A Brief History
On February 6, 1862, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant led American Union forces to victory in the Battle of Fort Henry in Tennessee, the first battle of significance won by the Union Army in the US Civil War. Grant became known as a Union general that could win battles and rode that success to leadership of the US Army and later to the White House as President of the US.
Union forces got off to a bad start in the Civil War, losing at Fort Sumter and then at the First Battle of Bull Run. At Fort Henry, Grant used superior numbers to force the garrison to evacuate and relocate to Fort Donelson. Grant lost 48 men killed, while the CSA lost 79 killed and 90 captured, including their commander.
A key to Grant’s success was the use of ironclad gunboats on the Tennessee River.
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For more information, please see…
Charles River Editors. The Battle of Fort Henry: The History of General Ulysses S. Grant’s Victory that Captured the Tennessee River for the Union. Charles River Editors, 2019.
Smith, Timothy. Grant Invades Tennessee: The 1862 Battles for Forts Henry and Donelson. University Press of Kansas, 2021.
The featured image in this article, Bombardment and capture of Fort Henry, Tenn, an 1860s lithograph by Currier and Ives, is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1929.
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