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HOME > Biographical > The Life of Abraham Lincoln > CHAPTER X.
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It was on Feb. 2, 1862, that the first great move was made af-ter Bull Run. This broke the line of the foe at the West and gave the Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er, a-bove Vicks-burg, in-to the hands of the North.
Com. Foote, with four gun-boats, and Gen. Grant with his troops, moved a-gainst Fort Hen-ry on the
 Ten-nes-see Riv-er, and on Feb. 2d, made it give up. A week went by and on the Cum-ber-land Riv-er, which there runs near the Ten-nes-see Riv-er, an-oth-er fort of the foe, Don-el-son, twelve miles from Fort Hen-ry, was tak-en by the same men. There was a stiff fight at Fort Don-el-son and 2,300 of Un-ion sol-diers fell. At last
 that fort was tak-en and 15,000 pris-on-ers with it. All the troops of the foe then had to leave the State of Ken-tuc-ky. All the friends of the Un-ion cause were full of joy.
Just in the midst of the great good news from the West came a thing most sad to the hearts of the Pres-i-dent’s fam-i-ly. One dear boy fell ill. It was Wil-lie Lin-coln.
While full of the weight of cares for his land, there came nights and days when it fell to Lin-coln’s lot to have to watch the slow steps of death. “It is the hard-est tri-al of my life,” said the sad fa-ther. At last the dear child was gone. One said to the Pres-i-dent, “A vast num-ber pray for you to-day.”
Mr. Lin-coln said “I am glad of that. I want them to pray for me. I need their pray-ers; and I will try to go to God with my sor-row. I wish I had a child-like faith. I trust God will give it to me. My moth-er had it. She died man-y years a-go. I re-mem-ber her pray-ers; they have al-ways fol-lowed me. They have clung to me through life.”
A new style of boat, a small queer craft, was brought forth by the war. She did a great work in Hamp-ton
 Roads when ships of wood of the North, as they lay at an-chor there, had gone down, when shot at and “rammed” by a new sort of foe.
The Se-cret-a-ry of the Na-vy at that time was Mr. Welles. He heard that the foe were to raise the hull of the “Mer-ri-mac,” a fine craft which the foe had hurt and sunk at Nor-folk. They would raise the ship, cov-er it with i-ron, and thus make a ves-sel which would be of far more use in war than an-y thing then built.
The As-sist-ant-Sec’y of the Na-vy, Mr. Gus-ta-vus V. Fox, went to talk with the Pres-i-dent. Lin-coln spoke to him a-bout the new craft and said:
“We must not let the foe get a-head of us in such an im-por-tant thing as pla-ting ves-sels with i-ron.”
This thought sank deep in-to the mind of Mr. Fox, and plans were soon set on foot to see what could be done to get some “i-ron-clads.” Capt. Er-ics-son made a mod-el of a craft ne’er be-fore seen. It had a hull un-der wa-ter, and an i-ron-clad tur-ret which could be turned.
The Pres-i-dent was glad of Er-ics-son’s work, took the plans, and eight months lat-er the worth of the boat made from them was seen in the great fight be-tween
 the Mer-ri-mac and the Mon-i-tor at Hamp-ton Roads. The “Mer-ri-mac” thought she would have full swing and crush all the ships of the Un-ion. She did some sad work both in the loss of ships and men, and she would have made an end of all, had there not, at mid-night, come up-on the scene, straight down from New York, John Er-ics-son’s lit-tle i-ron ves-sel, the “Mon-i-tor.” From that time i-ron ships, in place of those made of wood, were made for war use.
In the West, Grant, when he got through with Don-el-son, went up the Ten-nes-see to take Cor-inth in North Mis-sis-sip-pi. At that place man-y rail-roads met. Fresh troops had been sent from the East, and as Grant moved on with them he left some at points where boats could land. He, him-self, came to a halt on the west bank of the stream, at Shi-loh, with 30,000 to 40,000 men. This was a good place for him, for from here he could keep watch on the rail-road that went through the South and thus vex the foe then in great force at Cor-inth.
The foe had, at its head, Gen. A. S. John-ston and it was his wish to crush Grant ere Bu-ell could send him more troops.
Shi-loh, a small log church, was on a ridge a few miles back from Pitts-burg Land-ing. The troops that were to be put in front had their lines drawn up to face the Cor-inth road, for by that route the foe must come. Gen. Sher-man had charge of the men on that line.
It was on A-pril 6th, 1862, that Gen. A. S. John-ston made a fierce at-tack on the lines at Shi-loh. There was great loss on both sides. Sher-man was twice shot, while horse af-ter horse fell ............
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