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[68] most effectively for two thirds of the action, and was obliged to drop down the river. I hear that several of her men were scalded to death, including the two pilots. She, with the other gunboats' officers and men, fought with the greatest gallantry. The Cincinnati received thirty-one shots, and had one man killed and eight wounded--two seriously. The Fort, with twenty guns and seventeen mortars, was defended by Gen. Tilghman with the most determined gallantry. I will write as soon as possible.

I have sent Lieut. Commanding Phelps and three gunboats up after the rebel gunboats.

A. H. Foote, Flag-Officer.

Report of Flag-officer Foote.

Cairo, ill., Feb. 7, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to report that on the sixth instant, at half-past 12 o'clock P. M., I made an attack on Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, with the iron-clad gunboats Cincinnati, Commander Stembel, (the flag-ship;) the Essex, Commander Porter; the Carondelet, Commander Walke; and the St. Louis, Lieut. Commanding Paulding; also taking with me the three old gunboats Conestoga, Lieut. Commanding Phelps; the Tyler, Lieut. Commanding Gwin; and the Lexington, Lieut. Commanding Shirk, as a second division, in charge of Lieut. Commanding Phelps, which took a position astern and in-shore of the armed boats, doing good execution there in the action, while the armed boats were placed in the first order of steaming, approaching the Fort in a parallel line.

The fire was opened at one thousand seven hundred yards distance from the flag-ship, which was followed by the other gunboats and responded to by the Fort. As we approached the Fort, slow steaming till we reached within six hundred yards of the rebel batteries, the fire both from the gunboats and the Fort increased in rapidity and accuracy of range.

At twenty minutes before the flag was struck, the Essex unfortunately received a shot in her boilers, which resulted in the wounding and scalding of twenty-nine officers and men, including Commander Porter, as will be seen in the enclosed list of casualties.

The Essex then necessarily dropped out of line astern, entirely disabled and unable to continue the fight, in which she had so gallantly participated until the sad catastrophe.

The firing continued with unabated rapidity and effect upon the three gunboats, as they continued still to approach the Fort with their destructive fire, until the rebel flag was hauled down, after a very severe and closely contested action of one hour and fifteen minutes.

A boat containing the Adjutant-General and Captain of Engineers came alongside after the flag was lowered, and reported that Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, the commander of the Fort, wished to communicate with the flag-officer, when I despatched Commander Stembel and Lieut. Commanding Phelps, with orders to hoist the American flag where the rebel ensign had been flying, and to inform Gen. Tilghman that I would see him on board the flag-ship. He came on board soon after the Union had been substituted for the rebel flag on the Fort, and possession taken of it. I received the General and his staff, and some sixty or seventy men, as prisoners, and a hospital-ship, containing sixty invalids, together with the Fort and its effects, mounting twenty guns, mostly of heavy calibre, with barracks and tents capable of accommodating fifteen thousand men, and sundry articles, which, as I turned the Fort and its effects over to Gen. Grant, commanding the army, on his arrival, in an hour after we had made the capture, he will be enabled to give the Government a more correct statement of than I am enabled to communicate from the short time I had possession of the Fort.

The plan of the attack, so far as the army reaching the rear of the Fort to make a demonstration simultaneous with the navy, was frustrated by the excessively muddy roads and the high stage of water, preventing the arrival of our troops until some time after I had taken possession of the Fort.

On securing the prisoners, and making the necessary preliminary arrangements, I despatched. Lieut. Commanding Phelps, with his division, up the Tennessee River, as I had previously directed, and as will be seen in the enclosed order to him, to remove the rails, and so far render the bridge of the railroad for transportation and communication between Bowing Green and Columbus useless, and afterwards to pursue the rebel gunboats and secure their capture, if possible.

This being accomplished, and the army in possession of the Fort, and my services being indispensable at Cairo, I left Fort henry in the evening of the same day, with the Cincinnati, Essex and St. Louis, and arrived here this morning.

The armed gunboats resisted effectually the short of the enemy, when striking the casemates.

The Cincinnati, the flag-ship, received thirty-one shots; the Essex, fifteen; the St. Louis, seven; and the Carondelet, six; killing one and wounding nine in the Cincinnati, and killing one in the Essex, while the casualties in the latter from steam amounted to twenty-eight in number. The Carondelet and St. Louis met with no casualties.

The steamers were admirably handled by their commanders and officers, presenting only their bow-guns to the enemy, to avoid the exposure of the vulnerable parts of their vessels.

Lieut. Commanding Phelps, with his division, also executed my orders very effectually, and promptly proceeded up the river in their further execution after the capture of the Fort. In fact, all the officers and men gallantly performed their duty, and, considering the little experience they have had under fire, far more than realized my expectations.

Fort henry was defended, with the most determined gallantry, by Gen. Tilghman, worthy of a better cause, who, from his own account, went into the action with eleven guns of heavy calibre bearing upon our boats, which he fought until

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S. L. Phelps (6)
Lloyd Tilghman (4)
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Henry Walke (1)
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