January 9, 1861: Grant organizes a feint

Ulysses S. Grant

McClellan, Lincoln, and Buell all called on Halleck to attack the Confederates in western Kentucky to keep them from sending troops against Buell in the center of the state. After considerable resistance,
Gen. Halleck, unwilling to send a real force up the Cumberland River, ordered a demonstration instead.
Whether it was Grant’s temperament, or just the limited options available to a lower ranking general, Grant didn’t dither or backtalk — just sent out a flurry of dispatches to organize his feint southward.

From the Official Record:


CAIRO, January 9, 1862.
Commodore ANDREW H. FOOTE,
Commanding Cairo Flotilla:
Full directions have been given for the movement of troops on the expedition just fitting out. It will commence this evening by the advance under General McClernand taking position at Fort Jefferson. Will you be kind enough to direct such of the gunboats as you may think it expedient to send to accompany the transports and occupy a position for their protection?
U. S. GRANT,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 9, 1862.
General JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
Commanding, Cairo, Ill.:
As soon as ready for the move, your command will proceed to Fort Jefferson and encamp for the night. The cavalry, artillery, and transport wagons (empty) will land at Fort Holt, and will proceed from that point to Fort Jefferson. The ammunition my be divided, if necessary, among the accompanying wagons sufficiently to lighten the pieces and troops Bird’s Point at Fort Jefferson to-morrow morning the advance will be moved to Elliott’s Mill. The arrangement of guards is left with the commander of the advance.
By order of Brigadier-General Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 9, 1862.
General E. A. PAINE,
Commanding Second Brigade, Bird’s Point, Mo.:
On the arrival of transports at Bird’s Point you will cause the artillery, cavalry, and transport wagons to be ferried to Fort Holt and go into camp for the night immediately below there. Before having the wagons cross move everything the transports that can be dispensed with, leaving sufficient guard from each company on board to look after the company property. In the morning everything crossed to Fort Holt will proceed to Fort Jefferson. As the roads will be heavy, it may be necessary for the artillery to distribute their ammunition among the wagons accompanying. With the balance of your command now under orders you will proceed by transports to the same place and there await further orders.
U. S. GRANT,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 9, 1862.
General C. F. SMITH,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Paducah, Ky.:
Owing to the density of the fog it will be impossible to make any movement here to-day. This will delay your movements also, it being
desirable to effect a junction at Mayfield. As the matter now stands, the column leaving Paducah need not start until Saturday. If there should be future delay, I will telegraph you.
U. S. GRANT,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

This entry was posted in Andrew H. Foote, C.F. Smith, Don Carlos Buell, George McClellan, Henry Halleck, John A. McClernand, Kentucky, Ulysses S. Grant. Bookmark the permalink.

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