Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Navy At the Battle of Shiloh-- Part 2: The Great Service of the U.S. Navy Gunboats

Fire from the two wooden gunboats helped maintain Union positions until reinforcements arrived, and the next day contributed to forcing the Confederate retreat.  "In this repulse," wrote Grant, "much is due to the presence of the gunboats."

General Beauregard, CSA, attributed the Confederate loss the following day in large part to the presence of the gunboats.  "During the night [of the 6th] the rain fell in torrents, adding to the discomforts and harassed condition of the men.

"The enemy, moreover, had broken their rest by a discharge at measured intervals of heavy shells thrown from the gunboats; therefore, on the following morning, the troops under my command were not in condition to cope with an equal force of fresh troops, armed and equipped like our adversary, in the immediate possession of his depots and sheltered by such an auxiliary as the enemy's gunboats."

One of the Army divisions at Shiloh was commanded by Major General Nelson, a former naval officer assigned to the Army, "who," Lt. Gwin observed, "greatly distinguished himself."  Gwin went on to report of the battle,  "I think this has been a crushing blow to the rebellion."

--Old B-R'er

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