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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The defense of Fort Henry. (search)
on of fire would have sunk or driven back the flotilla. The formal surrender was made to the naval forces; Lieutenant-Commander Phelps acting for Flag-Officer Foote, and I representing General Tilghman. The number captured, including Tilghman and staff, hospital attendants and some stragglers from the infantry, amounted to about seventy. During the evening a large number of army officers came into the fort, to whom I was introduced by my old messmates, Lieutenant-Commanders Gwin and Shirk. Here I first saw General Grant, who impressed me, at the time, as a modest, amiable, kind-hearted but resolute man. While we were at headquarters an officer came in to report that he had not as yet found any papers giving information of our forces, and, to save him further looking, I informed him that I had destroyed all the papers bearing on the subject, at which he seemed very wroth, fussily demanding, By what authority? Did I not know that I laid myself open to punishment, etc., etc. B
irst division. In the mean time, the gunboats were prepared for action, and at half-past 12 o'clock this morning, Flag-Officer Foote opened a fire on the enemy's works, at seventeen hundred yards distance, from the iron-clad gunboats Cincinnati, (flag-ship,) Commander Stembel; Essex, Commander Porter; Carondelet, Commander Walke; and St. Louis, Lieut. Commanding Paulding. The old gunboats Conestoga, Lieut. Commanding Phelps; Tyler, Lieut. Commanding Gwin; and Lexington, Lieut. Commanding Shirk, forming a second division, also accompanied the assailing squadron, taking position astern and in-shore of it. The First division, composed of the iron-clad gunboats, approached the fort in a parallel line, the Second division following at a short distance, and, as they slowly steamed up the river, the fire on both sides was warmly and skilfully conducted. At about half-past 1 the Essex received a shot in her boiler, which resulted in the wounding and scalding of twenty-nine officers
November 25. J. W. Shirk, of the gunboat Lexington, had a skirmish with a body of rebels at a plantation on the Mississippi River, twenty miles below Helena, Ark. The gunboat was fired upon by a party of infantry, assisted by a piece of artillery, without damage, however, except to the wood-work of the vessel. Captain Shirk brought his guns to bear on the attacking party, and soon compelled them to retreat, leaving behind several killed and wounded. He afterward landed a party of sailoCaptain Shirk brought his guns to bear on the attacking party, and soon compelled them to retreat, leaving behind several killed and wounded. He afterward landed a party of sailors, who captured and carried off twenty contrabands, and sixteen bales of cotton.--Official Report. James Buchanan, in the National Intelligencer of this day, closed a controversy between General Winfield Scott and himself, on subjects growing out of the rebellion.--The Eighth and Fifty-first regiments of Massachusetts volunteers, under the command of Colonels Coffin and Sprague, embarked from Boston for Newbern, N. C. This morning at daylight, a body of rebel cavalry entered Poolesvi
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 16: operations on the Mississippi. (search)
I regret to see in the dispatches of Major-General Halleck, from St. Louis, no reference is made to the capture of the forts, and the continuous shelling of the gun and mortar-boats, and the Navy's receiving the surrender of No. 10, when, in reality, it should be recorded as a historical fact that both services equally contributed to the victory — a bloodless victory — more creditable to humanity than if thousands had been slain. I also enclose reports from Lieutenants-Commanding Gwin and Shirk, of the gun-boats Taylor and Lexington, on the Tennessee, giving a graphic account of that great battle, and the assistance rendered by these boats near Pittsburg; stating that when the left wing of our Army was being driven into the river, at short range, they opened fire upon and silenced the enemy, and, as I hear from many army officers on the field, totally demoralizing his forces, and driving them from their position in a perfect rout, in the space of ten minutes. These officers and
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 17: evacuation of Fort Pillow and battle of Memphis. (search)
ident, was seen coolly walking the deck and fighting his ship most gallantly. All honor to his name. Out of the entire crew of the Mound City (175 officers and men), only three officers and twenty-two men escaped uninjured; eighty-two died from wounds or scalding, and forty-three were either drowned or killed in the water. The wounded men received the greatest care and consideration, and were finally sent to Memphis on board the Conestoga and an army transport. To Lieuts. McGunnegle, Shirk and Blodgett is due the highest honor, not only for their bravery during the action, but for their humanity in providing for the comfort of the poor fellows who were so badly scalded. Dr. George W. Garber, of the Lexington, and Dr. William H. Nelson, of the Carondelet, also deserve great credit for their judicious care of the wounded. With regard to Col. Fitch, who stormed and carried the fort with his soldiers, we have only to say that he exhibited that cool courage and judgment which h
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 28: passage of the fleet by Vicksburg and capture of Grand Gulf.--capture of Alexandria, etc. (search)
f the enemy, and, in consequence, the list of killed and wounded in the squadron was large. The Tuscumbia, on which vessel great reliance was placed to resist heavy shot, proved herself the weakest iron-clad in the squadron, although Lieutenant-Commander Shirk stood up to his work manfully. In the beginning of the engagement, a rifle shell struck the outer edge of the shutter of the midship port — she fought three 11-inch guns in the bow — opened the port and entered the casemate, killing siore graves than that were counted. The enemy had many wounded, but the number was not mentioned in the returns. Rear-Admiral Porter, in his report, speaks in the highest terms of Commander Walke, Greer, Lieutenant-Commander Murphy, Lieutenant-Commanders Shirk and Owen, Lieutenants-Commanding Hoel and Wilson, some of whom had already distinguished themselves on the upper Mississippi. The remarks on this battle of Grand Gulf by military historians show how reluctant they are to give the Na
s, S. A., 306, 309, 310. Shiloh, Tenn.: I., 95, 97, 122, 143, 194 seq., 199, 203, 205, 218, 224, 236,360,367; II., 166; IV., 241; V., 65; entrenchments, Federal lack of, at, V., 204; entrenchments, Federal, increased use of, after, V., 206; VI., 216; VIII., 32, 103, 119, 340; battle of, IX., 95, 97, 244, 343, 346; Corinth campaign, X., 88; losses at, X., 142, 156. Ship Island, Miss.: VI., 186 seq., 310, 312. Ship no. 290,, C. S. S., VI., 301. Shiras, A. E., VII, 330. Shirk, J. W.: I., 203, 205 seq., 248; VI, 312. Shirley's residence, White House, Vicksburg, Miss., II., 201, 205. Shirt-sleeve fighters, VIII., 228. Shoes, poor quality of Federal, VIII., 84. Short, W., I., 18. Shrady, G. F., VII., 226. Shreveport, La.: I., 105; VI, 225, 234. Shufeldt, R. W., VI, 107. Shuter's Hill, Va., V., 90. Sibley, C. C., VII, 28. Sibley, H. H., X., 254, 271. Sickles, D. A., X., 290. Sickles, D. E.: I., 18,
ncinnati flag ship, thirteen guns, commanded by R. N. Stember, United States Navy, followed on the right by the st. Louis, thirteen guns, Commander Leonard Paulding, United states Navy; Carondelet, thirteen guns, Commander Henry Walke, United States Navy; Essex, seven guns, Commander william D. Porter, United States Navy. These boats are iron clad. They were followed by the gunboat Conestogs, seven guns, Lieutenant Commanding Phelps, United States Navy; Lexington, seven guns, Lieutenant Commanding J. W. Shirk, United States Navy, and Tyler, seven guns, Lieutenant Commanding W. Gwin, United States Navy. Fort Henry is situated on the left bank of the river, at a point one and a half miles above the head of Panther Island, on a bend which the river makes at that point to the west. There is a channel on either side of the island; the eastern or main channel is for the greater part of its length within sight of the rebel guns, while the approach by the western channel is covered by