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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 13: building a navy on the Western rivers.--battle of Belmont. (search)
Yard at Memphis, turned over to the State of Tennessee with all its appliances, by act of Congress, was soon in full blast preparing vessels to attack anything we might put upon the rivers. But our light gun-boats showed themselves not only fit for picket duty and for clearing the banks of bushwhackers, but even to take a hand in shelling heavy batteries. At this period of the war General Grant had been transferred to the command of the District of Southeast Missouri, and on the 4th of September, 1861, he established his Headquarters at Cairo, Illinois. His district included Southern Illinois and so much of Western Kentucky and Tennessee as might fall into possession of the national forces. It comprised the junction of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, and was at the time the most important point of operations in the West. Kentucky, in the early part of the war, endeavored to preserve a neutral position between the contending sections. but the Confedera