The good news of victories in the west dominated the pages of the Democratic Banner in February of 1862. On Feb. 25, readers were cheered by this editorial:
“The grand union army is now marching on from victory to victory. Within the last two weeks a series of gallant triumphs have crowned its career. The taking of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, was followed by the capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee river. This was followed by the capture of Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, after a bloody and desperate battle of three days’ duration. The evacuation of Bowling Green was another great victory for the Union Army, although a bloodless one. Next we hear of the capture of Clarksville, on the Cumberland, about midway between Fort Donelson and Nashville — thus opening the river to the fortifications at the capital of Tennessee. Now we hear of Price and his whole rebel army being driven out of Missouri into Arkansas by Generals Curtis and Siegel.
“We have news through rebel sources that the rebels proposed to give up Nashville without a fight, on condition that private property would not be disturbed, but we scarcely credit this story, for if it were true it would have been announced officially by our Generals before this.
“We shall expect every day to hear of the capture of Savannah, Georgia. The Federal troops are within sight of the city, but owing to obstructions in the rivers the gun boats have not yet been able to make their way up.”
Nashville was, indeed, evacuated without a fight, but the Banner wouldn’t get to report the fall of Savannah until December 1864, when Sherman took it in time for Christmas.
As for the news from Missouri, Banner readers should have perked up at the mention of General Curtis, for the reference was to Gen. Samuel Ryan Curtis, a former resident of Mount Vernon.