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Brigadier General Grant sails from Cairo, Illinois to attack Confederate positions along the Mississippi

Ulysses Simpson Grant, detail
Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant sailed with two brigades in six transports, escorted by U.S. Naval gunboats, from Cairo, Illinois to attack Confederate concentrations around Columbus, Kentucky.  The next day, finding Confederate troops under Gideon Pillow had crossed into Missouri at Belmont, he attacked their camp.  In the first combat of a distinguished Civil War career, Grant overran Pillow before he could be reinforced from across the river, burned his camp, returned to the transports, and moved on to the Union base at Paducah, Kentucky. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Chronicles of the Great Rebellion Against the United States of America (Philadelphia, PA: A. Winch, 1867), 14.