1862 February 6th

February 6 1862 Thursday

Battle of Fort Henry, TN (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)

Forts Henry & Donelson Campaign

Go to February 7 1862

Missouri. Incident at Bloomfield.

South Carolina. Union reconnaissance to Wright River.

Fort Henry, Tennessee. Confederate Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman retained a garrison of about 56 gunners at Fort Henry after he withdrew his infantry from Fort Henry towards Fort Donelson. Tilghman returned to the fort after seeing about 2,500 of his men safely on the road to Fort Donelson. Around noon, Union Captain Andrew Hull Foote’s seven gunboats (USS Essex, USS Carondelet, USS Cincinnati, USS Conestoga, USS Tyler, USS St Louis, and USS Lexington) began bombarding Fort Henry from a range of 1,700 yards while Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant brought his infantry overland from their landing points on both sides of the river. The soldiers were delayed by bad weather and muddy roads. Grant arrived at 3 pm, about an hour after the surrender, while his infantry continued to toil through the mud.
Foote’s newly designed and hastily constructed ironclads were deployed with the four ironclads in a line abreast. They closed to within 600 yards’ range, followed by the three wooden ships which were held further back to add long-range and less effective fire. The low elevation of Fort Henry’s guns allowed Foote’s fleet to escape serious damage. The Confederates were able to fire only nine of their guns and mostly hit the ships at their armoured points. One ship took thirty hits but suffered little serious damage. Nevertheless, a chance 32-pound shot penetrated USS Essex and hit her middle boiler, sending scalding steam throughout half of the ship. Thirty-two men were killed or wounded, including her commander, William David Porter, and she was put out of action for the remainder of the campaign. The most powerful Confederate gun, a high-velocity 6-inch rifle, exploded while firing and the explosion also put three other guns temporarily out of action. The 128-pound Columbiad was soon disabled by a broken priming wire. One gun had no ammunition left and two more were knocked out by shell fire. Reduced to just four operational guns, the remaining 32-pounder and 42-pounder guns were sited too low and were too light in calibre to be effective.
After the exchange of fire had lasted for 75 minutes, Tilghman surrendered to the Union fleet, which had engaged the fort and closed to within 400 yards. A small boat was able to row directly through the sally port of the fort, demonstrating the extent of flooding that had doomed the fort. The boat picked up Tilghman and took him for the surrender ceremony aboard USS Cincinnati. The evacuating Confederates had left all of their artillery and equipment behind. Tilghman was imprisoned and exchanged on 15 August 1862.
Although modest in scale compared to subsequent engagements, the fall of Fort Henry had important results and provided a major boost to Union morale. Fort Henry’s fall immediately opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the first reconnaissance was sent upriver to test the defences.
Union Major-General Henry Wager Halleck, commanding the Department of the Missouri, transferred the District of Western Tennessee from the Department of the Ohio to his own Department of the Missouri in order to assert his ownership over the ensuing campaign. Nevertheless, Halleck felt that extending the campaign further from Fort Henry for an attack on Fort Donelson was a risky enterprise. He had little confidence in Grant’s ability but Grant wired to Halleck, “Fort Henry is ours. … I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th and return to Fort Henry.” Grant’s deadline was optimistic because of the miserable road conditions and the need to use troops to carry supplies away from the rising floodwaters at Fort Henry. Nevertheless, Grant was determined to maintain his momentum and retain the initiative.
Union losses were reported as 11 killed, 5 missing and 31 injured on the ships. The Confederate lost 5 to 10 killed or missing, 11 wounded and as many as 63 captured. Tilghman reported 80 prisoners and 16 more in a hospital boat moored on the river. Other reports state 90 Confederate prisoners. (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)


Union Department of the Missouri: Major-General Henry Wager Halleck
District of Cairo: Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant
1st Division, Cairo (Missouri): Brigadier-General John Alexander McClernand
1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cairo (Missouri): Colonel Richard J Oglesby
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Cairo (Missouri): Colonel William Henry Lamb Wallace
2nd Division, Cairo (Missouri): Brigadier-General Charles Ferguson Smith
3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Cairo (Missouri): Colonel John Cook
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote USN
USS Cincinnati (flagship), USS Carondelet, USS St Louis, USS Essex, USS Conestoga, USS Tyler, USS Lexington

Confederate Western Department: General Albert Sidney Johnston
First Geographical Division (Western Department): Major-General Leonidas Polk
Fort Henry, First Geographical Division (Western Department): Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman

Tennessee. Union naval expedition to Florence began. USS Conestoga, USS Lexington, and USS Tyler set out under Lieutenant S L Phelps USN after the success at Fort Henry and headed for Florence, Alabama.

Virginia. Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan reviewed the organisation of the Army of the Potomac in preparation for his impending offensive campaign. The following order of battle indicates the present state of the growing army. The highest level of organisation was currently the division, as the grouping of divisions into Corps-level commands was not yet authorised. McClellan was the only Major-General in the Army and he put earnest consideration into deciding which of his officers should be promoted to command the major segments of the army.


Union Department of the Potomac: Major-General George Brinton McClellan
Army of the Potomac: Major-General George Brinton McClellan
Sykes’ Regular Brigade (Potomac): Brigadier-General George Sykes
Artillery Reserve (Potomac): Colonel Henry Jackson Hunt
Cavalry Brigade (Potomac): Brigadier-General Philip St George Cooke
Stone’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Charles Pomeroy Stone
Gorman’s Brigade, Stone’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Willis Arnold Gorman
Burns’ Brigade, Stone’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Wallace Burns
McCall’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General George Archibald McCall
Reynolds’ Brigade, McCall’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John Fulton Reynolds
Meade’s Brigade, McCall’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General George Gordon Meade
Ord’s Brigade, McCall’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Edward Otho Cresap Ord
Porter’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Fitz John Porter
Martindale’s Brigade, Porter’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John Henry Martindale
Morell’s Brigade, Porter’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General George Webb Morell
Butterfield’s Brigade, Porter’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Daniel Butterfield
Hooker’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Joseph Hooker
Sickles’ Brigade, Hooker’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Daniel Edgar Sickles
Cowdin’s Brigade, Hooker’s Division (Potomac): Colonel Robert Cowdin
Starr’s Brigade, Hooker’s Division (Potomac): Colonel William H Starr
Blenker’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Louis Blenker
Stahel’s Brigade, Blenker’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Julius Stahel
Von Steinwehr’s Brigade, Blenker’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Adolph Wilhelm August Frederick von Steinwehr
Bohlen’s Brigade, Blenker’s Division (Potomac): Colonel Heinrich Bohlen
Smith’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Farrar Smith
Hancock’s Brigade, Smith’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Scott Hancock
Brooks’ Brigade, Smith’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
Brannan’s Brigade, Smith’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John Milton Brannan
Casey’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Silas Casey
Naglee’s Brigade, Casey’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier General Henry Morris Naglee
Wessells’ Brigade, Casey’s Division (Potomac): Colonel Henry Walton Wessells
Palmer’s Brigade, Casey’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier General Innis Newton Palmer
Keyes’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Couch’s Brigade, Keyes’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Darius Nash Couch
Peck’s Brigade, Keyes’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John James Peck
Graham’s Brigade, Keyes’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Lawrence Pike Graham
McDowell’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Irvin McDowell
King’s Brigade, McDowell’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Rufus King
Wadsworth’s Brigade, McDowell’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General James Samuel Wadsworth
Augur’s Brigade, McDowell’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Christopher Columbus Augur
Heintzelman’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Richardson’s Brigade, Heintzelman’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Israel Bush Richardson
Sedgwick’s Brigade Heintzelman’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John Sedgwick
Jameson’s Brigade, Heintzelman’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Charles Davis Jameson
Franklin’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Buel Franklin
Kearny’s Brigade, Franklin’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Philip Kearny
Newton’s Brigade, Franklin’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General John Newton
Slocum’s Brigade, Franklin’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Henry Warner Slocum
Banks’ Division (Potomac): Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Williams’ Brigade, Banks’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Alpheus Starkey Williams
Shields’ Brigade, Banks’ Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General James Shields
Sumner’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Edwin Vose Sumner
Howard’s Brigade, Sumner’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Oliver Otis Howard
Meagher’s Brigade, Sumner’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General Francis Thomas Meagher
French’s Brigade, Sumner’s Division (Potomac): Brigadier-General William Henry French

Union Organisation

USA: The region of Western Tennessee was transferred from the Department of the Ohio to the Department of the Missouri.

USA: James Scott Negley confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 1 October 1861.

USA: William Scott Ketchum confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

USA: Abner Doubleday confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

USA: John Wynn Davidson confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

USA: Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

USA: David Bell Birney promoted Brigadier-General USV 17 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

USA: Thomas Francis Meagher promoted Brigadier-General USV 6 February 1862 to rank from 3 February 1862.

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Edwin McMasters Stanton
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Samuel Francis Du Pont
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: David Glasgow Farragut
East Gulf Blockading Squadron: William McKean
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Andrew Hull Foote
Potomac Flotilla: Robert Harris Wyman

General–in-Chief: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Florida: Lewis Golding Arnold

Department of Kansas: David Hunter

Department of Key West: John Milton Brannan awaited

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of Cairo: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of St Louis: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Central Missouri: John Pope
    • Army of Western Missouri: John Pope
  • District of North Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southeast Missouri: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Samuel Ryan Curtis
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis

Department of New England: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

  • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Department of New York: Edward Denison Morgan

Department of North Carolina: Ambrose Everett Burnside

Department of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

  • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

Department of the Pacific: George Wright

  • District of the Humboldt: Francis James Lippitt
  • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
  • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • District of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland: Frederick West Lander
  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans

  • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox
  • Cheat Mountain District: Robert Huston Milroy
  • Railroad District: Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman was captured at Fort Henry, Tennessee. He was exchanged on 15 August 1862.

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: Judah Philip Benjamin
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Vacant

Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell

Department of Alabama and West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • Army of Pensacola: Samuel Jones
  • Army of Mobile: John Bordenave Villepigue

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of the Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

  • District of Albemarle: Henry Alexander Wise awaited

Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin

  • District of Cape Fear: Joseph Reid Anderson
  • District of Pamlico: Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Alexander Wise

Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • District of Aquia: Robert Augustus Toombs
  • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • I Corps Potomac: James Longstreet
    • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Valley District: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
    • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
  • Army of the Northwest: Edward Johnson temporary

Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

  • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida: Robert Edward Lee

  •  District of Middle and East Florida: William Montgomery Gardner
  • District of Georgia: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 1st Sub-District of South Carolina: Arthur Middleton Manigault.
    • 2nd Sub-District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: Nathan George Evans
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: John Clifford Pemberton
    • 5th Sub-District of South Carolina: Thomas Fenwick Drayton

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Lewisburg: Henry Heth

Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert

  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
  • District of Galveston: Ebenezer B Nichols
  • District of Houston: John Creed Moore
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Albert Sidney Johnston

  • First Geographical Division: Leonidas Polk
  • Trans-Mississippi District: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of East Tennessee: George Bibb Crittenden
  • Army of Central Kentucky: William Joseph Hardee
  • Army of Eastern Kentucky: Humphrey Marshall
  • Army of the West: Benjamin McCulloch interim Earl Van Dorn awaited

District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley

  • Army of New Mexico: Henry Hopkins Sibley

Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson
William Starke Rosecrans
Philip St George Cooke

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
Ambrose Everett Burnside
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
Henry Warner Slocum
James Samuel Wadsworth
John James Peck
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
William Farrar Smith
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry
John Joseph Abercrombie
John Sedgwick
Charles Ferguson Smith
Silas Casey
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Alexander McDowell McCook
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Daniel Edgar Sickles
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
Lewis Wallace
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
William Nelson
William Thomas Ward
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden
George Wright
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
Thomas Williams
George Sykes
William Henry French
William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
John Milton Brannan
William Wallace Burns
John Porter Hatch
David Sloane Stanley
William Kerley Strong
Albin Francisco Schoepf
Lovell Harrison Rousseau
James Scott Negley
Thomas John Wood
Richard W Johnson
Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich Von Steinwehr
Joseph Bennett Plummer
John Gray Foster
George Washington Cullum
Jeremiah Tilford Boyle
Christopher Columbus Augur
Schuyler Hamilton
Jesse Lee Reno
George Washington Morgan
Julius Stahel
John McAllister Schofield
Thomas Jefferson McKean
John Grubb Parke
Zealous Bates Tower
Jefferson Columbus Davis
James Henry Lane
John McAuley Palmer
William High Keim
James Abram Garfield
Lewis Golding Arnold
Frederick Steele
William Scott Ketchum
Abner Doubleday
John Wynn Davidson
Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana
David Bell Birney
Thomas Francis Meagher
Henry Morris Naglee

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
William Joseph Hardee
Benjamin Huger
James Longstreet
John Bankhead Magruder
Mansfield Lovell
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Edmund Kirby Smith
George Bibb Crittenden
John Clifford Pemberton
Richard Stoddert Ewell

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Benjamin McCulloch
William Wing Loring
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
Henry Alexander Wise
David Rumph Jones
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Samuel Jones
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Leroy Pope Walker
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
John Porter McCown
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Robert Emmett Rodes
Richard Taylor
Louis Trezevant Wigfall
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
William Henry Carroll
Hugh Weedon Mercer
Humphrey Marshall
John Cabell Breckinridge
Richard Griffith
Alexander Peter Stewart
William Montgomery Gardner
Richard Brooke Garnett
William Mahone
Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
Edward Johnson
Maxcy Gregg
Raleigh Edward Colston
Henry Heth
Johnson Kelly Duncan
Sterling Alexander Martin Wood
John George Walker
John King Jackson
George Edward Pickett
James McQueen McIntosh
Bushrod Rust Johnson
Joseph Brevard Kershaw
Daniel Marsh Frost

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