Forts Henry and Donelson
The Key to the Confederate Heartland
The front in Virginia was relatively narrow (Chesapeake Bay to Blue Ridge Mountains) while in Tennessee the front stretched hundreds of miles from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. To cover this extensive area the Confederates had a much smaller force than in Virginia
By February 1862, Fort Henry, a Confederate earthen fort on the Tennessee River with outdated guns, was partially inundated and the river threatened to flood the rest. On February 4-5, Brigadier General U.S. Grant landed his divisions in two different locations, one on the east bank of the Tennessee River to prevent the garrison's escape and the other to occupy the high ground on the Kentucky side which would insure the fort's fall.
Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote's seven gunboats began bombarding the fort. Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman, commander of the fort's garrison, realized that it was only a matter of time before Fort Henry fell. While leaving artillery in the fort to hold off the Union fleet, he escorted the rest of his force out of the area and sent them safely off on the route to Fort Donelson, 10 miles away. Tilghman then returned to the fort and, soon afterwards, surrendered to the fleet, which had engaged the fort and closed within 400 yards.
Fort Henry's fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After the fall of Fort Donelson, ten days later, the two major water transportation routes in the Confederate west, bounded by the Appalachians and the Mississippi River, became Union highways for movement of troops and material.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Stewart County and Henry County, Tennessee, and Calloway County, Kentucky
This work was fascinating to read and was neither over dramatic or under written. The stories were lively and interesting and the additon of old photos and draqwings helped fill out the book.
Line engraving after a drawing by Rear Admiral Henry Walke, published in the "History of the Great Rebellion", by Harper.
The print depicts the Federal gunboats Saint Louis, Carondelet, Essex and Cincinnati bombarding Fort Henry
Situation Prior to Start of Campaign - Click to enlarge Map
Civil War Model 1851 Naval Pistol
Engraved Silver Tone / Gold Tone Finish and Wooden Grips - Replica of Revolver Used by Both USA / Union and CSA / Confederate Forces
The Untold Story of Shiloh:
The Battle and the Battlefield
Fought in south central Tennessee, north of Corinth, Mississippi, the battle showed the nation that the Civil War would be long and difficult. The Battle of Shiloh opened up the western Confederacy to the Union invasion that would ultimately prove its undoing