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[218] then handed them over to the Government and waited for his pay until after they had won their famous victories down the river.

Their first commander was Andrew H. Foote, who was called “the ‘ Stonewall’ Jackson of the West.” He had won fame in the waters of the Orient and had spent years in the suppression of the slave trade. Like “StonewallJackson, he was a man of deep religious principles. On the Sunday after the fall of Fort Henry he preached a sermon in a church at Cairo. The next year the aged admiral lay sick in New York. His physician dreaded to tell him that his illness would be fatal, but did so. “Well,” answered the admiral, “I am glad to be done with guns and war.”

We must get to our story. Fort Henry and Fort Donelson had fallen. General Polk had occupied Columbus, Kentucky, a powerful stronghold from which one hundred and fifty cannon pointed over the bluff. But why hold Columbus in its isolation when Henry and Donelson were lost? So thought the good bishop-general and he broke Camp on February 25, 1862, transferring one hundred and thirty of his big guns to Island No.10, and rolling the remainder down the one hundred and fifty foot embankment into the Mississippi. That nothing might be left for the foe, he burned eighteen thousand bushels of corn and five thousand tons of hay, and when the Federals reached Columbus on March 4th they found only charred remains.

Island No.10 was situated at the upper bend of a great double curve of the Mississippi, about forty miles below Columbus. It had been strongly fortified by General Beauregard, but Beauregard was called to Corinth and Shiloh and he turned the command over to General Mackall with about seven thousand men. It was confidently believed by its defenders that this fortified island would be the final stopping place of all hostile vessels on the great river, that none could pass it without being blown out of the water by the powerful batteries.

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