Camp Johnston occupied at Belmont
The sounds of the Pick Iron could be Heard rippling across the water as Battery Emplacements were carved into the Bluffs.
The Iron Banks were most hospitable to the Rebel Forces. The layout of the Chalk Bluffs gave the Confederates the High Ground (Militarily) and the capacity to shuttle troops into Missouri as needed.
However, the Political Backlash had already begun for Leonidas Polk. What he thought would make him a Hero in the South had backfired.
Kentucky Leaders ~ Rebel and Yankee ~ condemned the move to violate the state’s neutrality. ~ according to a 1861 NY Times Report.
Grant seized the initiative and secured the more vital commercial port of Paducah on the Ohio and Smithland on the Tennessee to give the Yankees a beachhead for their thrust Southward.
The Stage was set.
Now, both Armies began earnestly preparing for War.
War Means Fighting ~ Fighting Means Killing
ALLRIGHTSRESERVED:KpKronicleLLC ~ Kevin Pritchett
Trooper Pritchett’s dispatch to Polk/Pillow was intentionally misdirected to Grant from the Cairo Telegraph office.
Rebel Command would be the second recipient of the message.
Gen. Jeff Thompson is leading renegades; roughnecks and stragglers. Encampment at Johnston now manned by Tennessee and Arkansas regulars.
Grant knew now the threat from the West was minimal; thus, allowing his concentration of forces to focus on Southward penetration.