Why Fort Henry was surrendered.
--The Nashville Union and American
says that the surrender of Fort Henry
, under the circumstances, was inevitable, because of the high water of the Tennessee river
, which was running almost into the fort, and threatening hourly to inundate it, thus making it a ‘"slaughter pen"’ for the shells of the enemy, whose boats could take a position to completely command it. The location of this fort was unfortunately made during the period of Kentucky
neutrality, when the President
of the Confederate States
and the Governor
felt bound to scrupulously respect the position of our sister State, and before the forces of Lincoln
had begun to make camping grounds of its soil.
Under these circumstances, it was found necessary by the engineer who located it, to refrain from occupying an eminence on the opposite bank of the river, which lies in the State of Kentucky
, and which commands the fort.--It was deemed, however, sufficiently strong to resist any force which might probably be brought against it by the enemy by water, the Lincoln Government
not having then devised the system of iron clad gun fleets which it has since adopted.
The proper location for our fort ought to have been on the ‘"Narrows,"’ between the Tennessee
and Cumberland rivers
, where the two rivers approach each other in their winding courses at a distance of only three miles, the intervening tongue of land being elevated and commanding both rivers.
The considerations we have mentioned prevented its location at that point.
is an elaborate and well-constructed earthwork, and had it been in a commanding position, would have excited the admiration of all engineers.
We cannot describe it for want of sufficient information as to its construction and approaches.--It was, however, generally regarded by military men, in consideration of its situation, as a weak fortification, which was compelled to fall whenever it was approached in sufficient force by land and water.
It was provided with some of the best guns in the service, both rifled and smooth bore--ten 32's, one 8 inch columbiad, and one 128-pounder rifled gun.