Previously, many in the Union were demoralized by Confederate victories at the Battles of First Bull Run and Ball's Bluff in 1861. The Union capture of the Confederate fort near the Tennessee–Kentucky border opened the Cumberland River, an important avenue for the invasion of the South. Forrest's troops, sent out by Buckner, spotted a detachment from McClernand's division and opened fire against them. The location of Fort Henry on the Tennessee was vulnerable to flooding, but Tilghman was slow to spot this, and his surrender of the fort to U.S. Grant in February 1862 was regarded as a disgrace. It was considerably more formidable than Fort Henry. Carte de visite portrait of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, 1865. On land the well-armed Union soldiers surrounded the Confederates, while the Union boats, although damaged, still controlled the river. [15] The Union forces proceeded about 5 miles (8 km) on the two main roads leading between the two forts. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Fort Henry had been a key position in the center of a line defending Tennessee, and the capture of the fort now opened the Tennessee River to Union troop and supply movements. This, along with the poor position of Fort Henry, gave Foote’s gunboats the advantage. [53] This was the first of three Confederate armies that Grant would capture during the war. Following this retreat the army was reorganized and joined by other Confederate forces in the region and renamed the Army of Tennessee. 65, 122; Nevin, p. 79. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [7], Johnston wanted to give command of Fort Donelson to Beauregard, who had performed ably at Bull Run, but the latter declined because of a throat ailment.

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battle of fort henry generals

The black armband hanging from his sleeve may be a mourning band for President Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated on April 14, 1865. https://ohiohistorycentral.org/index.php?title=Battle_of_Fort_Henry&oldid=36061. Foote used that advantage and pressed in close to the fort, silencing seven of the eleven heavy guns. The rest of Johnston's forces were 200 miles (320 km) apart, between Nashville and Columbus, with Grant's army between them.

Cooling. Smith, and Lew Wallace.

The attack started well, and after two hours of heavy fighting, Pillow's men pushed McClernand's line back and opened the escape route. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The General Simon Bolivar Buckner, however, argued that they were in a desperate position that was getting worse with the arrival of Union reinforcements. [38], Grant, who was apparently unaware of the battle, was notified by an aide and returned to his troops in the early afternoon. General Buell's army threatened Nashville, while John Pope's troops threatened Columbus.

Gens. Johnston evacuated Nashville on February 23, surrendering this important industrial center to the Union and making it the first Confederate state capital to fall. These trenches, located on a commanding ridge and fronted by a dense abatis of cut trees and limbs stuck into the ground and pointing outward,[17] were backed up by artillery and manned by Buckner and his Bowling Green troops on the right (with his flank anchored on Hickman Creek), and Johnson/Pillow on the left (with his flank near the Cumberland River). Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman at Durham, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865. Bragg, intent on retaking Chattanooga and hoping to crush the Union army, welcomed this battle. Although rightfully in command of two of the three regiments, Morrison volunteered to turn over command once the attack was under way; however, when the attack began, Morrison was wounded, eliminating any leadership ambiguity. Grant’s boast that he would capture Donelson by the 8th of February quickly ran into challenges. But inexplicably Confederate Brig. Some wounded men caught between the lines burned to death in grass fires ignited by the artillery. Grant believed his position allowed him to forego a planned siege and successfully storm the fort. An alternative might have been to overrun the batteries, probably at night as would be done successfully in the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign. After newspapers reported that Grant had won the battle with a cigar clamped in his teeth, he was inundated with cigars sent from his many admirers. The Confederates took control of Forge Road and a key section of Wynn's Ferry Road, opening a route to Nashville,[36] but Buckner's delay provided time for Lew Wallace's men to reinforce McClernand's retreating forces before they were completely routed. Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. "The Battle of Fort Donelson.". During the night of February 15 and 16, Confederate leaders discussed their options. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the meantime, on the Union right, Lew Wallace formed an attacking column with three brigades—one from his own division, one from McClernand's, and one from Smith's—to try to regain control of ground lost in the battle that morning. The siege, however, was a failure, and the Union army was able to open an effective supply line and soon received reinforcements.

Previously, many in the Union were demoralized by Confederate victories at the Battles of First Bull Run and Ball's Bluff in 1861. The Union capture of the Confederate fort near the Tennessee–Kentucky border opened the Cumberland River, an important avenue for the invasion of the South. Forrest's troops, sent out by Buckner, spotted a detachment from McClernand's division and opened fire against them. The location of Fort Henry on the Tennessee was vulnerable to flooding, but Tilghman was slow to spot this, and his surrender of the fort to U.S. Grant in February 1862 was regarded as a disgrace. It was considerably more formidable than Fort Henry. Carte de visite portrait of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, 1865. On land the well-armed Union soldiers surrounded the Confederates, while the Union boats, although damaged, still controlled the river. [15] The Union forces proceeded about 5 miles (8 km) on the two main roads leading between the two forts. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Fort Henry had been a key position in the center of a line defending Tennessee, and the capture of the fort now opened the Tennessee River to Union troop and supply movements. This, along with the poor position of Fort Henry, gave Foote’s gunboats the advantage. [53] This was the first of three Confederate armies that Grant would capture during the war. Following this retreat the army was reorganized and joined by other Confederate forces in the region and renamed the Army of Tennessee. 65, 122; Nevin, p. 79. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [7], Johnston wanted to give command of Fort Donelson to Beauregard, who had performed ably at Bull Run, but the latter declined because of a throat ailment.

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