Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 11, 1863 (Friday): Fort Henry Evacauted

Earthworks at Fort Heiman (

COLUMBUS, KY., March 11, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT,
Memphis, Tenn.:
    In connection with my telegram of March 7, giving unofficial information of the abandonment of Forts Henry and Heiman, I beg to report the following telegram received from Fort Donelson:
Forts Henry and Heiman are evacuated. All the troops there are either here or on their way; also the stores. The works have been down by order of General Rosecrans. Fort Henry was untenable by high water. All quiet here.

     A. C. HARDING,
     Colonel, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 24, Part 3, Page 99.

Fort Henry was a singular victory for the Union, but flooding made it untenable for much of the year.  Fort Heiman, opposite Fort Henry was a considerable work.  Where the bulk of Fort Henry is now under water, a large portion of the Fort Heiman complex has been preserved. That these forts were abandoned is also a testament to the challenges Union war planners faced in trying to defend every portion of an ever extending line.

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