Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grant in the West

Meanwhile, out by the Mississippi River....

There was a pretty awesome new weapon called an ironclad. The Union had them on the Mississippi River, these were armored gun boats.

These boats were virtually invincible against the Confederate cannon fire.

The man behind the action in the Mississippi River Valley was General Ulysses S. Grant, he was kicking butt and taking names.

Grant, gunboats, and 15,000 troops moved up the Tennessee River and took Fort Henry, a confederate controlled fort, like it was nothing.

Then they headed to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.

This battle went on for three days and the Confederate General wanted to negotiate. Grant wasn't having this, he said...

In layman's terms, he said, "Oh hells naw".

The Confederates knew they were dealing with an intense guy, so they gave up.

This was reported in newspapers and Grant was seen as a hero.

The defeat of these two forts opened up the Western Confederacy and made the Mississippi easier to get to and attack.

Grant's next stop was a town called Corinth, Mississippi, which was located on the Tennessee River where 40,000 Confederate soldiers were waiting.

On the way, Grant stopped off in Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee to wait on 25,000 more troops.

The Confederates decided to surprise the Union instead of wait.

No, not that kind of surprise.

The Confederates took the Union off guard and pushed them back to the Tennessee River. Someone suggested to Grant that they retreat, he wasn't having it.

The extra troops Grant was waiting on finally arrived and Grant attacked. The Confederates were out numbered and retreated. This became known as the Battle of Shiloh.

Shiloh ended with the Union losing 13,000 soldiers and the Confederates losing more than 10,000. To give this a better perspective, during this two day battle, one of every four soldiers were killed our wounded.

The Union win at Shiloh made it possible for the Union to take the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in half.

100,000 Union soldiers were gathering at Pittsburgh Landing and 24 wooden ships entered the river from the Gulf of Mexico. Why?

To Capture New Orleans....

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