When the American Civil War broke out, the Union's greatest general was busy minding his father's store in Galena, Illinois. By the time the war ended Ulysses S. Grant would lead the Union to victory in both the Western and Eastern theaters. Later elected President of the United States, he is still remembered today as one of America's greatest heroes.
Every legend has a beginning, and Grant is no exception. Recruited Illinois Governor Richard Yates to recruit and train Illinois soldiers, Grant quickly proved his worth and was promoted to be in charge of the District of Cairo (Illinois). In this position he set his eyes on Fort Henry, a Confederate fort situated on the Tennessee River. Reducing the fort would allow the Union unimpeded access up the river which wound its way through Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
The fort was commanded by