James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
rumor has just reached me that since the taking of Fort Donelson General Grant has resumed his former bad habits [habits of drink]. I do not deem it advisable to arrest him at present but have placed General Smith in command of the expedition up the Tennessee.1 These despatches were a cruel injustice to Grant. Since his victory his conduct had been proper, discreet and orderly.
Important as was the taking of Donelson, the full fruits of the victory were not garnered forthwith. Celerity was needed and Grant was the one general of the North who had shown that he could move quickly and fight an army effectively. If, instead of being unjustly criticised by Halleck, he had received the consideration that was his due and had been recommended for the active command, he could undoubtedly, if keeping himself at his best level of personal efficiency, have maintained the permanent occupation of Kentucky and Tennessee and taken Vicksburg and Chattanooga, thereby cutting off from the Confederacy a region that was considerably productive of troops and supplies.
The gloom at Richmond reflected the real dimensions of the disaster. On February 22, six days after the fall of Donelson, the provisional gave way to the permanent government of the Confederate States and Davis was inaugurated President for a term of six years. Amid the profound depression, at the darkest hour of our struggle, as he phrased it, Davis, pale and emaciated from illness and grief, delivered his inaugural address, in the course of which he admitted that we have recently met with serious disasters.2 Adversity drove the Confederates to extreme acts. Six days after his inauguration, Davis, by authority of an Act of Congress passed in secret session, proclaimed martial law in the city of