“Commodore Foote’s Game of Ten Pins with Beauregard”

April 26, 1862

Justin Howard

“Commodore Foote’s Game of Ten Pins with Beauregard”

Civil War, Battles; Civil War, Union Military; Presidential Administration, Abraham Lincoln; Sports and Recreation; U.S. Military; Wars, American Civil War;

Lincoln, Abraham;

No 'Places' indexed for this cartoon.

No caption

Cartoonist Justin Howard uses a sports analogy to praise Union admiral Andrew Hull Foote's victories in the Mississippi River campaign.  His capture of Island Number Ten from the Confederates is represented as a game of ten pins (a type of bowling).

Foote, the son of Connecticut governor and U.S. senator Samuel Foot [sic], was a career naval officer who had served off the coasts of Africa, China, and the West Indies.  His experiences capturing slave ships were recounted in Africa and the American Flag (1854), which influenced public opinion against the illicit international slave trade.  A temperance advocate, he convinced the Navy in 1862 to repeal its alcohol ration to sailors.

When the Civil War began, Foote was given command of the Union flotilla on the Mississippi River, where he oversaw the outfitting of wooden and ironclad gunboats.  His leadership was instrumental in the eventual success of the Union's strategy to gain control of the Mississippi River in order to restore free trade and split the Confederacy in two.  

In early 1862, Foote coordinated his efforts with General Ulysses S. Grant for a series of Union victories in the West.  Foote's gunboats bombarded Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, allowing Grant and his men to take the fort on February 6 in the first major Union victory of the Civil War.  Many of the Confederate troops fled to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.  Foote and Grant's men captured that Confederate stronghold on February 12, clearing the way for the Union advance to Nashville.  

Despite being injured in the Fort Donelson battle, Foote continued in his post and assisted in the capture of New Madrid (Missouri) on March 14 and  Island Number Ten in the Mississippi River on April 7.  In this cartoon, Foote, astride two Union gunboats, has just bowled over "Island 10" and challenges Confederate general P. G. T. Beauregard to "Set 'em up again Beauregard."  Meanwhile, President Abraham Lincoln adds "Island X" to the blackboard's list of recent Union victories:  "Donaldson" [sic], "Columbus," and "New Madrid."  Within a few weeks after the capture of Island Number Ten, New Orleans and Memphis came under Union control.  

In June 1862, Foote was promoted to rear admiral and received the official Thanks of Congress, but his injuries forced him to retire temporarily from combat duty.  A year later, in June 1863, he was named to command a fleet off Charleston, South Carolina, but he died while traveling to the assignment.  The goal for which Foote had fought so heroically was accomplished when Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrendered after a long siege to General Grant on July 4, 1863, thus securing the entire Mississippi River for the Union.

Robert C. Kennedy

“Commodore Foote’s Game of Ten Pins with Beauregard”
July 14, 2024

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