Why was the battle of Fort Henry important to the civil war?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Fort Henry

    Other Names: None

    Location: Stewart County and Henry County, Tennessee, and Calloway County, Kentucky

    Campaign: Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers (1862)

    Date(s): February 6, 1862

    Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Flag-Officer A.H. Foote [US]; Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman [CS]

    Forces Engaged: District of Cairo [US]; Fort Henry Garrison [CS]

    Estimated Casualties: 119 total (US 40; CS 79)

    Description: By February 1862, Fort Henry, a Confederate earthen fort on the Tennessee River with outdated guns, was partially inundated and the river threatened to flood the rest. On February 4-5, Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant landed his divisions in two different locations, one on the east bank of the Tennessee River to prevent the garrison’s escape and the other to occupy the high ground on the Kentucky side which would insure the fort’s fall; Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote’s seven gunboats began bombarding the fort. Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, commander of the fort’s garrison, realized that it was only a matter of time before Fort Henry fell. While leaving artillery in the fort to hold off the Union fleet, he escorted the rest of his force out of the area and sent them safely off on the route to Fort Donelson, 10 miles away. Tilghman then returned to the fort and, soon afterwards, surrendered to the fleet, which had engaged the fort and closed within 400 yards. Fort Henry’s fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After the fall of Fort Donelson, ten days later, the two major water transportation routes in the Confederate west, bounded by the Appalachians and the Mississippi River, became Union highways for movement of troops and material.

    Result(s): Union victory

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  • Tony B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It enabled the Federal fresh water navy to penetrate up the Tennessee river and escort troops and supplies. As there were few railways rivers and waterways were a principle means of communication - and the Tennessee is a very big river to have the use of. The capture of Fort Henry allowed federal forces to go on and capture fort Donelson, which guarded the way up the Cumberland River. Having the use of these two rivers allowed the Federal army to plan the invasion of the Deep South, although they took their time about getting it done.

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  • ryan s
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Fort Henry’s fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama

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  • 3 years ago

    First Bull Run, confirmed Union it does not be a cake walk. Vicksburg (decrease south in 0.5) Gettysburg (Lee could not get further) Shiloh(sheer horror) The fourth is open to interpretation. you could desire to elect Chancellorsville, Fredricksburg, or some others. those are mine.

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