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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: February 6 – Battle of Fort Henry 150 Years Ago

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The Battle of Fort Henry was fought on February 6, 1862, in western Tennessee, during the American Civil War. It was the first important victory for the Union and Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Western Theater. On February 4 and February 5, Grant landed two divisions just north of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. His plan was to advance upon the fort on February 6 while it was being simultaneously attacked by United States Navy gunboats commanded by Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote. A combination of effective naval gunfire and the poor siting of the fort, almost completely inundated by rising river waters, caused its commander, Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, to surrender to Foote before the Army arrived. The surrender of Fort Henry opened the Tennessee River to Union traffic past the Alabama border, which was demonstrated by a “timberclad” raid of wooden ships from February 6 through February 12. They destroyed Confederate shipping and railroad bridges downriver. Grant’s army proceeded overland 12 miles to the Battle of Fort Donelson.

It’s Monday, February 6

The American Shakespeare Center presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tomorrow and Friday nights as part of the Murray Shakespeare Festival. Performances take place in Lovett Auditorium at 7PM; tickets are $10, or $5 with a Murray State ID. Find a complete schedule of festival events at murraystate.edu/Shakespeare.

The Ice House Gallery in Mayfield presents an exhibit of musical instruments made by local artists. See cigar box guitars, mountain dulcimers, drums, a lyre, and a didgeridoo, as well as paintings and photographs. The show runs through February 25. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 4:30 and on Saturdays from 10 to 1.

Flutist Stephanie Rea presents a recital of French music tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Performing Arts Hall on the campus of Murray State University. The performance will be followed by a reception of French coffee and treats. Admission is free. For more information, call the music department at 809-4288.

Find out how to support public radio and get in a drawing for an iPad 2 at wkms.org.

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