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Fort Donelson discussion

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  • Jfepperson@aol.com
    The most authoritative modern study of the Henry-Donelson campaign is the book by Benjamin Cooling. His maps and text make it clear that Lew Wallace was used
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2003

      The most authoritative modern study of the Henry-Donelson campaign
      is the book by Benjamin Cooling.  His maps and text make it clear
      that Lew Wallace was used to cover a large gap between
      McClernand and CF Smith.

      Allow me to make a larger point, which I suspect most of the participants
      are aware of.  Facts require a context for proper interpretation.  To say
      that I shot John Doe (I hope no one with that name is reading this :-)
      is a fact, but the interpretation of the fact changes if we know that
      John Doe was breaking into my house, or assaulting my wife, or
      having an affair with my wife, or simply walking down the street
      on a sunny day.

      What does my hypothetical murder of John Doe have to do with
      this discussion?  Well, it a fact that the Union line did not reach
      far enough to completely seal off the River Road leading out of
      the Fort Donelson position.  But our interpretation of that fact
      changes (IMO) based on our knowledge of the disposition and
      size of the Federal force.  The failure to cover all the way to the
      river (a fact) was not in any way a "blunder" or "gaffe" on Grant's
      part (this is an interpretation), but instead was the result of his not
      having enough troops to do the job properly.

      JFE 
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