BATTLE OF SHILOH.
MARCH AND APRIL, 1862.
IN the middle of February, 1862, Major-General Halleck commanded all the armies in the valley of the Mississippi, from his headquarters in St. Louis. These were, the Army of the Ohio, Major-General Buell, in Kentucky; the Army of the Tennessee, Major-General Grant, at Forts Henry and Donelson; and General S. R. Curtis, in Southern Missouri. He posted his chief of staff, General Cullum, at Cairo, and me at Paducah, chiefly to expedite and facilitate the important operations then in progress up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.
Fort Donelson surrendered to General Grant on the 16th of February, and there must have been a good deal of confusion resulting from the necessary care of the wounded, and disposition of prisoners, common to all such occasions, and there was a real difficulty in communicating between St. Louis and Fort Donelson.
General Buell had also followed up the rebel army, which had retreated hastily from Bowling Green to and through Nashville, a city of so much importance to the South, that it was at one time proposed as its capital. Both Generals Grant and Buell looked to its capture as an event of great importance. On the 21st General Grant sent GeneralSmith with his division to Clarksville, fifty miles above Donelson, toward Nashville, and on the 27th went himself to Nashville to meet and confer with General Buell, but returned to Donelson the next day