“‘I think two iron clad gun-boats would make short work of Ft. Henry.'”

Jan 22 1862 Received letter from Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith, “Finding it would take the better part of today to distribute our stores, I went up in the Lexington to have a look at Ft. Henry.  As the river is now fourteen feet above its very low stage a week since, we took the right hand (our right) channel of the island just below the Fort and got about two and on-half miles from it, drawing a single shot from the enemy which fell (say) half a mile short;  this in response to several shots fired at them.  There were evidently from two to three thousand men there. The appearance of the works corresponds, as far as could be discovered, with the rough sketch that Gen. Grant has seen in my quarters at Paducah.  The hill on the west bank, which commands the fort some sixty feet or so, seems to be covered by a thick growth of timber.  Going by the number of roofs seen in the fort it must cover considerable space.

“I think two iron clad gun-boats would make short work of Ft. Henry.  There is no masked battery at the foot of the island as was supposed, or if so, it is now underwater.  Two stern wheel steamers were at the fort but moved away rapidly at our first gun.  The Dunbar, a fast side wheel steamer, plies up and down, and was chased last evening by the Lexington without effect.  She is said to be armed with two twelve pounder rifled guns.  The Commander of the Lexington thinks she has not been altered in any way.  I shall resume my march at 8 o’c tomorrow morning, at which time the Lexington and transport Wilson will start for Paducah, carrying some sick men and the mail.

Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 90-91

O.R., I, vii, 561

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