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Army of the Tennessee
Civil War Encyclopedia >> Armies - Union
February 13, 1862
February 16, 1862
Battle of Ft. Donelson

General Ulysses S. Grant demands the unconditional surrender of the garrison from an old friend, Simon Bolivar Buckner
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  John Floyd
  John A. McClernand
  Nathan Bedford Forrest
  Gideon Pillow
  Lew Wallace
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
  Simon Bolivar Buckner
April 6, 1862
April 7, 1862
Battle of Pittsburg Landing [Union]
Battle of Shiloh [Confederate]

Ulysses S. Grant [US] defeats Albert Sidney Johnston [CS] in southwest Tennessee. P. G. T. Beauregard assumed command following Johnston's death

Confederate Losses
1,723 dead
8,012 wounded
959 missing
Union Losses
1,754 dead
8,408 wounded
2,885 missing
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Sherman's Memoirs on Shiloh
  P. G. T. Beauregard
  Battle of Shiloh
  Braxton Bragg
  William Tecumseh Sherman
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  Don Carlos Buell
  Albert Sidney Johnston
  John Breckinridge
  William Hardee
  William 'Bull' Nelson
  Lew Wallace
  Lew Wallace at Shiloh
  James McPherson
  Army of Mississippi
April 11, 1862 Halleck assumes personal command of the forces at Pittsburg Landing, the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of the Ohio
  Henry Halleck
  Army of the Ohio
April 29, 1862 Under the command of Henry Halleck, the Army of the Tennessee begins to advance on Corinth Mississippi
  Henry Halleck
May 17, 1863 Battle of Black River

Pemberton placed his men with their backs to the Black River. When the U. S. attacked, Pemberton's line broke with most of the men crossing the Black River before the bridge was set on fire. Army of the Tennessee then spanned the Big Black, closing in on Vicksburg
  Battle of Vicksburg
  Second Vicksburg Campaign
May 19, 1863 William Tecumseh Sherman [US] launches a full scale frontal assault against Rebel lines in Vicksburg. He is repulsed with heavy losses, especially near the Stockade Redan Mississippi
  William Tecumseh Sherman
  Battle of Vicksburg
March 17, 1864 William Tecumseh Sherman, meeting with Grant in Nashville, is promoted to Military Division of the Mississippi commanding the Department of the Ohio, Department of the Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland and the Department of the Arkansas. Major General James McPherson is promoted to Sherman's old position, commander of the Army of the Tennessee Tennessee
  William Tecumseh Sherman
  Ulysses S. Grant
  James McPherson
March 26, 1864 Major General James Birdseye McPherson assumes command of the Army of the Tennessee
May 4, 1864 The final Spring Campaign of the Civil War began as the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River in Virginia and three smaller armys (Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland) pushed deeper into Georgia. Georgia
  Army of the Potomac
  Army of the Cumberland
  Army of the Ohio
July 22, 1864 During the Battle of Atlanta, Major General James McPherson, commander of the Army of the Tennessee is killed when he accidently crosses Confederate lines.
  Generals Who Died In the Civil War
  Battle of Atlanta
July 26, 1864 W. T. Sherman appoints O. O. Howard commander of the Army of the Tennessee
  William Tecumseh Sherman
  Atlanta Campaign

Army of the Tennessee

The Army of the Tennessee began as the "District of Cairo, Department of Missouri" and was commanded by Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant. It was divided into 3 divisions, the 1st under John A. McClernand, the 2nd under Charles F. Smith and the 3rd under Lew Wallace. Smith seized Paducah, Kentucky on September 6, 1861, two days after Leonidas Polk seized Columbus, Kentucky.

Grant was anxious about preserving his command of the northern Mississippi, so when John C. Fremont ordered him to demonstrate to support troops in central Missouri, Grant took Belmont, Missouri, opposite Polk's position in Columbus, from Gideon Pillow on November 7, 1861. The Confederates responded by moving Frank Cheatham across the Mississippi River to block Grant from his boats, but after a brief struggle Grant broke the weak line and returned to his starting point.

Belmont was hailed in the northern press as a victory, but there was a problem. Fremont had been removed command and Henry Halleck, Grant's new commander, didn't like to take chances. When Halleck first met Grant in January, 1862, Grant noticed the chilly reception, but Grant had bigger plans on his mind. The Confederates had build Fort Henry in a relatively weak position made weaker by a flood of the Tennessee River. When Grant proposed an attack against the fort Halleck denied it mostly because he (Halleck) had not come up with the idea. That's when President Abraham Lincoln stepped in, telling all his commanders to begin a general advance before February 22, 1862.

Apparently, Lincoln's communication did not have much of an affect on Halleck, but one from George McClellan telling of P. G. T. Beauregard's move West did. Halleck resurrected Grant's plan, approved it and sent him to the Kentucky-Tennessee border. To keep Leonidas Polk worried in Columbus, Grant made a feint towards the town on his way to Fort Henry. With an overpowering force of 15,000 men and the Western Flotilla on the Cumberland River the Army of West Tennessee faced a garrison of slightly more than 3,000 men under Lloyd Tighman, whom Grant had chased out of Paducah. First, Charles Ferguson Smith took Fort Heiman, on the west bank of the Tennessee, then the Western Flotilla began its bombardment of Fort Henry. Tilgman realized the hopelessness of the situation and evacuated most of his men but was forced to leave his weapons. In taking the fort Grant had control of the Tennessee River to the Mississippi border and turned Leonidas Polk's position in Columbus.

From here, Grant moved, with Halleck's permission, to Fort Donelson. Sidney Johnston, commander of the Confederate Army of the West, had close to half his force within the walls of Donelson and Grant's success here would be a major accomplishment for the general who was learning his lessons on the job. Grant had already decided the route to victory in the west was down the Tennessee River and not the Mississippi and that the best time to attack was before the Rebels were ready.

Fort Donelson, 10.5 miles east of Fort Henry was a prize Grant wanted.

During the Battle of Atlanta General John "Blackjack" Logan was put in temporary command of the Army of the Tennessee. He is later superseded by O. O. Howard.

Links appearing on this page:

Abraham Lincoln
Battle of Atlanta
Belmont, Missouri
February 22
February, 1862
Frank Cheatham
George McClellan
Gideon Pillow
Henry Halleck
John C. Fremont
Lew Wallace
P. G. T. Beauregard
Sidney Johnston
Ulysses S. Grant

Civil War Encyclopedia >> Armies - Union

Army of the Tennessee was last changed on - January 11, 2008
Army of the Tennessee was added on - March 10, 2006

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