Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Great Union Victory in Kentucky!

Special to the Chicago Journal.

CAIRO, Feb. 7.

I arrived from Fort Henry on the gun-boat St. Louis this morning. We left the Fort at 9 o’clock last evening.

Our gun-boats took one 128-pounder, one 24 rifled, two 24-pounders, ten 32 pounders, one 24 siege gun, two 12-pounders, one 6-pounder caisson in the fort.

A rifled shell was fired directly into the muzzle of the 128 pounder. Seven guns were disabled. Thirty-one shots struck the Cincinnati, seven struck the St. Louis and fourteen struck the Essex.

The Cincinnati, Carondelet, and St. Louis were within 300 yards of the rebel batteries when the flag was hauled down on the St. Louis.

No one was injured. The St. Louis is as good as new. She fired 126 shots during the engagement. The Cincinnati fired one-hundred and thirty-six shots. The Essex fifty-five shells.

The Essex was disabled by a round shot that entered a forward post, passing through a heavy bulwark into her boiler. She reports 26 killed, wounded and missing. Her pilots, Marsh Ford, of Pittsburg, and Jas. McBride, of Cincinnati, were scalded and died.

Capt. Porter’s clerk, S B. Britton, was killed, a round shot taking off his head. Two were killed on the Cincinnati. The second master, Hewitt, lost a leg, but will probably recover.

Our prisoners are: Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman; Capt. H. L. Jones, of Ky., acting quartermaster; Captain. J. H. Hayden, chief of engineers; Capt. John McLaughlin, Quartermaster; Maj. W. L. McComico; assistant adjutant-general; Capt. Jesse Taylor, commanding garrison; Lieuts. J. Ormsley, Watts, and Fred. J. Weller; Capt. G. R. G. Jones; and sixty privates.

In the evening, three 6-pounders and five rifled field-pieces, that had been taken into the woods, were recovered.

The Lexington and Conestoga went up the river, it was supposed, to destroy the bridge of the Clarksville and Memphis RR., last night.

Gen. Smith, on the west side of the river, had captured the whole camp equipage of two regiments, and, it was believed, a number of prisoners.

At least six hundred shots were fired during the engagement. It was a most terrific cannonade. The guns were well served.

I saw six dead rebels. Their loss could not be ascertained, the dead having been taken away.

The scene inside the rebel intrenchments was terrible. In three rows of their log barracks not one escaped, shot and shell having torn everything to splinters.

On the Cincinnati one was killed, P. Cassidy, of St. Catherines; [8] wounded, one of whom, Wm. Lakeman, will die. Captain Pratt may save his leg.

Our land force on the east side of the river encamped at Fort Henry last night.

Flag Officer Foote, commander of the fleet of Federal gunboats that captured Fort Henry yesterday, was on the Cincinnati, which led the advance.

Gen. Tilghman, in surrendering, said he was “gratified to surrender, if he must, to so gallant an officer as Flag Officer Foote.”

Commodore Foot replied, “You did right to surrender. I should not have given up until you had sunk my boats. Your surrender must be unconditional.”

Here is the complete list of the Essex dead wounded and missing. This casualty to the Essex has cast a gloom over our fleet and some what dampens the enthusiasm of our victory.

KILLED – M. H. Ford, Jas. McBride, pilots; S. B. Britton, Quartermaster’s mate; David Wilson, captain of gun; J. Coffey, Jasper P. Brease, seaman.

OFFICERS WOUNDED – Commander W. D. Porter, Theo. P. Ferry, 3d master.

SEAMEN WOUNDED (badly.) – John Matthews, N. McCarty, Peter White, G. E. Nichols, Samual [sic] Boyer, B. Harrington, W. O’Brien.

SEAMEN WOUNDED (slightly.) – J. Rodgers, Francis Wilson, Harvey Hogan, Thomas Mullen, W. H. Maxley. T. Sullivan, John O’Hara, John Costello, J. J. Phillips, B. Solin.

MISSING – A. D. Waterman, Jno. Larrise, Henry Gulper, Henry Reynolds, J. Bedard.

A detachment from one of the Indiana regiments, taken on board the Essex just before engaging the enemy, to act as sharp shooters, under command of Danl. Trotter, lost some of their men as follows:

Killed – Chris Stocker; L Gantz.

Scalded – Lieut. Trotter, Chas. E. Erb, J. Lump.

Missing – Wm. O’Neal and Benj. Lubec.

Our gun boats did splendid fighting. We can bake no distinctions. The Cincinnati, however, was in the lead, and flying the flag officer’s pennant, the chief mark. Flagg officer Foote and Capt. Stombel crowded her defiantly into the teeth of the enemy’s guns. She got 31 shots, some of them going through and through her. She expended 110 shots.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, February 10, 1862, p. 1

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