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now either laid to rest in their silent graves, or are buried in noble and patriotic hearts :
“Navy DEPARTMENT, March 1, 1862. “ FLAG-OFFICER A. H. FOOTE:
“MY DEAR SIR, -As we are just receiving your letters of the 31st of December, 1861, I fancy you never get any of my notes. I observed that you were taken down from Clarksville when bound to Nashville, and I imagined the reason at once. I also noticed your proposition about first going to Fort Henry. I will take care that these matters shall be placed publicly to your credit. Carter has raised you one hundred men at Erie, and fifty seamen go from New York. We do this for five ships waiting for crews, and for the Narragan sett, not yet relieved, though their time is up. Please keep us posted with official documents and copies of telegrams, as in the Henry and Donelson affairs, so that I can have copies in the hands of naval friends. Your reputation is that of the Navy and the cause, and well you have sustained it under difficulties that placed the entire credit on your head. I wish some trophy of your noble fight at Fort Henry. With the warmest wishes for your
health and safety. Success you will win. Yours most truly,
G. V. Fox."
Commodore Smith, still more plain-spoken, writes:
“ March 1, 1862. “MY DEAR FOOTE,-I have yours of the 24th ult., with its inclosures. Mrs. “ Jesse” Benton will be elated, I think, at your notice of her by naming the Benton's tender for her.
“I had hoped the excitement would keep away the headache from you; but active brains like yours must have a safety-valve. You are cut out of a dash upon Nashville; but enough is left for you to do yet. I infer you were on better terms with Fremont than with Halleck; but you quarrel with nobody unless the party play foul, and then the 'black-stain' perseverance will be brought to bear on your opponents. Gregory says you 'pray like a saint and fight like a devil. It seems to me the Army, or some portions of it, are jealous of you. Why should they send such riff-raff to you, that are only in your way. I wouid not take them, or, if I did, I would place them where David put Uriah. I have no doubt the gun-boats hurt Fort Donelson and created a panic; pity you could not have had your mortar and other boats there. What we have apprehended as a defect in iron-clad boats has been demon
strated by you—that is, the exposure of the rudder and steering gear. What guns have you condemned ? The rifled cannon are becoming of doubtful endurance. The 80-pound rifles have been ignored, and 100pounders substituted where they can be used. Breese is by me, and desires regards. Mrs. Foote is sharing your glory by receiving the applause of your townsmen and a flag. * Congress is tearing the Navy to pieces by a multiplicity of bills. Three more bureaus are proposed, and the pay of all to be cut down alike. I have worked to the full stretch of my brains, and I get no credit for it. I like the idea of promotion for gallant acts, but I do not think the former war-services of officers should be overlooked.
“Our Army of the Potomac is stirring, but I know not the programme. I think we are doing up Secesh, and I hope the rebels will be tired of such an unprofitable and wicked war without justification. "Yours very truly,
On the 21st of February, 1862, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed the following resolutions :
“The nation has been compelled, by every patriotic motive, to call upon her true sons to arrest rebellion and preserve the government. Military men must put down rebellious politicians, who have created the existing evils which threaten our destruction. Reason and entreaty having failed, the sword is now to settle our destiny. While we feel sentiments of the highest admiration for all the brave officers and soldiers engaged in the cause of the Union, wherever their field of operations may be, we entertain a peculiar gratitude to those who are driving our invaders from the soil of Kentucky; therefore,
Resolved, by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, that General Albin Schæff, General William Nelson, General George H. Thomas, Colonel J. A. Garfield, General U. S. Grant, and Commodore
* This has reference to a pleasant and enthusiastic gathering of the students of Yale College (February 22d) in front of Mrs. Foote's residence, and the presentation to her of a National flag, which was raised soon after on the commodore's house. The Hon. Pelatiah Perrit responded to the address of the students. At the same time a letter was addressed to the commodore, signed by many eminent ci ens of New ven, such as the venerable Jeremiah Day, Professor Benjamin Silliman, President Theodore D. Woolsey, and others, warmly congratulating him, as townsmen, on his successes, and urging him on to greater victories.
Reconnoissance of Columbus.
A. H. Foote, together with the brave officers and men in their respective commands, deserve the thanks of Kentucky, and the same are hereby most cordially tendered to every man of them for their brilliant victories achieved at Wild Cat, Ivy Mountain, Logan's Fields, Mill Spring, Prestonburg, Fort Henry, and Fort Donelson. While we thus offer our heartfelt tribute to the officers and soldiers who have exposed their lives on the field of battle, we can not withhold the expression of our most grateful thanks to Generals Halleck and Buell, the commanders-in-chief of their respective departments, for their admirable arrangements, which have resulted in these glorious and effective victories.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded by the clerk to each of the officers herein named, with a request that they have the same read to their respective commands. “Which were adopted. Attest: W. L. SAMUELS,
“Clerk of House of Representatives."
The Western fleet was now, as a body, quickly recalled from its operations on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and was assembled at Cairo for further services in another quarter. Foote's dispatch of February 21st to his navy commanders urged them to activity, and closed with these words:
“The gun-boats and mortar-boats must leave immediately for Cairo, to be prepared instantly for service. Hasten! hasten! “bear a hand 'to follow me.”
The National successes in Tennessee had served to isolate the enemy's stronghold at Columbus, called “the Gibraltar of the West," and in one sense rightly called, for before it was rendered strategically untenable, it was judged impregnable to direct assault. It was situated upon high bluffs, with every advantage that skillful engineering and heavy munitions could add, and had an army of twenty thousand troops in its walls. Of course it was not known but that this formidable fortification would stand siege. Early on the morning of the 23d of February, Commodore Foote, with four iron-clads, two mortar-boats, and five transports partially filled with troops, left Cairo and steamed down the Mississippi on an armed
reconnoissance of Columbus. As they drew in sight of the batteries, a steamer bearing a flag of truce from General Polk came out to meet them. The account is given in the following report of the commodore: “ U. S. FLAG-STEAMER CINCINNATI, MISSISTER RIVER, }
, 23, 1862. “SIR, -I have the honor to report that, in company with General Cullum, chief of General Halleck's staff, with four iron-clad boats, two mortar-boats, and three transports, containing one thousand men, I made this day a reconnoissance in force toward Columbus to ascertain its condition; and when near the batteries a flag of truce came out to communicate with us, the result of which will be seen in the inclosed papers. The object of the reconnoissance being attained, and finding that fire from the mortars would lead the enemy to plant guns where they could
reach them with their batteries should we again open upon them with a larger number of mortars, I concluded to return to Cairo; and there we must remain until the gun and mortar boats are completed, as otherwise the flotilla will be demoralized for want of time and means to properly prepare for active service.
The army will not move without gunboats, yet the gun-boats are not in a condition to act offensively at present. On this subject I will soon write more fully. A telegram will be sent to the Department on my arrival at Cairo, referring to the events of to-day. I am your obedient servant, A. H. FOOTE, Flag Officer.
“ The Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. “P. S.-Columbus evinces no signs of an evacuation or dismounting of guns. The batteries seem to be intact, and we saw great numbers of tents and troops."
Before noticing a correspondence with General Polk on the subject of a “flag of truce," which forms a curious episode of itself, we introduce a part of the letter of a newspaper correspondent, dated February 24th, which gives a lively, chatty description of this sail down the Mississippi and its sudden termination:
“A little after daylight the gallant Commodore Foote hobbled painfully aboard the Cincinnati, and almost immediately after the whole fleet was steaming down the river. From the moment of starting, the regular line of battle was observed, the four iron-clad boats leading, abreast, the Cincinnati a mile to the rear, and close behind this the transports and mortars. The five transports seemed more for show than use. However, it was the Sabbath, and beneath the warm beams of the first sun we had seen for weeks, we pushed merrily ahead, absorbed in our devotions and the weather, and not caring to be captious, or to ask too many questions.
“A little before noon we steamed into Lucas's Bend, and saw, two miles below, across a promontory that ran out from the right bank, the tent-crowned bluffs of Columbus. A shot from a heavy gun came booming over the water, conveying to us an invitation seemingly to fight. Another followed, and then another—the latter a cogent invitation of some one hundred and twenty-eight pounds in weight, that plunged into the river a short distance to the left of us, and sent the water splashing skyward like a water-spout. A heavy gong sounding in the boats sent the men to quarters; guns were run in, every thing and every body was in