The Mississippi Campaigns:
Battle of Island No. 10 and New Madrid
March-April, 1862

Click here to see 150K enlargement of map.

Ironclad gunboat.

"Because of the s-shape of the river it was possible for Pope to dig a canal to cut off the flow of the river from Island No. 10, and redirect it to New Madrid."

The Mississippi Campaigns

New Orleans


Island No. 10 and New Madrid were the northernmost Confederate forts on the Mississippi, and therefore were the first step in the Union's elaborate plan of gaining control of the Confederacy. The twin forts were about 60 miles south of Columbus, Ohio. They were well protected--Fort No. 10 had 52 guns.

The Confederate commander was A.S Johnston (right), and the Union commander was Gen. Pope (left) , who had help from Admiral Foote and his fleet of 6 iron clads and 11 gunboats, General Pope wanted Foote to race past No. lO towards New Madrid, but Foote did not want to because his fleet was unprepared due to the damage caused in previous battles.

Eventually on March 17, 1862. Foote (right) agreed to send three of his vessels, The Cincinnati, the St Louis, and the Benton to attack Island No.10 at close range. Little damage was done to either side. After this encounter Foote decided to keep his fleet at long range.

Because of the s-shape of the river it was possible for Pope to dig a canal to cut off the flow of the river from #10, and redirect it to New Madrid. However, by the time the canal was finished the forts were already under Union control due to the Union raids and abilities to slip past the forts at night.

Meanwhile, Foote was in the process of sending Captian Henry Walke in the Crondelet past #10 to New Madrid in order to take the forts. At midnight on April 3rd the crondelet docked at New Madrid. The next night the Pittsburgh joined the Crondelet and the two boats attacked Watson's Landing to provide covering fire for transportation of Pope's men from No. 10 to New Madrid.

Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Phone: 651-523-2480 Fax: 651-523-2987
© 2001 CGEE. All Rights Reserved.