The Capture of Fort Henry.
Detailed accounts of the engagement at Fort Henry, on the Tennessee river, show that the fighting was all done by the gunboats, — the fight lasted less than an hour. — The fort mounted 17 guns, mostly 32 and 24 pounders; one, however, a magnificent 10 inch Columbiad. The rebels claim to have had but eleven effective guns, worked by 54 men, which is the number all told, of our prisoners. They lost five killed and some ten badly wounded. One of their rifled guns, a 32 pounder, burst during the engagement, badly wounding one of their gunners, but killing none.
The infantry fled from their quarters, leaving bag and baggage. A vast deal of plunder has fallen into our hands, and a large and valuable quantity of ordnance stores.
Gen. Tilghman is disheartened, and thinks it one of the most damaging blows of the war.
After the surrender, which was made to Flag Officer Foote by the rebel General Floyd Tilghman, who defended his fort in a most determined manner, it was found that the rebel infantry, encamped to the number of some 4 or 5 thousand outside the fortification, had cut and run, leaving the rebel artillery company in command of the fort to their fate.
The land force, under command of General Grant, did not arrive at the fort till after the rebels had surrendered, and their army escaped.
The federal loss is stated as follows:
Pringle Carradice, seaman, of Hamilton, C. W., was killed outright; Wm. Lake, seaman, badly wounded; Martin Hussy, George Massey, Wm. Curtis, Michael Dalton, and E. N. Arilla, all seamen, were slightly wounded; Capt. D. H. Pratt, second master of the boat, was slightly wounded.
The Essex was badly crippled. When about half through the fight, and crowding with a splendid heroism steadily against the enemy; a ball went in at her port side forward port, through one of her boilers; the escaping steam scalding and killing several of the crew, and badly wounding many more. Capt. Porter, his aid S. P. Britton, Jr., and Paymaster Lewis, were standing on a direct line of the ball's passage, Britton being in the centre of the group. The shot struck poor Britton on the top of the head, scattering his brains and blood in every direction. The escaping steam went into the pilot house, quickly killing the two pilots, Ford and McBride. Many of the sailors, at the rush of steam, jump overboard and were drowned.
Here is the complete list of the Essex dead, wounded and missing. This causality to the Essex has cast a gloom over our fleet, and somewhat dampens the enthusiasm of our victory:
KILLED: — M. H. Ford, Jas. McBride, pilots; S. B. Britton, quartermaster's mate; David Wilson, captain of gun; J. Coffey, Jasper P. Brease, seaman.
OFFICERS WOUNDED. — Commander W. D. Portter, Theo. P. Ferry, 3d master.
SEAMEN WOUNDED. (badly) — John Mathews, N. McCarty, Peter White, G. E. Nichols, Samuel Boyer, B. Harrington, Wm. O'Brien.
SEAMEN WOUNDED. (slightly) — John Rodgers, Francis Wilson, Harvey Hogan, Thomas Mullen W. H. Maxley, T. Sullivan, John O'Hara, John Castello, J. J. Phillips, B. Solin.
MISSING. — A. D. Waterman, Jno. Larrise, Henry Guliper, Henry Reynolds, Jas. Bedard.
A detachment from one of the Indiana Regiments, taken on board the Essex just before engaging the enemy to act as a sharp shooters, under command of Dan'l Trotter, lost some of their men, as follows:
Killed. — Chas. Stocker; Lewis Gantz.
Scalded. — Lieut. Trotter, Chas. E. Erb, J. Lump.
Missing. — Wm. O'Neal, and Benj. Lubec.
Lieut. Trotter is now on the Tyler, and said to be badly scalded. David Wilson, the gun captain, being mortally wounded, worked his gun after the accident, he being mortally wounded at the time.