Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/137

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The Battle of Sh'doh. 125

and 6,000 Home Guards assembled in that State under General Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame, and he had with him Gen- erals Sherman, Thomas and Nelson.

The Confederacy had 4,000 poorly-armed and badly-equipped troops at Cumberland Gap under General Zollicoffer, guarding the only line of communication between Virginia and Tennessee. East- ern Tennessee was hostile to the Confederacy, and required constant guarding and vigilance. Besides Zollicoffer' s force there were only about 4,000 available men to protect General Johnston's line against some 40,000 Federal troops. His line extended from Cumberland Gap to Columbus, Ky. , with Bowling Green as a salient. Buckner was moving with a small force in Kentucky, the numbers of which were greatly exaggerated, and created much alarm. Bowling Green was strongly fortified, and General Johnston used every means in his power to rally the Kentuckians to his standard. He brought Hardee from Arkansas, with 4,000 men, and appealed to the Southern governors for arms and 50,000 troops. Governor Harris, of Tennessee, responded as best he could, but the govern- ment at Richmond was unable to re-enforce him or to arm the troops he had. General Johnston realized the magnitude of the struggle, and his unprepared condition, but the people of the South only awoke to it when it was too late. He was never able to assem- ble more than 20,000 troops to meet the 100,000 on his front.

On the yth of November the battle of Belmont was fought oppo- site Columbus, in Missouri, General Grant commanding the Federal and General Polk the Confederate army. In January, 1862, Gen- eral Johnston was confronted by General Halleck in the west and General Buell, who had succeeded Sherman in Kentucky. With the exception of the army under General Curtis in Missouri, about 12,000 strong, the whole resources of the Northwest were turned against General Johnston in Kentucky. Halleck, with troops at Cairo and Paducah, under Generals Grant and C. F. Smith, threat- ened Columbus, and the defenses at Forts Donelson and Henry. Buell's right wing menaced Donelson and Henry, while his centre was directed against Bowling Green and his left was advancing against Zollicoffer at Mill springs on the upper Cumberland.

The campaign opened with the defeat of the Confederates under Crittenden and Zollicoffer on the igth of January, 1862, by General Thomas at Mill springs, or Fishing creek.

While the loss was not severe, it ended with a rout, which left General Johnston's right flank exposed. To then reduce the force