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[209]

A vigilant patroller — the “Silver Lake In the picture the “Silver Lake” is lying off Vicksburg after its fall. While Admiral Porter was busy attacking Vicksburg with the Mississippi squadron, Lieutenant-Commander Le Roy Fitch, with a few small gunboats, was actively patrolling the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. It was soon seen that the hold upon Tennessee and Kentucky gained by the Federals by the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson would be lost without adequate assistance from the navy, and Admiral Porter was authorized to purchase small light-draft river steamers and add them to Fitch's flotilla as rapidly as they could be converted into gunboats. One of the first to be completed was the “Silver Lake.” The little stern-wheel steamer first distinguished herself on February 3, 1863, at Dover, Tennessee, where she (with Fitch's flotilla) assisted in routing 4,500 Confederates, who were attacking the Federals at that place. The little vessel continued to render yeoman's service with the other gunboats, ably assisted by General A. W. Ellet's marine brigade.

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Le Roy Fitch (3)
David D. Porter (2)
Alfred W. Ellet (1)
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February 3rd, 1863 AD (1)
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