The Military Memoirs of General John Pope

By Peter Cozzens; Robert I. Girardi et al. | Go to book overview
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Chapter Four
The Conduct of the Troops Was Splendid

As the operations for the reduction of Island No. Ten and the destruction thereby as the first serious resistance made by the Confederates to the navigation of the Mississippi River were unique, as well as eminently successful, they furnish an episode in the history of our Civil War solitary in its kind and worthy, therefore, to have its own record and to be studied by military men. An attempt was subsequently made to repeat these operations at Vicksburg, but it failed, as General Grant has explained. 1

In the early part of February 1862, the enemy's forces in the West occupied a fortified line from Bowling Green on the east to the Mississippi River at Columbus on the west. On the 16th of February General Grant broke this line by the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson. His operations and their success in the capture of these two forts compelled the evacuation of Columbus, which, though strongly fortified, was turned by the advance of General Grant up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This result had been apprehended

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