Daily Event for February 6, 2012

On February 6, 1862 a group of river steamers, many which had been converted into so-called ironclads, approached the Confederate stronghold Ft. Henry, on what is now the Tennessee River. General Grant had landed a large number forces near Cairo, Illinois that were supposed to attack the fort, the river gunboats however arrived before the troops and took the fort under fire. For those left at Ft. Henry conditions were difficult, much of the fort was underwater due to the river rising and most of her guns were unusable. The gun crews were at a disadvantage because the guns could not be lowered enough to be as effective as they should have been, but they did hit one of the gunboats.

USS Essex was hit amidships by a 32 pounder, the shell penetrated her thin iron shield and hit the boiler, which burst. The scalding hot water killed eleven crewmen, and badly injured another twenty-three, including the commanding officer William D. Porter. Despite his injuries he remained in command of the ship and got her clear of the action. Shortly after the battle began the fort surrendered. Perhaps the most ironic part of the story is that the fort was completely underwater only a couple of days later.
© 2012 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in
USS Essex
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Bedford, James
Breas, J. P.
Britton, S. B.
Acting Master's Mate
Coffey, James
Ford, M. H.
Gemfer, Henry
Laritz, John
McBride, James
Reynolds, H.
Waterman, A. D.
Captain Forecast
Wilson, Dana

2005 Daily Event
2007 Daily Event
2010 Daily Event
2011 Daily Event
Today's Daily Event