previous next

[167] in the way of defence had been accomplished. Two 32-pounder carronades had been mounted on the river, and three 32-pounders were temporarily mounted on the crest of the bluff. The carronades were utterly useless, except against wooden boats at close quarters, while the three guns on the hill, on account of position, could not be made effectual against ironclads. The garrison, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Randle McGavock, consisted of a part of Colonel Heiman's Tenth Tennessee regiment, the nucleus of Colonel Sugg's Fiftieth Tennessee (then called Stacker's regiment), and Captain Frank Maney's light battery.

As there were no heavy artillerists, Captain Beaumont's company of Fiftieth Tennessee had been detailed for that duty. At the time of my arrival, there was considerable excitement at the Fort. Smoke was seen rising a few miles down the river, the long-roll was being beat, and there was hurrying to and fro; companies were getting under arms and into line with the rapidity of zealots, though wanting in the precision of veterans. The excitement subsided as the smoke disappeared. In a short while the companies were dismissed, and the men resumed their wonted avocations. The local engineer was also in charge of the works at Fort Henry, and was, necessarily, often absent. His duties were onerous and manifold; I, therefore, volunteered to remount the three 32-pounders and place them in the permanent battery; and as the completion of the defence was considered of more importance than the drilling of artillery, I was kept constantly on engineering duty until after the investment. General Tilghman arrived about the middle of December, and took command. He manifested a good deal of interest in forwarding the work. The Fiftieth Tennessee regiment (Colonel Suggs) was organized; the Thirtieth Tennessee (Colonel Head), and the Forty-ninth Tennessee (Colonel Bailey), reported, and these, with Maney's light battery, constituted the garrison, Lieutenant-Colonel McGavock having rejoined Colonel Hieman at Fort Henry.

The work for the completion of the defences and for the comfort of the soldiers, was pushed on as rapidly as the means at hand would permit. There was no lagging, nor lukewarmness, nor shirking of duty. As one of the many evidences of the zeal manifested by the garrison, I would state that whenever a detail for work of any magnitude was made from any of the regiments, a field officer usually accompanied it, in order to secure promptness and concert of action. This, I believe, was the invariable rule with the Forty-ninth Tennessee. At the time of the arrival of reinforcements, the water batteries

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Randle McGavock (2)
Frank Maney (2)
Tilghman (1)
Suggs (1)
Sugg (1)
Stacker (1)
Hieman (1)
Heiman (1)
Head (1)
Fletcher Beaumont (1)
James E. Bailey (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: