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ch was encamped on both sides of the river, was to move at daylight on the morning of the 6th, so as to make a land attack, and prevent the escape of the garrison, whilst the gun-boats were to attack as before mentioned. On the afternoon of the 5th, Flag-officer Foote came on board the Essex, and our crew were called to quarters for drill and inspection. After putting them through the evolutions he addressed the crew and admonished them to be brave and courageous, and above all to place theemy. If they reach home you demoralize him, and get the worth of your money. After commending all to the care of Divine Providence he left us, and repaired on board the Cincinnati, which was his flag ship at that time. During the night of the 5th, or morning of the Rear Admiral R. N. Stembel, commander of the Cincinnati. (from a portrait taken in 1883.) 6th, a heavy rain fell, which very much retarded the movements of the army, and made the roads so heavy that they did not succeed i
p the main channel, to steam up the chute, and forming line of battle under cover of the timber on the island, advance towards the fort and open fire as we reached the head of the island at the distance of a mile to a mile and a half, and continue advancing. The wooden gun-boats, Taylor and Lexington, were, therefore, ordered to remove the torpedoes, which they did without much difficulty. The army, which was encamped on both sides of the river, was to move at daylight on the morning of the 6th, so as to make a land attack, and prevent the escape of the garrison, whilst the gun-boats were to attack as before mentioned. On the afternoon of the 5th, Flag-officer Foote came on board the Essex, and our crew were called to quarters for drill and inspection. After putting them through the evolutions he addressed the crew and admonished them to be brave and courageous, and above all to place their trust in Divine Providence. The writer, who was in command of the battery, was especiall
how many shots his gun had fired. He referred me to a memorandum on the whitewashed casemate; where with a rusty nail he had carefully and accurately marked every shot his gun had fired; and his account was corroborated by the gunner in the magazine. This may be considered as a striking example of coolness and bravery in a boy of fourteen, who had never before been under fire. Secretary Welles to Flag-officer Foote. Navy Department, February 13, 1862. Sir: Your letter of the 7th inst., communicating the details of your great success in the capture of Fort Henry, is just received. I had previously informed you of the reception of your telegraphic dispatch, announcing the event, which gave the highest satisfaction to the country. We have to-day the report of Lieutenant Commanding Phelps, with the gratifying results of his successful pursuit and capture and destruction of the Confederate steamers, and the disposition of the hostile camps as far up the Tennessee as Flor
January 23rd (search for this): chapter 14
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 easily be done. The gun-boats at that time were subject to General Halleck's orders, and Flag-officer Foote, who commanded them, had recommended a united movement of Army and Navy against the forts. The desired permission was finally granted to these officers, but the gallant comman
February 5th (search for this): chapter 14
andy River, as well as from Fort Donelson. The country around Fort Henry was all under water from the overflow of the Tennessee River, which impeded the movements of the troops on both sides. The rain fell in torrents on the night of the 5th of February, and Grant having an insufficiency of transports was obliged to send some of his steamers back to Cairo to bring up part of his command. He did not therefore succeed in getting all his men on shore until 11 P. M. The original plan was toant Commanding Leonard Paulding, were completed and put into commission a few days previous, making, with the Essex, four iron-clads, besides the wooden gun-boats Taylor, Lexington and Conestoga, now ready for offensive operations. On the 5th of February, after reconnoitering up the Tennessee to Fort Henry, we fired a few shots at the fort and returned towards our anchorage. The enemy made no reply, and apparently took no notice of our shots, until we were well on our way back. When about
February 1st, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 14
was long remembered by the people of the country, for it was now clearly demonstrated that the naval vessels on the Western rivers could sustain the fire of the heaviest batteries, notwithstanding the high authority to the contrary. To give an idea of some of the dreadful scenes to which our gun-boats were liable, we insert an interesting letter written after the battle of Fort Henry, by James Laning, the Second Master of the Essex, in which he thus describes the engagement: On February 1st, 1862, the iron-clad gun-boat Essex, whilst lying off Fort Holt, received orders from Flag-officer A. H. Foote, commanding the Western flotilla, to proceed up the Tennessee River, and anchor some five miles below Fort Henry, blockading the river at that point. The ironclads Carondelet, Commander Henry Walke; the Cincinnati, Commander Stembel, and the St. Louis, Lieutenant Commanding Leonard Paulding, were completed and put into commission a few days previous, making, with the Essex, four ir
February 2nd, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 14
F. Smith, who had made a reconnoissance, reported could easily be done. The gun-boats at that time were subject to General Halleck's orders, and Flag-officer Foote, who commanded them, had recommended a united movement of Army and Navy against the forts. The desired permission was finally granted to these officers, but the gallant commander of the Army contingent was greatly hampered by detailed instructions furnished by the Commander-in-Chief. Grant started from Cairo on the 2d of February, 1862, with 17,000 men in transports, and Foote accompanied him with seven gun-boats. After reconnoitering the forts the Army landed at Bailey's Ferry, just out of reach of the enemy's fire. The Confederates had erected their works at Fort Henry on both sides of the river, with a garrison of 2,800 men, under Brigadier General Tighlman. The main fortification was on the eastern bank. It was a strong field-work with a bastioned front, defended by seventeen heavy guns, twelve of which bo
February 13th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 14
No. 1 gun. After the action, I asked Job how many shots his gun had fired. He referred me to a memorandum on the whitewashed casemate; where with a rusty nail he had carefully and accurately marked every shot his gun had fired; and his account was corroborated by the gunner in the magazine. This may be considered as a striking example of coolness and bravery in a boy of fourteen, who had never before been under fire. Secretary Welles to Flag-officer Foote. Navy Department, February 13, 1862. Sir: Your letter of the 7th inst., communicating the details of your great success in the capture of Fort Henry, is just received. I had previously informed you of the reception of your telegraphic dispatch, announcing the event, which gave the highest satisfaction to the country. We have to-day the report of Lieutenant Commanding Phelps, with the gratifying results of his successful pursuit and capture and destruction of the Confederate steamers, and the disposition of the hos
February 14th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 14
bited in the bombardment and capture of Fort Henry, a victory no less brilliant in itself than glorious in its results, giving our Army a foothold in Tennessee, and opening the way for early advance to the capital of the State. Resolved, That the Governor transmit copies of these resolutions to said officers, with the request that the same be read to the men under their command. James L. Hubbell, Speaker of the House of Representatives. B. Stanton, President of the Senate. Passed, February 14, 1862. The following is a list of the vessels and officers engaged in attack on Fort Henry: Gun-boat Cincinnati. R. N. Stembel, U. S. N., Commander; William R. Hoel, First Master; Oscar H. Pratt, Second Master; Charles G. Perkins, Third Master; John Pearce, Fourth Master; R. H. Attenborough, Pilot; Isaac D. Gaugh, Pilot; John Ludlow, Surgeon; Baron Proctor, Paymaster; William D. McFarland, Chief Engineer; Samuel H. Lovejoy, First Assistant Engineer; James Armstrong, Second Assist
on away. Every charge you fire from one of those guns cost the government about eight dollars. If your shots fall short you encourage the enemy. If they reach home you demoralize him, and get the worth of your money. After commending all to the care of Divine Providence he left us, and repaired on board the Cincinnati, which was his flag ship at that time. During the night of the 5th, or morning of the Rear Admiral R. N. Stembel, commander of the Cincinnati. (from a portrait taken in 1883.) 6th, a heavy rain fell, which very much retarded the movements of the army, and made the roads so heavy that they did not succeed in reaching the scene of action until after the fort had surrendered. The naval forces, after waiting until 11 o'clock A. M., got under way and steamed up the river. Arriving at the island chute, the line of battle was formed, the Essex on the extreme right, the Cincinnati, with Flag-officer Foote on board, on our left, the Carondelet on her left, and the
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