Monday, September 24, 2007
ON THIS DAY: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1861
Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, headquartered in
, sends troops to occupy Cairo, Illinois …thereby saving the strategically important mouth of the Smithland, Kentucky Cumberland River from capture by the Confederates. The 687-mile Cumberland River, which empties into the Ohio River, offered a “superhighway” into the Middle South, originating in eastern and curving into northern Kentucky before returning to Tennessee . On September 6, Grant had staged a similarly bloodless occupation of Kentucky , situated at the mouth of the Paducah, Kentucky Tennessee River, an even more important watercourse. The stretches Tennessee 652 miles from , through Alabama and into Tennessee to the Kentucky Ohio River. Using his own initiative, Grant has scored two early victories for the Union.