GRANT IN THE WEST
I HAVE never been able to get away from a suspicion that it was the bad report circulated about Grant which first attracted Lincoln's sympathy towards him. We cannot know all that was said, but some idea of the colour of it may be seen in the following dispatches:
Halleck to McClellan, 2nd March 1862 (a fortnight after the taking of Fort Donelson):
'I have had no communication with General Grant for over a week. He left his command without my authority and went to Nashville. It is hard to censure a successful general immediately after a victory but I think he richly deserves it. I can get no returns, no reports, no information of any kind from him. Satisfied with his victory he sits down and enjoys it without any regard for the future.'
McClellan to Halleck, March 3rd:
'Your despatch of last evening received. The success of our cause demands that proceedings such as Grant's should be at once checked. Do not hesitate to arrest him at once if the good of the service requires it, and place C. F. Smith in command. You are at liberty to regard this as a positive order if it will smooth your way.'
Halleck to McClellan, March 4th:
'A rumor has just reached me that Grant has resume his former bad habits. If so it will account for his repeated neglect of my oft repeated orders. I do not deem it advisable to arrest. him at present. . . . .'
Halleck to Grant, March 6th:
' General McClellan directs that you report to me daily the number and position of the forces under your command. Your