Confederates Battle to Save Fort Henry on Tennessee River

Tennessee River, Cumberland River sites of forts erected by Confederates; Fort Henry battle detailed in book.

| Good Old Days


Journalist Charles Carleton Coffin includes in my treasured heirloom book, “From My Days And Nights On the Battlefield,” a chapter entitled "The Capture of Fort Henry." His descriptive detail, as well as the military movements, provide an unforgettable picture. The Confederates erected two forts on the northern line of Tennessee, one on the Tennessee River (Fort Henry), another on the Cumberland River, to prevent Union troops from reaching the heart of the Confederacy via water.

The Union realized that "a fleet of gunboats would be needed on the Western rivers, and Capt. Andrew H. Foote of the Navy was placed in charge of their construction. They were built in Cincinnati and St. Louis, and taken to Cairo (Illinois), where they received their crews, armament and outfit."

Writer Coffin gives a picturesque account of Cairo of that day. "(Cairo) is a modem town of several thousand inhabitants on the tongue of land at the mouth of the Ohio. Let us look at the place as it appeared on the first day of February, 1862. Stand with me on the levee. There are from 50 to 100 steamboats lying along the bank, with volumes of black smoke rolling up from their tall chimneys. Among them are gunboats, a cross between a floating fort, a dredging machine and a mud-scow. The sailors call them ‘mud-turkles.’

"There are thousands of soldiers on the steamboats and on the shore, waiting for the sailing of the expedition, which is to make an opening in the line of Rebel defenses; thousands of people busy as bees loading and unloading steamboats, rolling barrels and boxes. Thousands of men and thousands of mules and horses.



"It is Sunday. A sweet day of rest in peaceful times, but in war there is not much observance of the Sabbath. It is midwinter, but a south wind sweeps up the Mississippi, so mild and balmy that the bluebirds and robins are out. Steamboats are crowded with troops, waiting for orders to sail, they know not where.

"The shops are open, the soldiers are purchasing knickknacks, tobacco, pipes, paper and pens to send letters to loved ones far away. At a gingerbread stall, a half-dozen are taking lunch. The oyster saloons are crowded. Boys are crying their newspapers.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds