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Bombardment of Island "Number Ten" in the Mississippi River.
Daytime battle scene - seven large gun boats from left to right in foreground. Line on right recedes into background with six additional ships. Title's lettering is in "black print". Duplicate title (2004.D03.058 FAC #598.1) - differences are that this print, .057 is daytime scene, .058 is evening. And in this print, .057 all windows in far right gunboat are reddened. From the Inventory Listing of Sidney A. Alpert "Bombardment of Island "Number ten" in the Mississippi River (7.10 x 12.4) 1862 (Day) - S "
" By the Gunboat and Mortar fleet, under the Command of Flag Officer A.H. Foote"
In the midst of the American Civil War, Union forces set out to capture the heavily defended Island Number Ten, a Confederate fortification near the Kentucky Bend in the Mississippi River. On March 16, 1862, Union gunboats shelled the island fortifications. The Confederates returned fire from the shore. The battle continued until early April, allowing Currier & Ives the opportunity to issue several versions of the scene. Two versions of this print can be found in the collection at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts. While both images take place at nighttime, the differing color schemes are striking. A similar image features bright orange rather than pure white clouds.
The bombardment concluded after two Union ships were able to pass the Island on the nights of April 4 and April 7. Under cover of these gunboats, Union troops crossed the Mississippi River and landed below the island. Confederate withdrawal became impossible and a garrison of 7,000 men surrendered on April 7th. The defeat of the Confederates opened the river for the capture of Memphis, Tennessee, two months later.
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