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[79] particularly. At that impregnable point, as they have been pleased to regard it, they will now have a lively and rather disturbing appreciation of the effectiveness of the gunboat service of the West. Commodore Foote has shown what it is in his power to do with but four of his boats, and they bringing to bear but eleven of their guns. Fort Henry was, perhaps, as strong an earthwork as any yet constructed by the rebels. It was mounted with seventeen heavy guns, eleven of which, equal in calibre to those on the gunboats, were taxed to their utmost in defence of the Fort, but yet, in the wonderfully short space of one hour and twenty minutes, were entirely silenced and surrendered into the hands of Commodore Foote. These guns, too, were mounted by some of the finest artillerists of the South, yet were insufficient.

With this instructive lesson before their eyes, it would seem reasonable to conclude that not even in Columbus will the rebels venture to dispute the palm with Commodore Foote, when in command of his full fleet of twelve boats and their full armaments. If they make the fight, we have a reasonable assurance that that place will meet the same destruction that was so summarily visited upon Fort Henry.

In this connection, we may allude to a significant bit of information: that the whole gunboat fleet is to be put in complete readiness at once, each boat in the late action to repair as well as she can until the order to move is given, which may be issued at any moment.

Another important result of the Fort Henry victory is the opening of Tennessee to the army under Gen. Grant, and the seizure and perhaps the destruction of the Nashville and Memphis Railroad, thus severing the connection between Bowling Green and Columbus, and threatening the rear of both these important points. Gen. Grant's division, including the brigade under Gen. Wallace, which we take for granted has ere this joined him, will number at least twenty thousand men. To this, we learn, additions of a large character will be rapidly made. A regiment passed up to-day on the Empress. One or two more are coming down the Central Railroad to-night, and will be forwarded immediately. The railroads in Illinois, we hear, have been appropriated for twelve days for the transportation of troops. The Quartermaster's department here is very much hurried, while activity and hopefulness are noticed in all army circles.

All this, I think, is the natural and important result growing out of the reduction of Fort Henry, and we may justly regard it as the beginning of a development which has for its speedy maturity either the capture of Bowling Green and Columbus, or the evacuation of both — more probably the latter. The spinal column of the rebellion is undoubtedly broken just in the small of the back, at the railroad bridge over the Tennessee River. The great medicine-man, Beauregard, comes west too late for a cure.

We are looking for important news from above to-night. A boat may get down before midnight with the rebel prisoners on board, and satisfactory information from Gen. Wallace's movements.

Yours, etc.,

G. W. F.


General Tilghman's official report.

Fort Henry, February 9, 1862.
Col. W. W. Mackall, A. A. General, C. S. A., Bowling Green:
sir: Through the courtesy of Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding Federal forces, I am permitted to communicate with you in relation to the result of the action between the Fort under my command at this place, and the Federal gunboats, on yesterday. At eleven o'clock and forty minutes on yesterday morning, the enemy engaged the Fort with seven gunboats, mounting fifty-four guns. I promptly returned their fire with the eleven guns from Fort Henry bearing on the river. The action was maintained with great bravery by the force under my command until ten minutes before two P. M.; at which time I had but four guns fit for service. At five minutes before two, finding it impossible to maintain the Fort, and wishing to spare the lives of the gallant men under my command, and on consultation with my officers, I surrendered the Fort. Our casualties are small. The effect of our shot was severely felt by the enemy, whose superior and overwhelming force alone gave them the advantage.

The surrender of Fort Henry involves that of Capt. Taylor, Lieut. Watts, Lieut. Weller, and one other officer of artillery; Capts. Hayden and Miller, of the engineers; Captains H. L. Jones and McLaughlin, Quartermaster's Department; A. A. General McConnico, and myself, with some fifty privates and twenty sick, together with all the munitions of war in and about the Fort.

I communicate this result with deep regret, but feel that I performed my whole duty in the defence of my post.

I take occasion to bear testimony to the gallantry of the officers and men under my command. They maintained their position with consummate bravery, as long as there was any hope of success. I also take great pleasure in acknowledging the courtesies and consideration shown by Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant and Commander Foote, and the officers under their command.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Lloyd Tilghman, Brigadier-General, C. S. A.

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