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A Military Genius

Life of Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland

218 pages
Library of Alexandria
On page 178 of the memorial of '78 Judge Evans, in one of the many repeated letters and statements of great interest that I have been obliged to omit for want of space, relates how he stood beside Miss Carroll in her parlor at St. Louis when she was gathering the information for the preparation of her paper to the War Department of November 30, 1861, and its accompanying map. He says, "I have a very distinct recollection of aiding her in the preparation of that paper, tracing with her upon a map of the United States, which hung in her parlor, the Memphis and Charleston railroad and its connections southward, the course of the Tennessee, the Alabama, and the Tombigbee rivers, and the position of Mobile Bay; and when Henry fell she wrote the Department, showing the feasability of going either to Mobile or Vicksburg." In his testimony given on page 85 of Miss. Doc. 179, he says, "On Miss Carroll's return from the West she prepared and submitted to the deponent, for his opinion, the plan of the Tennessee river expedition, as set forth in her memorial. Being a native and resident of that part of the section and intimately acquainted with its geography, and particularly with the Tennessee river, deponent was convinced of the vast military importance of her paper, and advised her to lose no time in laying the same before the War Department, which she did on or about November 30, 1861. The accompanying map, rapidly prepared by Miss Carroll, was made on ordinary writing paper. An unpretentious map, but fraught with immense importance to the national cause. Assistant Secretary of War Thomas A. Scott, the great railroad magnate and a man of remarkably acute mind, saw at a glance the immense importance of the plan; he hastened with it to Lincoln, and when her plan of campaign was determined on he studied her map with the greatest care before going West to consolidate the troops for the coming campaign. The second map sent in with Miss Carroll's paper of October, 1862, when the army before Vicksburg was meeting with disastrous failure, was made on regular map paper, representing the fortifications at Vicksburg, demonstrating that they could not be taken on the plan then adopted and indicating the right course to pursue. Miss Carroll bought the paper for the map at Shillington's, corner of Four-and-a-Half street and Pennsylvania avenue; sketched it out herself with blue and red pencils and ink and took it to the War Department.