My deepest apologies for neglecting to write to you on Saturday. I have small excuse.
However, to correct my error (as well as to set the stage for this day's happenings), I will briefly cover both 7 and 8 February 1862 for you.
In the West: On the 7th, Union General Grant established his force at Fort Henry and went on a personal reconnaissance mission to Fort Donelson, some twelve miles distant.
*Fort Henry is on the left of the map, Fort Donelson on the right.
Other Yankee movements were made in preparation to an impending assault on the fort.
Also of interest in the western theater was that martial law was declared in Kansas on the 8th.
In the East: Federal General Burnsides landed troops on Roaknoke Island, North Carolina the evening of the 7th. Included is the map of positions the following day:
The 8th saw Burnsides 7,500 men plowing across the island through roughly 2,000 Confederates. The Confederates surrendered once they had been backed all the way to the northern end of the island.
The losses for the Confederates therefore were 23 killed, 62 wounded; some 2,000 men (give or take) captured. 30 cannon seized.
The Federal's losses were reported at 37 killed, 214 wounded, and 13 missing.
This engagement, in a way, opened up a backdoor toward Richmond and was keenly felt in the Confederate capital.
That brings us up to February 9th.
Confederate General Gideon Pillow took command at Fort Donelson. General Grant's impending attack was delayed for various reasons. One being an attack on Fort Donelson without the aid of the gunboats (then in route up the Tennessee River to where it joined with the Cumberland, which they would navigate to confront the fort) would have been particularly risky.
The only military action in the east was a continuing "clean up" by the Federal's on Roanoke Island.
Until tomorrow, I remain,
Your Affectionate Granfather