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Ozzy

Fort Henry (CSA view)

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From OR (Navy) SN 33, Volume 22. page 797 comes a letter written by G. A. Henry to General A. S. Johnston, dateline 'Clarksville, Tenn., November 1st, 1861,' detailing confidence in the ability of Fort Henry to protect access to the Tennessee River. [Click on link, below.]

 

Ozzy

 

 

 http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=ofre0022;node=ofre0022%3A3;view=image;seq=827;size=100;page=root

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Hey Ozzy,

I believe the writer is being very optimistic.  He mentions preparations along the river but said little of the troops and condition of.  Also nothing is said of supplies, ammunition and reinforcements.  The picture is far from complete as was both Forts Henry, Donelson and don't forget Fort Heiman.  I don't understand what point you are trying to make. 

Ron 

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'Dammed torpedo... Let me get ahead!'

 

I am conducting research, that I hope to share in a few days. But first, here is one of my favorite stories relating to General U. S. Grant, and the joint Army/Navy operation against Fort Henry.

 

Grant had accompanied Flag-Officer Foote aboard the gunboat, USS Cincinnati, for a reconaissance of the Tennessee River, and approaches to Fort Henry, a day or two before the February 6th attack. The river was noted to be 'extremely high, tens of feet above flood, and turbulent;' so raging was the flow, that Confederate torpedoes were torn loose from their moorings, and powered down river with the current, skimming along, barely breaking the surface.

 

Foote and his sailors had heard rumors about the 'infernal machines,' but never seen one. So, one of the 5-foot long, 18-inch diameter cylinders (containing 70 pounds of black powder) was fished out, and layed on the low after deck of the fantail. A Navy armourer went to work with pliers and a wrench, dismantling the device. As he did so, Foote and Grant leaned close, peering over the man's shoulders for a closer look at the inner workings.

 

It began to hiss and emit smoke...

 

Grant and Foote raced away like Olympic sprinters, making for the one ladder to safety, up to the top deck. Upon reaching that upper level, (Foote behind Grant), the torpedo's hissing and sputtering stopped: it was now apparent that it was not going to explode.

 

The two officers looked at each other, and Foote commented to the fleet-footed Grant:  'Why this haste?'

 

'When I saw you take off,' Grant replied, with a shrug, 'I determined: there was no way I was going to let the Navy get ahead of the Army.'

 

 

Ozzy

 

 

[Although this story is told in a variety of ways, depending on which book you find it in, the earliest resource I discovered was Bruce Catton's This Hallowed Ground: a history of the Civil War, published by Random House, Toronto, (1955), pages 93-94.]

 

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