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 battle, but its effect on the North was most stimulating, and the people first learned to appreciate the abilities of their great general, George H. Thomas. It was now February, 1862. General U. S. Grant was in command of the Union forces in western Kentucky and Tennessee. The opposing commander was Albert Sidney Johnston, then reputed the ablest general of the South. At Bowling Green, Kentucky, he had thirty thousand men. Believing, perhaps, that he could not hold Kentucky, he determined to save Tennessee for the South and took his stand at Nashville. On February 2d, 1862, General Grant left Cairo with his army of seventeen thousand men and on transports moved up the Ohio and the Tennessee to attack Fort Henry. Accompanying him was Flag-Officer Foote with his fleet of seven gunboats, four of them ironclads. Fort Henry was garrisoned by an army of about three thousand men under the command of General Lloyd Tilghman, a brave officer who was destined to give his life for the Confederate cause, the following year, near Vicksburg. It covered about three acres and mounted seventeen heavy guns. Grant's plan of attack was to land his army four miles below the fort, to move across the country and seize the road leading to Fort Donelson, while Foote should move up the river with his fleet and turn his guns on the Confederate batteries. On February 6th, Foote formed his vessels into two lines, the ironclads — the Cincinnati, the Carondelet, the Essex, and the St. Louis — forming a front rank. Slowly and cautiously he approached the fort, firing as he went, the guns on the parapet answering those of the fleet. Several of the Confederate guns were disabled. The fleet was yet unhurt when the first hour had passed. Then a 24-pound shot struck the Essex, crashed through her side and penetrated her boiler, instantly killing both her pilots and flooding the vessel from stem to stern with scalding steam. The Essex, wholly disabled, drifted
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