HENRY, FORT (now Wheeling, W. Va.), originally Fort Fincastle, was built in June 1774 by Col. William Crawford from plans drawn by George Rogers Clark. In 1776 it was renamed Fort Henry in honor of Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia. On 10 September 1782, Fort Henry was attacked by Indians and British in one of the final battles of the American Revolution.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the fort fell into Confederate hands. On 6 February 1862, seventeen thousand Union troops under General Ulysses S. Grant, supported by gunboats under Commodore Andrew Foote, moved by water against Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman safely evacuated most of his small garrison and surrendered after a brief fight.
Cooling, B. Franklin. Forts Henry and Donelson—The Key to the Confederate Heartland. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987.
Selby, John E. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775–1783. Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1988.
Charles H.Ambler/a. r.
Fort Henry (in United States history)
Fort Henry, Confederate fortification on the Tennessee River, S of the Ky.-Tenn. line; site of the first major Union victory of the Civil War (Feb. 6, 1862). The fort was attacked and reduced by Union gunboats commanded by Commodore Andrew Foote. Confederate commander Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, foreseeing capture, sent the bulk of his force to Fort Donelson before surrendering.