Reprinted in Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1862), IV: 79.
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Fort Henry, February 9, 1862.
Col. W. W. Mackall, A. A. General, C. S. A., Bowling Green:
Sir: Through the courtesy of Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding Federal forces, I am permitted to communicate with you in relation to the result of the action between the Fort under my command at this place, and the Federal gunboats, on yesterday. At eleven o'clock and forty minutes on yesterday morning, the enemy engaged the Fort with seven gunboats, mounting fifty-four guns. I promptly returned their fire with the eleven guns from Fort Henry bearing on the river. The action was maintained with great bravery by the force under my command until ten minutes before two P.m.; at which time I had but four guns fit for service. At five minutes before two, finding it impossible to maintain the Fort, and wishing to spare the lives of the gallant men under my command, and on consultation with my officers, I surrendered the Fort. Our casualties are small. The effect of our shot was severely felt by the enemy, whose superior and overwhelming force alone gave them the advantage.
The surrender of Fort Henry involves that of Capt Taylor, Lieut. Watts, Lieut. Weller, and one other officer of artillery; Capts. Hayden and Miller, of the engineers; Captains H. L. Jones and McLaughlin, Quartermaster's Department; A. A. General McConnico, and myself, with some fifty privates and twenty sick, together with all the munitions of war in and about the Fort.
I communicate this result with deep regret, but feel that I performed my whole duty in the defence of my post
I take occasion to bear testimony to the gallantry of the officers and men under my command. They maintained their position with consummate bravery, as long as there was any hope of success. I also take great pleasure in acknowledging the courtesies and consideration shown by Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant and Commander Foote, and the officers under their command.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, C. S. A.