, the commander of Fort Henry
, tendered his surrender to Foote
before the land forces were able, on account of the bad roads, to put in an appearance.
On February 14th, Fort Donelson
, on the Cumberland River
, invested by Grant
's army, was vigorously attacked by the same flotilla, with the exception of the Lexington, Cincinnati
, and Essex
, the latter having been put out of action in the attack on Fort Henry
by a shot through her boilers.
The fleet, however, was increased by the Louisville
. Late in the afternoon of this day, the St
were badly disabled.
The casualties among Foote
's vessels amounted to fifty-four in killed and wounded; among them, unfortunately, was the flag-officer
himself, who was struck by splinters in the arm and ankle, wounds which, on account of his age, compelled him, three months later, to relinquish his command, and ultimately were instrumental in causing his death.
On April 6th and 7th took place the battle of Shiloh
, or Pittsburg Landing
, where the little gunboats Tyler
assisted in checking the advance of the Confederates
in their attempt to gain possession of the Landing
passed Forts St. Philip
, below New Orleans, on the 24th of this month, and the city surrendered to him the following day, being occupied by the troops under General Butler
on May 1st.
Previous to this, the Confederates
had strongly fortified an island in the Mississippi
opposite the dividing line between Tennessee
, holding the bank of the river below this point by many batteries.
Well placed, indeed, were these fortifications, at the angle of a sharp bend where the channel lay directly under the muzzles of the guns, and the current was strong and full of eddies.
It was necessary to get one of the gunboats past the forts in order to silence the lower batteries, so that General Pope
could ferry over his troops, that were to act in conjunction with the flotilla, and to cover their landing.
Commander Henry Walke
, of the gunboat Carondelet
, volunteered for the daring