Category Archives: Gideon Pillow

February 24, 1862: Buell takes Nashville – a premature report

Once the Cumberland River’s defenses at Fort Donelson fell, there was little to protect Nashville. It was the first Confederate capital to be captured by the Union. This dispatch in the New York Times was a day early, but Nashville … Continue reading

Posted in A. S. Johnston, Don Carlos Buell, Gideon Pillow, John B. Floyd, John C. Breckinridge, Thomas C. Hindman, William J. Hardee | Leave a comment

February 16, 1862: “Unconditional Surrender” Grant

After a fruitless and costly attempt to open an escape route for his troops, Floyd passed command of Fort Donelson to Pillow, who immediately dumped it on Buckner. Buckner had no choice but to surrender, and his exchange with Grant … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, John B. Floyd, S. B. Buckner, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

February 15, 1862: Breakout attempt at Fort Donelson

Taylor’s and McAllister’s Batteries at Fort Donelson The New York Times ran a full description of the battle at Fort Donelson. The author describes Pillow’s breakout attempt on Saturday the 15th (I believe the author misstates the day of the … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew H. Foote, Gideon Pillow, John A. McClernand, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

February 13, 1862: One last try to undercut Grant

Henry Halleck. Is it me, or does he look like Dick Cheney? Grant, with his forces facing Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, knew what he was up against now. Originally thinking he could take Donelson in a day after … Continue reading

Posted in Bushrod Johnson, Don Carlos Buell, Gideon Pillow, Henry Halleck, John B. Floyd, S. B. Buckner, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

September 9, 1861: Union public response to Confederate invasion of KY

A New York Times editorial gives their take on Pillow and Polk’s invasion of Kentucky. Kentucky Invaded by the Rebels. Published: September 9, 1861 It appears that the die is cast in Kentucky and that in spite of the earnest … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, John C. Breckinridge, Kentucky, Leonidas Polk | Leave a comment

September 4, 1861: Confederates invade Kentucky

1853 map detail showing the area. Late on the night of September 3, General Pillow made good on his plans to move into Kentucky and seize the high ground at Columbus, landing a force at Hickman. Additional troops were sent … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, Kentucky, Missouri | Leave a comment

August 29, 1861: Pillow contemplates invading Kentucky

General Pillow, in a longish dispatch to Gen. Polk, argues that if he can’t take Cape Girardeau on the Missouri side of the river, the best way to block Mississippi traffic is to take Columbus, Kentucky. Of course, Kentucky being … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, Kentucky, Leonidas Polk, Missouri | 1 Comment

August 26, 1861: Retreat!!!

The fighting bishop, Leonidas Polk, tells Pillow to fall back to New Madrid (and Hardee to back off too). They had dithered long enough for the Union to gather sufficient troops to defend Cape Girardeau and St. Louis from Confederate … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, Leonidas Polk, Missouri, William J. Hardee | Leave a comment

August 25, 1861: Thompson bitches to Hardee

It’s a bit unprofessional to blame one officer for delays in your correspondence with another, but I guess Thompson was starting to chafe a bit from his enforced idleness in Swampeast Missouri. From the Official Record, Series 1, Vol. 3, … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, M. Jeff Thompson, Missouri, William J. Hardee | Leave a comment

August 23, 1861: Why Pillow can’t move (again)

Gideon J. Pillow While McClellan was back east developing a reputation for endless dithering and retreating, Pillow was playing his Confederate counterpart in the west. There was always something stopping him from moving north along the Mississippi. Official Record, Series … Continue reading

Posted in Gideon Pillow, Leonidas Polk | Leave a comment