Army: Autumn, 1861", Tennessee Historical Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 21 (June, 1957):99, 103; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 40.

8. Walker, "Building," pp. 99, 101-2; Roland, "Albert Sidney Johnston," pp. 45-46; Henry Walke, "The Gun Boats at Belmont and Fort Henry" and "The Western Flotilla at Fort Donelson," in Battles and Leaders: Being for the Most Part Contributions by Union and Confederate Officers. Vol. 1. eds. Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel. New York: The Century Co., 1887), p. 397; Grant, Memoirs, p. 213. The paragraphs on Virginia's and the West's strategic potential is based on years of general Civil War and military reading and lectures and talks with Thomas Mohr, reenactor of the 88th N.Y. Vol. Regt. and military personnel. I am particularly indebted to a West Point lecturer who pointed out that the Civil War's true nature as a war of attrition was that it was one of geographic attrition, i.e., that the South was geographically taken down. In April 1965 Lee's army was the only significant force left with dwindling supplies and a limited area in which to operate as Grant explained at the end of his memoirs. Also overlooked is the fact that the South was nearly starved into submission-- not the soldiers but their families. See books on why the South lost the Civil War. Of course, the other side of the attrition coin is that the North had the manpower both to sustain extreme numbers of casualties and to occupy the whole Southern territory.

9. Walker, Building, pp. 103-9, 111, 111-116; Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston, pp. 46-47, 48-50, 50 (quote from Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, p. 362); ORA, Series I, Vol. 7, pp. 687, 727, 737, 525; Vol. 4, pp. 349, 193-94; Walke, Battles and Leaders, pp. 400-01.

10. Peter Franklin Walker, "Holding the Tennessee Line: Winter, 1861-1862", Tennessee Historical Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 3 (September, 1957):239; ORA, Series I, Vol. 7, pp. 539-40.

11. Greenbie, Carroll and Abraham Lincoln, p. 283 and ftn. 10; Recollections, AEC MSS; Clarence E. Miller, "Forty Years of Long Ago: Early Annals of the Mercantile Library Association and Its Public Hall, 1846-1886," unpublished paper, Mercantile Library, University of Missouri-St. Louis, p. 44. Carroll states in her "Recollections" that Johnston, the head librarian, was the cousin of Albert Sidney Johnston, the Confederate commander in the West. Library documents, however, clearly state that Johnston was Joe Johnston’s brother. I leave it to others to research any familial relationship between the two Johnstons.

12. Claim of Anna Ella Carroll, House Misc. Doc., No. 179, 1876. pp. 9-14; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, pp. 10-11; Blackwell, Military Genius, pp. 72-73; Recollections, AEC MSS.

13. Recollections, AEC MSS; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 3-4; Blackwell, Military Genius, p. 74; Claim of Anna Ella Carroll, House Misc. Doc., No. 179, 1876, p. 9. In the appendix to his novel, Woman with a Sword (1948), Noble Hollister details the research he conducted which corroborates mine, although he gives full credit to Carroll for the Tenn. R. campaign which I do not. Further, he states that he found Evans's secret record book in the Seward home in Auburn, New York--a gold-embossed volume only titled, "The President--Confidential." According to Hollister, Evans returned to Washington from St. Louis in September 1861. He and Carroll then left together for St. Louis on October 11. They returned to Washington on November 28, and Carroll presented her plan to Assistant Secretary Scott. Most importantly, Hollister wrote that Lincoln, Stanton, and Thomas Scott developed the eastern component to War Order No. 1, with advice from Wade and Carroll (Hollister, pp. 398-401). This information was not cited in the text as it could not be verified and calls to the Seward home were not returned.

14. Blackwell, Military Genius, p. 74; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, pp. 12, 14-16; Kamm, Thomas A. Scott, pp. 8, 43; Sandburg, War Years, Vol. 2, p. 78.

15. Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, pp. 39-40, 46, 48; Congressional Globe, House, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, 7 January 1962, p. 205; 29 January 1862, p. 554; 4 February 1862, pp. 633-34,

16. Blackwell, Military Genius, p. 66; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 19.

17. Sandburg, War Years, Vol. 2, pp. 148-49, 431-37; John G. Nicolay and John Hay, eds., Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, 12 vols. (New York: Lamb Publ. Co., 1905), 7:79-82.

18. McClure, Men of War-Times, pp. 77, 165; Harold M. Hyman & Benjamin P. Thomas, Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962), pp. 64-65, 122-24, 136-37, 143; DAB, s.v., Edwin Stanton; U. S. House, Report on Claim of Anna Ella Carroll by Rep. E. S. Bragg, 46th Cong., 3d Sess., 1881, House Report No. 386, p. 3.

19. ORN, Vol. 22, pp. 528, 537-78, 595; McPherson, Battle Cry, pp. 396-402; Walke, Battles and Leaders, p. 401; William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman, by Himself (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, Publishers, 1972, Indiana University Press, 1957), pp. 219-20.

20. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 451, 457-58, 473, 487-88; vol. 8, p. 419.

21. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 480, 521, 524.

22. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 524, 526; Bates, Diary, p. 218.

23. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 527, 529, 530, 531.

24. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 532-33.

25. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 533-34, 535, 539-40.

26. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 544-47, 547, 548; Donald, Lincoln, pp. 328-330.

27. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, 102, 76, pp. 563-64, 567, 568; Donald, Lincoln, pp. 328-330.

28. ORN, vol. 22, p. 507; ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, pp. 560, 565.

29. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 1, pp. 120, 121, 571; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 169-70; Don Carlos Buell, "Statement of Major General Buell, in review of the Evidence Before the Military Commission, appointed by the War Department, in November, 1862...Campaign in Kentucky, Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northern Alabama in 1861", May 5, 1863 (Washington, D. C.: Burnett House, 1863), pp. 5-6.

30. ORA, Ser. I, Vol. 7, pp. 928-29; ORN, vol. 22, pp. 489, 491, 504-5, 516, 522; Hoppin, Andrew Hull Foote, p. 194; Bates, Diary, p. 233; Donald, Lincoln, p. 331, ftn.; Fox, Confidential Correspondence, p. 36.

31. ORN, vol. 22, pp. 511, 525; ORA, Ser. I, vol. 8, pp. 509-10; Ser. I., vol. 7, pp. 121, 571.

32. ORN, vol. 22, p. 523; Hay, Complete Works, pp. 89-90; Memo, 27 January 1862, Edwin H. Stanton papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, D. C.; Congressional Globe, Senate, 37th Cong., 1st Sess., 27 January 1862, pp. 490, 493; ORA, Ser. I, vol. 7, p. 571; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 42.

33. Walke, Fort Henry, p. 367; Sherman, William Tecumseh, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman, by Himself (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, Publishers, 1972, Indiana University Press, 1957), pp. 219-20; Roland, "Albert Sidney Johnston," pp. 56-58.

34. Kamm, Thomas A. Scott, p. 86; Thomas A. Scott to Stanton, 1 February 1862, Stanton MSS, Library of Congress; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, pp. 13-14.

35. ORA, Ser. I, vol. 10, pt. 2, pp. 10, 33, 28-9; Catton, Short History, pp. 59-61, 84; Grant, Memoirs, p. 233; Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Civil War in the U.S. (New York: International Publishers, 1974), pp. .164-171.

36. Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 62; Blackwell, Military Genius, pp. 111, 77, 80; Albert Gallatin Riddle, Recollections of War Times: Reminiscences of Men and Events in Washington, 1860-1865 (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, Knickerbocker Press, 1895), p. 190.

37. Blackwell, Military Genius, p. 28; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, p. 7; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 221-26; Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 101-02.

38. Milligan, Gunboats, pp. 73, 76; Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 101-14; ORN, Vol. 22, pp. 686-725.

39. Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 116-33; Milligan, Gunboats, pp. 79-90.

40. Miss Carroll's Claim, 1873, p. 42; C. Scott to AEC, 2 May 1862, AEC MSS.

41. Grant, Memoirs, pp. 248-49, 254, 250-57; Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 137-8; .

42. Miss Carroll's Claim, 1874, pp. 7-8.

43. Grant, Memoirs, pp. 262-63, 262, 256-62, 265-69.

44. Milligan, Gunboats, p. 159; Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 137-43; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 272-90.

45. Anderson, By Sea and by River, pp. 150, 148-52; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 290-332; Milligan, Gunboats, pp. 79-176.

46. Grant, Memoirs, pp. 306, 341.

47. Catton, Short History, pp. 186, 92-97, 113-118, 178-94; Grant, Memoirs, pp. 403-11.

48. Grant, Memoirs, pp. 227-28.

49. AEC to Stanton, 4 July 1862, September 1862, AEC MSS; McPherson, Battle Cry, pp. 297-304, 515-24, 646-47; Bates to AEC, 20 August 1862, Lincoln to AEC, 19 August 1862 with AEC to Garfield, 15 July 1880, James A. Garfield papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, D. C.; Miss Carroll's Claim, 1873, p. 50.

50. Carl Clausewitz, On War, reprint of 1908 translation (New York and England: Penguin Books, 1985), pp. 145-46.


Also read Excerpts from

 the chapter on the crisis, in which
ANNA ELLA CARROLL played a critical role

[Text (not continuous) describes the movement of NY and MA militia coming to the relief of Washington, D. C., following Lincoln's call for troops, having disembarked from ships at Annapolis; destruction of transportation and communication links had cut off the capital from the North and Maryland was in a state of insurrection.]


Meanwhile in Maryland on April 24th, the 7th New York and 8th Massachusetts Regiments sent out advance elements who moved west toward Annapolis Junction. Some members of the 8th were railway men and mechanics. Though wet from heavy rains, hungry and tired, the week-old soldiers repaired track, rolling stock, and bridges along the route and served as flank guards for the main force on its way into Washington. . . .The 7th New York Regiment first arrived in Washington at noon on the 25th. Within a short time Colonel [Marshall] Lefferts was shaking hands with President [Abraham] Lincoln at the White House.

The situation was by then so serious that [Gov. Thomas H.] Hicks [of Md.], fearing to go too far beyond the bounds of public opinion, called a session of the legislature to meet at the town of Frederick, a Union stronghold on April 26. . . .

. . . .On April 26, [General Scott]. . .issued General Orders No. 4 that noted, "From the known assemblage near this city of numerous bodies of hostile troops, it is evident that an attack upon it may be expected at any moment."

During this time, [Anna Ella] Carroll was trying to influence the course of legislative action. In an April 27 letter to Treasury Secty. Salmon P. Chase, she wrote, "It seems that I cannot go to Frederick except in a way to incur danger. So I am flooding the Legislators, Heaven defend us from such, with letters. I will be heard there and if the miserable fools pass the ordinance, let them just suffer the consequence. They will do it however, against & in defiance of the people."

. . . .discouragement began to seep into Confederate correspondence. In a series of letters to [Confed. Secty. of War Leroy P.] Walker, [Secret] Agent Duncan wrote that the Confederate troops had more confidence in Davis than [Robert E.] Lee. Lee "dwelt on enthusiasm North and against aggression from us." Lee, however, realistically had assessed his military situation. On April 24, Gen. P. St. George Cocke had written Lee that he only had 300 men fit for duty. They were facing thousands of federal troops situated across the Potomac.

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