War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0143 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY, TENN.

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the 24-caliber rifled shot or that of the 10-inch columbiad. It should be remembered that these results were principally from no heavier metal than the ordinary 32-pounders, using solid shot, fired at point-blank, giving the vessels all the advantages of their peculiar structures, with planes meeting this fire at angles of 45 degrees. The immense area, forming what may be called the roof, is in every respect vulnerable to either a plunging fire from even 32-pounders, or a curved line of fire from heavy guns. In the latter case shell should be used in preference to shot.

Confident of having performed my whole duty to my Government in the defense of Fort Henry, with the totally inadequate means at my disposal, I have but little to add in support of the views before expressed. The reasons for the line of policy pursued by me are to my mind convincing.

Against such overwhelming odds as 16,000 well-armed men [exclusive of the force on the gunboats] to 2,610 badly armed, in the field, and fifty-four heavy guns against eleven medium ones in the fort, no tactics or bravery could avail.

The rapid movements of the enemy, with every facility at their command, rendered the defense from the beginning a hopeless one.

I succeeded in doing even more than was to be hoped for at first. I not only saved my entire command outside of the fort, but damaged materially the flotilla of the enemy, demonstrating thoroughly a problem of infinite value to us in the future.

Had I been re-enforced, so as to have justified my meeting the enemy at the advanced works, I might have made good the land defense on the east bank. I make no inquiry as to why I was not, for I have entire confidence in the judgment of my commanding general.

The elements even were against us, and had the enemy delayed his attack a few days, with the river rising, one-third of the entire fortifications [already affected by it] would have been washed away, while the remaining portion of the works would have been untenable by reason of the depth of water over the whole interior portion.

The number of officers surrendered [see paper marked A*] was 12; the number of non-commissioned officers and privates in the fort at the time of the surrender [see paper marked B]* was 66, while the number in the hospital-boat Patton was [see paper marked C]* 16.

I take great pleasure in making honorable mention of all the officers and men under my command. To Captain Taylor, of the artillery, and the officers of his corps, Lieutenants Watts and Weller; to Captain G. R. G. Jones, in command of the right battery; to Captains Miller and Hayden, of the Engineers; to Acting Assistant Adjutant-General McConnico; to Captain H. L. Jones, brigade-quartermaster; to Captain McLaughlin, quartermaster of the Tenth Tennessee, and to Surgeons Voorhies and Horton, of the Tenth Tennessee, the thanks of the whole country are due for their consummate devotion to our high and holy cause. To Sergts. John Jones, Hallam, Cubine, and Silcurk, to Corporals Copass, Cavin, and Renfro, in charge of the guns, as well as to all the men, I feel a large debt is due for their bravery and efficiency in working the heavy guns so long and so efficiently.

Officers and men alike seemed actuated but by one spirit-that of devotion to a cause in which was involved life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every blow struck was aimed by cool heads, supported by strong arms and honest hearts.


*Not found.