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to be ' pressed' men, and all were badly bama we visited. Most affecting instanarmed. After consultation with Lieu- ces greeted us almost hourly. Men, wotenants-Commanding Gwin and Shirk, I men, and children, several times gathered determined to make a land attack upon in crowds of hundreds, shouted their the encampment. Lieutenant-Command- welcome, and hailed their National flag ing Shirk, with thirty riflemen, came on with an enthusiasm there was no mistakboard the Conestoga, leaving his vessel ing; it was genuine and heartfelt. The to guard the Eastport, and accompanied people braved everything to go to the by the Taylor, we proceeded up to that river bank, where a sight of their flag place prepared to land one hundred and might once more be enjoyed, and they thirty riflemen and a 12-pound rifled have experienced, as they related, every howitzer. Lieutenant-Commanding Gwin possible form of persecution. Tears took command of this force when landed, flowed freely down the cheeks of men as but had the mortification to find the well as women, and there were those camp deserted. The rebels had fled at who had fought under tu stars and one o'clock in the night, leaving consid- stripes at Moultrie, who in this manner erable quantities of arms, clothing, shoes, testified to their joy. This display of camp utensils, provisions, implements, feeling, and sense of gladness at our sucetc., all of which were secured or des- cess, and the hopes it created in the troyed, and their winter quarters of log breasts of so many people in the heart huts were burned. I seized, also, a large of the Confederacy, astonished us not a mail bag, and send you the letters, giv- little, and I assure you, sir, I would not ing military information. The gunboats have failed to witness it for any considwere then dropped down to a point eration. I trust it has given us all a where arms, gathered under the rebel higher sense of the sacred character of
press law,' had been stored, and an our present duties. I was assured at armed party, under Second-Master Gou- Savannah, that of the several hundred dy, of the Taylor, succeeded in seizing troops there, more than one-half, had we about seventy rifles and fowling-pieces. gone to the attack in time, would have Returning to Cerro Gordo, we took the hailed us as deliverers, and gladly enEastport, Sallie Wood, and Muscle in listed with the National forces. In Tentow, and came down the river to the nessee the people generally, in their enrailroad crossing. The Muscle sprang thusiasm, braved secessionists, and spoke aleak, and all efforts failed to prevent their views freely ; but in Mississippi and her sinking, and we were forced to aban- Alabama, what was said was guarded. don her, and with her a considerable If we dared express ourselves freely, quantity of fine lumber. We are hav- you would hear such a shout greeting ing trouble in getting through the draw your coming as you never heard. “We of the bridge here.
know that there are many Unionists "I now come to the, to me, most inter- among us, but a reign of terror makes esting portion of this report, which has us afraid of our shadows.' We were already been long ; but I trust you will told, too, 'Bring us a small organized find some excuse for this in the fact that force, with arms and ammunition for it embraces a history of labors and move- us, and we can maintain our position, ments day and night, from the 6th to the and put down rebellion in our midst.' 10th of the month, all of which details I There were, it is true, whole communideem it proper to give you. We have ties, who, on our approach, fled to the met with the most gratifying proofs of woods, but these were where there was loyalty everywhere across Tennessee, less of the loyal element, and where the and in portions of Mississippi and Ala- fleeing steamers in advance had spread
tales of our coming with firebrands, burn- a spirit in their work highly creditable ing, destroying, ravishing, and plunder- to them. Lieutenants-Commanding Gwin ing
and Shirk have been untiring, and I owe "The crews of these vessels have had to them and to their officers many oblia very laborious time, but have evinced gations for our entire success."
CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, AND OCCUPATION OF NASHVILLE, FEBRUARY, 1862
No sooner, as we have seen, was the dition of large forces to the garrison. comparatively easy conquest of Fort"I determined,” says General Johnston, Henry effected than General Grant hast- Confederate commander of the departened back to Cairo, to make preparations ment, " to fight for Nashville at Donelfor the next employment of his flotilla son, and have the best part of my army against the more imposing defences of to do it, retaining only 14,000 men to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland. This cover my front (at Bowling Green) and fortification was situated near the bound- giving 16,000 to defend Donelson."* ary of Tennessee, on the west bank of Fort Henry surrendered on the 6th of the river, about a hundred miles from its February. On the 8th, General Pillow mouth, a short distance below the town took command of Fort Donelson, and imof Dover, where the stream having pur- mediately set to work to improve its desued a westerly course for some miles fences. This was done under the superturns northwardly to the Ohio. It was vision of Major Gilmer, chief engineer of connected by a direct road with Fort General A. S. Johnston's staff. The forHenry, but twelve miles to the west- tifications, thus strengthened and enward, whence it had been reinforced by larged, consisted of a principal water the retreating soldiery on the capture of battery, excavated on the side of the hill that position, and being placed as an out-on which the work was built, thirty feet post or river defence of Nashville, some above the water at its present stage, eighty miles above, was in ready com- mounting eight 32-pound guns and a 10munication by steamboat navigation with inch columbiad, bored as a 32-pounder that important centre of the enemy's sup- and rifled ; a second water battery above, plies. At Clarksville, an intermediate mounting a similar rifled gun and two town thirty miles distant from the Fort, 22-pounder carronades ; and on the suma branch of the Louisville and Nashville mit, immediately behind the battery, a railway led in one direction to Bowling fieldwork, intended for the infantry supGreen, in another to Memphis. There ports, and beyond it to the eastward, at was little difficulty therefore in pouring the considerable distance of a mile, a in whatever reinforcements might be series of defences against an attack from thought needed for the defence of Fort the land, consisting of trenches or rifleDonelson. Sufficient warning had been pits, protected in front of the exterior given of its danger in the fall of Fort line by a wide abattis of felled trees and Henry, where a strong Union force was interlaced brushwood. The lines, some gathering on its flank ready to advance. It was accordingly strengthened by va- * Letter of General A. S. Johnston to Mr. Barksdale,
Member of Congress at Richmond. Decatur, Alabama, rious engineering devices and by the ad- | March 18, 1862.
two miles in the windings, ran along a character and merit, of the regular army, ridge cut through by several ravines a Pennsylvanian by birth, son of the running toward the river, the hill-sides eminent Dr. Samuel B. Smith of Philarising by abrupt ascents seventy-five or delphia, was a graduate of West Point eighty feet.
On the elevations batteries of the year 1825 ; he had been employed of howitzers and field-pieces were sta- as an instructor in infantry tactics at that tioned. The outworks rested at either institution, and had greatly distinguished extremity upon creeks impassable on ac- himself by his services in the field in count of back water from the river.* the Mexican war. At the breaking out The fortifications, thus enclosed, were of the rebellion he held the rank of Lieudefended at the time of the investment tenant-Colonel of the 3d Infantry. He by a force estimated at more than eight- was greatly esteemed as a disciplinarian, een thonsand. General Floyd, whose and for his efficiency in the field. His proclamation announcing his departure command was well trained and was confor Kentucky, following close upon his fidently relied upon for active duty. A flight from Virginia, will be remembered third division, under Brigadier-General by the reader, was chief in command, Lewis Wallace, whose spirited attack the arriving at the fort with reinforcements previous summer upon Romney, as Colfrom Cumberland City on the 13th, when onel of the 11th Indiana regiment, will the seige was already begun, when he be remembered, * was sent round to the superseded General Pillow. Brigadier- scene of conflict by the Cumberland. General Buckner and Brigadier-General General McClernand's 1st division Bushrod K. Johnson were also in com- consisted of two brigades, nine regimand. The troops at the fort consisted ments, in all, of Illinois troops, with four mainly of Mississippians, under General batteries, and battalions of cavalry, unJohnson, with Floyd's brigade of regi- der the command, respectively, of Colments from Virginia, Tennessee, Arkan-onel Oglesby and Colonel W. H. L. Walsas, Texas, and Alabama. There was lace, acting Brigadiers. General Smith's also a considerable body of cavalry. division, the two brigades of which were
A two-fold attack upon the position commanded by Colonel Cook and Colonel thus powerfully entrenched and support. J. G. Lauman, numbered, two Illinois, ed, was resolved upon. The water bat- four Iowa, one Missouri, and three Inditeries were to be bombarded by Commo- ana regiments. The weather on the day dore Foote's flotilla of gunboats, and the of the march from Fort Henry was mild fortifications were to be invested on land and spring-like, and at noon the advance by the army of General Grant. The was reported within two miles of the latter was first on the spot. He left Fort works at Fort Donelson. As the Union Henry early on the morning of the 12th troops came up the enemy's pickets were of February, six days after the conquest driven in, and a semi-circular line of inof that work, with a force of about vestment was formed before the fortificafifteen thousand men. They were in tions. General McClernand's division two divisions, respectively commanded was stationed on the right towards the by Brigadier-Generals McClernand and Dover road; while General Smith, on Charles Ferguson Smith. The former the left, extended his line to a hill overwe have already seen in action at Bel- looking the creek, to the north of the mont. General Smith, an officer of high fort. Gradual approaches were made to
the works with occasional sharp skirm• Report of Colonel E. D. Webster, Chief of the Engi. ishing along the line, the enemy retiring neer Staff of General Grant's army. Fort Donelson, February 22, 1862. General Floyd's Official Report to Gen. eral Johnston, February 27, 1862.
* Ante vol. i. p. 290
GENERAL WALLACE'S REPORT.
to their defences beyond the ravine, on the right. This regiment advanced which separated the two armies. On in beautiful order down the slope, across Thursday, the 13th, no general attack the valley, and up the opposite steep, was made, General Grant waiting the with skirmishers deployed in front, and arrival of the gunboats, with General were soon warmly engaged. These opWallace's coöperating force by the Cum-erations had given the enemy time to reberland. The investment, meanwhile, inforce their position with strong bodies was drawn closer, and there was sharp of infantry from his reserves in the rear, skirmishing with heavy firing between and field artillery, which opened a dethe enemy's artillery and the Union bat-structive fire on the advancing line. The teries, which were planted on the hills roll of musketry showed the enemy in surrounding the rebel position. Impor- powerful force behind his earthwork ; tant service was rendered by a corps of notwithstanding, our forces charged galexperienced riflemen drawn from the lantly up the heights to the very foot of northwest, raised by Colonel Berge. the works, which were rendered impasThese sharpshooters, in wait behind logs sable by the sharp, strong points of and trees, in well selected positions on brushwood in which it was built. All the wooded ridges, picked off the ene- the regiments engaged in this daring atmy's gunners and thinned the venture-tempt suffered more or less from the some combatants who appeared above enemy's fire. In the meantime the enetheir breastworks. Early in the after- my began to show in strength in his innoon an attempt was made to capture a trenchments in front of Colonel Oglesby's formidable work of the enemy on the brigade. Schwartz's battery was adright. The movement, which was char- vanced along the road to within three acterized by remarkable bravery, is thus hundred yards of the works, but being narrated in the report of General W. H. without canister range, they were withL. Wallace : “ About noon I was or- drawn by General McClernand's order, dered by General McClernand to detach and directed Captain Taylor to throw the 48th regiment, (Colonel Hayne,) to forward two sections of his battery to operate with the 17th Illinois, (Major that position. The position being beSmith commanding,) and the 49th Illi- yond the reach of my lines, the infantry nois, (Colonel Morrison,) of the 3d brig- support was to be furnished from Colonel ade, in making an assault on the enemy's Oglesby's brigade, which was immedimiddle redoubt, on the hill west of the ately in the rear. These sections took valley, supported by the fire of McAllis- their positions under most galling fire of ter's guns. This force was under the rifles and musketry from the enemy's command of Colonel Hayne, as senior lines. The ground was covered with Colonel. They formed in line and ad- brush, and some time was required to vanced in fine order across the inter- put the army in position, and during this vening ravines, and mounted the steep time the enemy's fire was very galling, heights upon which these works are sit- and Taylor's men suffered somewhat from uated, in the most gallant manner, and its effects. As soon as his position was under a heavy fire of musketry from the gained, however, the rapid and wellenemy, posted in the lines of the earth- directed fire of the sections soon silenced work. They advanced up the hill, de- the enemy. The coolness and daring of livering their fire with coolness and pre- the officers and men of these sections, cision. The line not being long enough directed by Captain Taylor in person, to envelope the works, by order of Gen- are worthy of high praise. The 48th, eral McClernand, I detached the 45th 45th, 49th, and 17th regiments having Illinois (Colonel Smith) to their support been ordered to retire from the hill where they had so gallantly assaulted they lighted a fire it became a mark for the enemy's works, the 45th and 48th the guns of the enemy. The sufferings resumed their position in my line, and of the troops that night will be rememColonel Morrison, commanding the 17th bered among the many sharp trials of the and 49th, having been wounded in this defenders of the Union. The only deassault, these regiments were tempora- monstration of importance on the part of rily attached to my brigade, and acted the rebels,” we are told, “during the under my orders during the subsequent night, was a formidable attempt, on the operations, until the noon of the 15th.” right wing, to obtain Taylor's battery.
On the left an advance was also made The 20th Indiana, lying in the woods beby a portion of Colonel Lauman's brig- low it, however, after a brief skirmish in ade to the ravine at the base of the hill the midnight darkness, sent the intrudon which were the enemy's fortifications. ers back to their fortifications again. The 15th, under Colonel Veatch, moved On Friday, the 14th, the gunboats steadily up the hill toward the intrench- made their demonstration. When Comments, under a most galling fire of mus- modore Foote returned from Fort Henry ketry and grape, until their onward pro- to Cairo, it was with the expectation of gress was obstructed by the fallen tim-taking with him the new mortar boats to ber and brushwood. They succeeded in the siege of Fort Donelson ; but they obtaining an advantageous position, and were not yet - quite ready, and it was held it unflinchingly for more than two thought not good generalship to wait for hours, with severe loss, till they were them, however desirable their presence ordered to fall back out of range of the might be, while the enemy was every enemy's fire. The 7th and 14th Iowa day providing more formidable means of with the 25th Indiana coöperated with resistance. General Halleck accordingly this movement. At night the troops fell hastened the preparations for the atback to the position occupied in the tack, and Commodore Foote, with the morning. *
The occurrences of the first fleet, was speedily engaged in the asday, in fact, after the rapid and success- cent of the Cumberland. A company ful movement at Fort Henry, were not of transports, carrying a large part of the most encouraging. The enemy had General Wallace's division, accompanied a strong position, and were apparently him. He arrived towards midnight of prepared to defend it with resolution. the 13th, in the immediate neighborhood In the evening the gunboats and rein- of the fort. One of the iron-clad boats, forcements arrived, and there was a the Carondelet, which had been sent forprospect of earnest work on the mor- ward by General Grant as a convoy to . row. Meanwhile the fair weather under an advance portion of General Wallace's which the army had set out so gaily from troops, had preceded him, and been enFort Henry changed to a wintry severi- gaged that day in a reconnoissance of ty. A heavy rain set in, which turned the works at the fort. Many shots were in the night to a storm of snow and sleet, fired by this vessel, and one damaging overtaking the troops in an almost de- stroke received in return from a ball fenceless condition. Many of them, in which entered her port bow and woundexpectation of an engagement had, in ed a number of men by the splinters. the warmth of the previous day, thrown The next morning there was a conferaside their overcoats and blankets, and ence on board the flag-ship, St. Louis, being without tents, were exposed to the between General Grant and Commodore utmost rigors of the situation ; while, if Foote, which ended in a determination
Report of Colonel Lauman to General Smith. Fort Fort Donelson Correspondent of the Missouri Democrat, Donelson, February 18, 1862.
February 17, 1862.