The capture of Fort Henry
, although much to be regretted by the South
, was a foregone conclusion whenever the enemy should think proper to bring a large force of men and artillery to bear upon it. It is a structure that has been thrown up since the beginning of the war, a short distance within the Tennessee
line, on the Tennessee River
It was designed at first as a defence against marauding excursions of the enemy, and was never expected to resist a heavy bombardment, or assault from a large land force.
To have manned it with a very large force of our own, and to have armed it with a sufficient number, of heavy guns to enable it to be held under any assault, would have required too great a dissipation of our strength and extension of our lines.
The enemy has taken this fort, as be will take other points of importance on the line of navigable waters.
His great strength in artillery and in boats give him the power to do so. These things we cannot well avoid; but when he marches against us on dry land, then is our opportunity, and then our occasion for punishing him properly.
The destruction of the railroad bridge which crossed the Tennessee river
, near Fort Henry
, though productive of some inconvenience, is not a matter of any great detriment to our interests.
The road without the bridge will still be available for strengthening our lines on either side of the river; through
connection, except for mere convenience, being a matter of inferior importance.
While it would have been a subject of lively gratification, if our troops could have held Fort.
, its loss is not a matter to cause any serious concern