Spring 1862: Military Moves in the West
Earlier in April the Confederate forces under General Albert Sidney Johnston, prepared a response to the Union victory at Fort Donelson. Because of that loss, the Confederate leader was forced to move his line of defense in the West further south. So, he abandoned both his headquarters at Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. Then, he gathered and reorganized his forces at Corinth, Mississippi.
He pulled infantry from all over his command in the west. He even took soldiers who had been assigned to the defenses of New Orleans. By the end of March, he had almost 30,000 effectives under his command gathered at Corinth. He was also expecting another 10,000 men from Arkansas under the command of General Card.\
Grant, meanwhile, had moved his force of some 30,000 men south of Fort Donelson to Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee. There, he was ordered to await General Buell’s force of about 25,000 men coming by boat fro East Tennessee. Grant set up his headquarters some six miles north of Pittsburg Landing at an estate on the Tennessee River.
General Johnston planned to attack and defeat Grant before Buell’s army arrived with his reinforcements. Then, he intended to turn his victorious army and defeat Buell. With such a Confederate victory, Johnston believed hw would accomplish several things. Among them, the Confederate line of defense could once again be moved north. His forces would also regain the initiative in the West. and, the territorial losses sustained by the defeat at Fort Donelson would be reversed.