HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Camp in Field, January 19, 1862.
Captain PORTER, U. S. N.,
Commanding Gunboats off Fort Jefferson, Ky.:
Colonel Cool being unable to cross Mayfield Creek, it will be necessary for him to march his command to Puntney's Bend to embark. Will you please move down opposite that point for his protection? A steamer will follow about 10 o'clock to take the command on board.
U. S. GRANT,
[JANUARY 20, 1862.-For Halleck to McClellan, referring, in connection with Missouri affairs, to operations on the Mississippi, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers, see Series I, Vol. VIII.]
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Camp at Callaway, Ky., January 22, 1862.
To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Headquarters District of Cairo, Ill.:
SIR: Finding it would take the greater part of to-day to distribute our stores, I went up in the Lexington to have a look at Fort Henry. As the river is now 14 feet above its very low stage a week since, we took the right-hand (our right) channel of the island, just below the fort, and got about 2 1/2 miles from it, drawing a single shot from the enemy, which fell, say, half a mile short; this in response to four several shots fired at them. There were evidently from 2,000 to 3,000 men there. The appearance of the work corresponds, as far as could be discovered, with the rough sketch that General Grant has seen in my quarters at Paducah. The hill on the west bank, which commands the fort some 60 feet or so, seems to be covered by a thick growth of timber. Judging by the number of roofs seen in the fort it must cover considerable space.
I think two iron-clad gunboats would make short work of Fort Henry. There is no masked battery at the foot of the island, as was supposed, or, if so, it is now under water. Two stern-wheel steamers were at the fort, but moved away rapidly at our first gun.
The Dunbar, a fast side-wheel steamer, plies up and down, and was chased last evening by the Lexington without effect. She is said to be armed with two 12-pounder rifled guns. The commander of the Lexington thinks she has not been altered in any way.
I shall resume my march at 8 o'clock to-morrow morning, at which time the Lexington and transport Wilson will start for Paducah, carrying some sick men and the mail.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. F. SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, January 22, 1862.
Brigadier-General GRANT, Cairo:
All additional forces sent to you will be stationed at Smithfield,
36 R R-VOL VII