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Doc. 35.-gallantry of Lieut. Phelps.

The Secretary of the Navy sent the following letter to Flag-Officer Foote:

Navy Department, February 18, 1862.
sir: Your letter of the seventh instant, communicating the details of your great success in the capture of Fort Henry, is just received. I had previously informed you of the reception of your telegraphic despatch announcing the event, which gave the highest satisfaction to the country. We have to-day the report of Lieut. Commanding S. L. Phelps, with the gratifying results of his successful pursuit and capture and destruction of the rebel steamers, and the dispersion of the hostile camps, as far up the river as Florence.

I most cordially and sincerely congratulate you and the officers and men under your command, on these heroic achievements, accomplished under extraordinary circumstances, and after surmounting great and almost insuperable difficulties. The labor you have performed, and the services you have rendered in creating the armed flotilla of gunboats in the Western waters, and in bringing together, for effective operation, the force which has already earned such renown, can never be over-estimated.

The Department has observed, with no ordinary solicitude, the armament that has so suddenly been called into existence, and which, under your well-directed management, has been so gloriously effective. I am, respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Gideon Welles. To Flag-Officer A. H. Foote, U. S.N., Commanding Gunboat Flotilla, etc., Cairo, Illinois.

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