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Ful:78 HENTY AND DONELSUX. hour's mutual cannonade, a 24-pound his way through the miry woods and shot from the fort pierced the Essex over the difficult trails he was obliged at an unguarded spot, and, tearing to traverse in order to reach and through her thick oak planking as occupy the main road from Henry though it had been cheese, penetrated to Donelson. Had he been directed her starboard boiler, instantly filling to start at 6 instead of 11 that her from stem to stern with burning morning, he would probably have steam, killing both her pilots at their intercepted and captured Tilghman's post of duty, and severely scalding entire force. As it was, the latter Capt. W. D. Porter and nearly 40 of says he ordered all but the hundred
Wider and h e says his gunners and crew. Thus com- or so inside the fort, and employed
the pletely disabled, the Essex drifted in working its guns, to take the road out of the action, to the great joy of to Donelson, under Col. Heiman, his the Rebels, who for a moment second in command; and that order thought the victory their own; but was obeyed with great promptness her consorts kept on firing and near- and celerity. Tilghman remained ing for twenty minutes more, when himself with the handful in the fort; they were within 600 yards of the and, at 1:45 P. M., seeing further deRebel guns, whereof all but four had fense alike impotent and hopeless, by this time been silenced: one hav- and being urged by his officers to ing burst, disabling every man who surrender, he, intending to negotiate served it, while the vent of the great for terms, raised a flag of truce, which. 10-inch columbiad had been closed, being unperceived, amid the dense rendering it useless; while our fire at smoke, had no effect on the fire of the short range grew hotter and hotter. fleet. Five minutes later, by the advice
Gen. McClernand, as Com. Foote of his officers, he, having ceased firing, had apprehended, had not yet worked lowered his flag, thereby surrender
GEN. GRANT BEFORE FORT DONELSON.
47 ing at discretion." Our loss in this | enforcements to about 15,000*0.men. conflict, in addition to that on the Most of them were Tennesseans, with Essex, was 1 killed and 9 wounded about 2,000 Mississippians, 1,200 on the Cincinnati; none on our other Virginians, 1,000 Kentuckians, and vessels. Gen. Tilghman says our a thin regiment each from Alabama, total casualties were reported to him Arkansas, and Texas. The fort was at 73, while his own were 21. Com. commanded by two or three points Foote reports his captures at 60 or farther inland, within cannon-shot ; 70 men, besides the General and his the country rolling to the bluffs of staff, and a hospital-ship containing the Tennessee: some of the hills 60 invalids, with barracks, tents, &c., midway having an elevation of about sufficient for 15,000 men."
300 feet. Deep ravines, with 'steep,
rocky sides, especially near the bluffs FORT DONELSON—two miles below of the Cumberland, separated these Dover, where the Cumberland makes hills, and, with the tall, dense, prima short bend westward from its itive forests generally prevailing, afnortherly course—was a much larger forded admirable positions for defenand stronger work than Fort Henry, sive warfare. A heavy and difficult covering a level plateau of nearly a abatis in good part surrounded the hundred acres, which surmounts the fortress landward, rendering assault steep bluff, 100 feet high, with two at many points all but impracticable. strong water batteries on the bank Gen. Grant, bringing Smith's at its base, of 9 and 3 guns respect division across the Tennessee, and ively, one of them a 10-inch colum- sending an officer down that river biad, three 64-pounders, and the rest to turn back all vessels ascending it 32-pounders; all protected by very with troops or supplies, crossed from heavy earthworks, and all bearing on Fort Henry” to the neighborhood the approach up the river. The fort of Donelson, gradually extending itself had but 8 heavy guns mounted his lines ? so as to invest the Rebel in addition to the field batteries of stronghold nearly from river to river, its garrison. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow" by a line some three miles long, and had been in command there" until 100 to 300 rods distant from the the arrival 18 of Gen. John B. Floyd, Rebel rifle-pits and batteries, which when the number of its defenders formed an irregular crescent, encirhad been swelled by successive re- cling their fort at a distance of one or two miles. Skirmishing by sharp- ' Gen. Grant decided to complete shooters on both sides was maintained the investment of the fort, at least on with spirit throughout the day, main that side, while he fortified his weak ly from behind the trees of the great points, and awaited the return of forest, which at most points covered the gunboats in fighting condition. our army and the space between the Floyd, however, not concurring in hostile lines. The weather was thus that view of the matter, decided to far like a clear, bright, Northern Octo- assume at once a vigorous offensive, ber, and our men in the highest spirits. while his men were elated with their
*Gen. Grant's official dispatch says: “In cavalry, who were easily repulsed, but who a little over one hour, all the batteries were picked up about 20 of his stragglers, while silenced.” Com. Foote says: “The Rebel flag several of his field-guns were lost on the way, was hauled down after a very severe and owing to poor teams and bad roads. closely contested action of one hour and fifteen | 16 Of Nashville, Tennessee. 17 Since Jan. 18. minutes." Gen. Tilghman says he surrendered 18 Feb. 13. 1° Of Virginia. "after an engagement of two hours and ten 20 The Richmond Dispatch has a letter from minutes." The time probably seemed longer one of the officers, dated Augusta, Ga., Feb. 22, on that side than on ours.
who says: “Our troops number about 18,000.”' 19 Tilghman says he surrendered 66 beside The Nashville Patriot, of about Feb. 19, gives liis staff(11), and 16 on the hospital-boat; and a list of the regiments present, with the strength adds that his escaping force was overtaken, of each, which foots up 13,829, and is evidently some three miles from Fort Henry, by our | incomplete. 21 Feb. 12. * Feb. 13.
Com. Foote now arrived” with his defeat of the gunboats. Massing ** gunboats—four iron-clad, and two heavily on his extreme left, comwooden--and it was determined that manded by Pillow, and ordering he should attempt to silence and Buckner, ** in the center, to attack carry the water batteries. He did | likewise, he made a desperate effort so at 3 P. M. next day, steadily ad- to beat back our investing and augvancing with his iron-clads to within menting forces, and open for his army 400 yards of the Rebels' great guns; a line of retreat up river toward when, by an hour's desperate fight- Nashville. The attack of Pillow on ing, he had driven most of the our right, held by Gen. McClernand, enemy's gunners from their batteries, was impetuous, daring, and persistand seemed on the point of complete ent. After two hours' desperate success. Just here, however, the fighting, McClernand was worsted wheel of his flag-ship St. Louis and and fell back on our center, sending the tiller of its consort, the Louis- urgently for röenforcements, but still ville, were shot away, rendering both contesting every inch of ground. boats unmanageable, and causing Two or three of his regiments were them to drift helplessly down the badly broken, and several more reriver. All his iron-clads had endured ported out of ammunition ; which serious damage: the St. Louis hav- should not have been, since it was ing received 59 shots, and each of the not yet noon. Our men, however, others about half so many, with an had the bad habit generally of using aggregate loss of 54 killed and ammunition wastefully, loading and wounded. Of his twelve guns, one firing as fast as possible, even when had burst, while the enemy had there was not one chance in a thoubrought over 20—most of them very sand of hitting an enemy. The heavy-to bear upon him from Don- Rebels usually economized their carelson, as well as the water batteries, tridges, firing only when they could to which the gunners returned on do so with effect. observing his predicament, and again Pillow, still successful and slowly poured in their hottest fire. Com. advancing, about noon joined hands Foote, perceiving victory hopeless, with Buckner in the center, and took gave up the contest, and retired command of their united forces, when with his boats down the river, badly a charge was made by Forrest's cavcrippled.
alry on our infantry supporting a THE FIGHTING AT FORT DONELSON.
9 Evening of the 13th.
20 Gen. Simon B. Buckner, of Kentucky; for| merly commander of her State Guard.
him nevertha wrong road; but his a light snowy changed to cold,
Some Rebel atrand on either si rendering the
battery of six pieces, which was went into them on a run, closely foltaken,
lowed by the 7th and 14th, with the Gen. Grant-not expecting this 25th Indiana, cutting down or chasstriking proof of Rebel vitality-was ing off their defenders; and the posome miles distant on a gunboat, con- sition thus gained was soon made ferring with Com. Foote, when Mc-secure against any effort to retake it. Clernand's cry for assistance reached So closed the work of that bloody headquarters. Gen. Lew. Wallace, day. commanding our center, ordered Col. Since the siege began, the weather Cruft, with his first brigade, to the had suddenly changed to cold, with rescue. Cruft, misdirected by his a light snow, followed by a piercing guide, took a wrong road; but it led N. W. wind, rendering the sufferings him nevertheless into the fight, and on either side fearful and almost uniserved to draw off some Rebel atten-versal. Our men were without tents, tion from McClernand's overmatched and at many points without fires ; column. Meantime, Col. Thayer, a; while the Rebels, worse clad and litcommanding his 3d brigade, was or- tle better sheltered, shivered in their dered by Wallace to the further sup- fireless trenches through weary day port of McClernand; and his fresh and sleepless night. Hundreds on troops, admirably handled, uniting either side were frost-bitten; and it with Cruft's, succeeded in stopping is said that quite a number of the and turning back the Rebel advance. wounded, left uncared for by the
Gen. Grant reached the scene of shifting tide of battle, were actually conflict about 3 P. M., and, after a frozen to death. survey of the ground, ordered a gen- The night following the conflict eral advance; Gen. Lew. Wallace just described was one of anxiety leading the attack on the enemy's and trouble on the part of the Rebleft, while Gen. C. F. Smith, on our els. Gen. Grant's force had been inleft, should charge his right. This creased by the arrival of transport combined effort proved entirely suc- after transport, until it must have cessful. Wallace recovered all the amounted to 30,000, if not nearer ground lost during the day, resting 40,000 men, and was magnified by at 5 P. M. within 150 yards of the their apprehensions to 50,000." The intrenchments whence Buckner had effort to cut their way out through sallied, only to return baffled at our right had been gallantly made, night; while Gen. Smith's charge and had signally failed. Their outon our left, magnificently led by him numbered, roughly handled force, against breastworks whereof the de- had endured 84 hours of alternate fense had doubtless been weakened | fighting and watching, while sufferto strengthen Pillow's effort, suc- ing all the hardships of a Winter ceeded with little loss. The 2d Iowa campaign, and were so outworn as to
* Col. Hanson, 2d Kentucky, and Col. Cook, land. Col. Hanson says the way of escape re32d Tennessee, as well as Maj. Brown, 20th mained open till they were ordered back to the Mississippi, officially report that, after Buckner's trenches, late in the afternoon. defeat of McClernand, on the morning of the 37 John M., 1st Nebraska. 15th, there was no obstacle to the escape of 28 "Eighty-three regiments," says one of their their entire force southward or up the Cumber- / reports.
fall asleep standing in line of battle, During the night, a negro had eswhen actually under fire. The posi- caped from the Rebel lines, and given tion gained by Smith would enable our leaders their first clear informahim to take other of their intrench- tion of the straits of the enemy. Gen. ments in reverse, or to advance under Grant was therefore not surprised at cover of a ridge directly upon their receiving, about daylight, the followmost important battery and field- ing overture: work. Buckner declared that his 1. “HEADQUARTERS Fort DoNelson, post would certainly be attacked in
“Feb. 16, 1862.
“Sır: In consideration of all the circumthe morning, and that he could not
stances governing the present situation of hold it half an hour; he thought they affairs at this station, I propose to the commight vet fight their way out, with a manding officer of the Federal forces the
appointment of commissioners to agree upon loss of three-fourths of their number,
terms of capitulation of the forces at this but did not deemn it right to sacrifice post under my command. In that view, I so large a proportion. These repre
suggest an armistice until 12 o'clock to-day.
“I am, very respectfully, your obedient sentations being undisputed, a sur- servant,
S. B. BUCKNER, render became inevitable. Yet Floyd,
“Brig.-Gen. O. S. Army.
"To Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding the sunset of whose career as Secre
U. S. forces near Fort Donelson." tary of War had not appeared bril
The reply was hardly so diploliant at the North, at once protested
| matic, but quite lucid—as follows: that he would never surrender. Buck
“HEADQUARTERS ON THE FIELD, ner—who, for obvious reasons, was
“FORT DONElson, Feb. 16, 1862. scarcely more popular with Kentucky "To Gen. S. B. Buckner: Unionists than was Floyd with those thon wo Floyd with those “Sir: Yours of this date, proposing an
armistice and the appointment of coinmisof the Free States-presented no such sioners to settle on the terms of capitulaobstacle. Floyd, therefore, turned the tion, is just received.. command over to Pillow, who passed
“No terms, except unconditional and im.
mediate surrender, can be accepted. it to Buckner, whose late superiors “I propose to move immediately on your now devoted their attention to the works.
"I am, very respectfully, your obedient means of escape. Two Rebel steam
U. S. Grant, boats having arrived a little before
“Brig.-General Commanding." daylight from above, Floyd filled them Gen. Buckner's response closed the with his soldiers, especially those of correspondence thus: his own brigade, and, a little before
“HEADQUARTERS Dover (Tenn.), sunrise, cast off and steamed up the
“Feb. 16, 1862. river, leaving the residue to their fate.” “ Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Ariny:
“Sır: The distribution of the forces unCol. Forrest, with some 800 cavalry, I der my command incident to an unexpected escaped by the road up the immediate change of commanders, and the overwhelmbank of the river, which was partlying force under your command, compel me,
notwithstanding the brilliant success of the overflowed, and therefore deemed Confederate army, to accept the ungenerous impracticable for infantry, but which and unchivalrous terms which you propose.
“I am, sir, your servant, Forrest's troopers appear to have tra
“S. B. BUCKNER, versed without difficulty or loss.
“Brig.-General C. S. Army.''
* Maj. W. M. Brown, 20th Miss., in his official away about 1,500; but this is probably an unreport, says one of the boats did not appear to der-estimate. As all would naturally wish to go, have over 50 men on board, and that Floyd took it is probable that all went who could.