tery on the opposite side of the river. It is believed that the guns on the land side are of small caliber and can be silenced by our field artillery. It is said that the north side of the river below the fort is favorable for landing. If so, you will land and rapidly occupy the road to Dover and fully invest the place, so as to cut off the retreat of the garrison. Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson, U. S. Engineers, will immediately report to you, to act as chief engineer of the expedition. It is very probable that an attempt will be made from Columbus to re-enforce Fort Henry; also from Fort Donelson at Dover. If you can occupy the road to Dover you can prevent the latter. The steamers will give you the means of crossing from one side of the river to the other. It is said that there is a masked battery opposite the island below Fort Henry. If this cannot be avoid or turned it must be taken.
Having invested Fort Henry, a cavalry force will be sent forward to break up the railroad from Paris to Dover. The bridges should be rendered impassable, but not destroyed.
A telegram from Washington says that Beauregard left Manassas four days ago with fifteen regiments for the line of Columbus and Bowling Green. It is therefore of the greatest importance that we cut that line before he arrives. You will move with the least delay possible. You will furnish Commodore Foote with a copy of this letter. A telegraph line will be extended as rapidly as possibly from Paducah, east of the Tennessee River, to Fort Henry. Wires and operators will be sent from Saint Louis.
H. W. HALLECK,
No. 2. Report of Flag-Officer A. H. Foote, U. S. Navy, commanding naval forces on the Western waters.
CAIRO, ILL., February 7, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 6th instant, at 12.30 o'clock p.m., I made an attack on Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, with the iron-clad gunboats Cincinnati, Commander Stembel; the flag-ship Essex, Commander Porter; Carondelet, Commander Walke, and St. Louis, Lieutenant-Commander Paulding; also taking with me the three old gunboats, Conestoga, Lieutenant-Commander Phelps; the Tyler, Lieutenant-Commander Gwin, and the Lexington, Lieutenant-Commander Shirk, as a second division, in charge of Lieutenant-Commander Phelps, which took position astern and inshore of the armed boats, doing good execution there during the action, while the armed boats were placed in the first order of steaming, approaching the fort in a parallel line.
The fire was opened at 1,700 yards' distance from the flag-ship, which was followed by the other gunboats, and responded to be the fort. As we approached the fort under slow steaming till we reached within 600 yards of the rebel batteries the fire both from the gunboats and fort increased in rapidity and accuracy of range. At twenty minutes before the rebel flag was struck the Essex unfortunately received a shot in her boilers, which resulted in wounding, by scalding, 29 officers and men, including Commander Porter, as will be seen in the inclosed list of cas-