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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 14: battle and capture of Fort Henry by the Navy. (search)
he guns came from. The answer to this question is that, by our terrible blunder in surrendering the Norfolk Navy Yard at the commencement of the war, we put into the hands of the Confedates 1,400 guns of all calibres. Our Navy had already recaptured 211 of these Norfolk guns, and it remains to be seen what account it will render of those which now confront it at Columbus, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Grant knew the nature of these works better than any other officer, and saw that Bowling Green and Columbus could both be turned as soon as Henry and Donelson fell. Halleck and others were making great strategic movements, which amounted to nothing, but Grant kept his mind steadily fixed on these two forts, knowing the effect their fall would have. On the 23d of January Grant visited Halleck at St. Louis, and urgently requested permission to make the attempt to take Forts Henry and Donelson; both of which General C. F. Smith, who had made a reconnoissance, reported could easil
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 15: capture of Fort Donelson and battle of Shiloh. (search)
effective fire. The battle of Shiloh was a terrible one, and the losses on both sides were very great (12,000 each). The victory was claimed by both parties, but the Federals remained masters of the field. It broke up the delusion of many in the North who, up to this time, had believed that after a few heavy defeats the Southern people would return to their allegiance. For here it was seen that after the victories of Donelson and Shiloh, and the capture of Columbus, Nashville and Bowling Green, no perceptible effect was made upon the resolution of the Confederates. Their energy was not in the least diminished. Gen. Grant himself believed that the contest was to be prolonged and desperate, and as we go on with the history of events it will be seen that his view was the correct one. The more the Confederates were beaten the harder they fought, and even when they had robbed the cradle and the grave to fill up their ranks, and when many of them were satisfied that their cause