CIVIL WAR LETTER - NEWS OF FORT HENRY FALLING - 1862 Letter Feb 8 th, 1862. Camp Irvin, Louisville Ky. Unsigned four page pen letter on two sheets, 7 ½ x 4 ½ , first page is patriotic letter sheet "The War for the Union". Writes about Fort Henry taken by Union force.(Cw726); $125.
February 8th, 1862 Camp Irvin Louisville Kentucky
Dear father mother brothers and sisters. I take the present oporitunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines may find you well(.) last week a bout I was unwell now but I am well now(.) Levi Write is not very well(.) there was a glorious news came and camp last night(.) fort henry is taken and the Memphis and Ohio rail road bridge(.) there was some firing of guns you better guess(.) there was thirty six guns firing for a bout half an hour (.) the guns and men to gather make some noise(.) the forte and all that was in it was taken(.) three gunboats done all the work and had the forte taken in two hours before the land forces got there(.) news came in today that bowling (green) was taken(.) I don't know much care whether it is or not and the company don't care for we all wanted to be in that fight(.) we are going to get fourthirty two pounders they are called siege guns(.) They way 8000 lbs and are 12 ft long and shoot five miles and not a wall all to pieces(.) I don't know when we will leave here if bowling green is taken we wont get in any fight and can't get to smell the gunfire only blanks that we fire in honor to others(.) we are out on drill nearly every day. We drill a bout half an hour the four noon and then stop and rest(.) we have some of the ) horses and learn to them two jump a log or fences(.) I should like to leave here and get further out in the enemies country(.) I received a letter from you dated the first I think I have for got the date I think that you had better let your Iowa land go(.) I think it will cost more than it is worth(.) well I will quit this for tonight and finish to morrow night(.) it is like spring here very near I hear the birds singing and the sun shines bright and wall.
Background: The Battle of Fort Henry was fought on February 6, 1862, in western Middle Tennessee, and was the first important victory for the Union and Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Western Theater.
On February 4 and 5, Grant landed two divisions just north of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Grant's plan was to advance upon the fort on February 6 while it was being simultaneously attacked by Union gunboats commanded by Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote. A combination of effective naval gunfire, heavy rain, and the poor siting of the fort, nearly inundated by rising river waters, caused its commander, Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, to surrender to Foote before the Union Army arrived.
The surrender of Fort Henry opened the Tennessee River to Union traffic south of the Alabama border. In the days following the fort's surrender, from February 6 through February 12, Union raids used timberclad boats to destroy Confederate shipping and railroad bridges along the river. On February 12, Grant's army proceeded overland 12 miles (19 km) to engage with Confederate troops in the Battle of Fort Donelson.