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nand's command drove in the enemy's pickets, and from that time until dark, while the various assigned positions were being occupied, there was occasional skirmishing. But little was done on the thirteenth on account of the non-arrival of the reinforcements and of the gunboats which were to take part in the assault. The Carondelet, however, on that day attacked the fort and continued her fire for about two hours, but was then compelled to withdraw to repair damages. At two o'clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth, the expected gunboats and reinforcements having arrived, six of the arrived vessels moved up the river, receiving the fire of the lower batteries of the enemy.
At seven minutes to three, the St. Louis opened her fire, which was kept up with great spirit during an hour and a half. The iron-clad boats took a position within three hundred yards of the batteries, silenced the water-battery, and drove its gunners from their posts; but the enemy's shot having entered the pilot-house of the St. Louis and shattered her wheel, and the other vessels having also suffered severely, Flag-Officer Foote ordered the squadron to drop down the river, and the action ceased.
Soon after daybreak, on the morning of the fifteenth, the extreme right of the Union line, near the river, below the Fort, was attacked by a heavy body of the enemy's forces. The Eighth and Forty-first Illinois regiments first received the shock; and they maintained their position with great coolness, until reinforcements joined the assailants, when two of our batteries were also attacked and captured. The Eighteenth, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Illinois, were quickly moved to the support of their associates; and after a desperate struggle, in which both sides displayed great daring, all but three of the pieces of the captured batteries were recovered by our troops. At length, overpowered by numbers and without ammunition, they were compelled to fall back; and the enemy, with
cheers, pressed forward and outflanked them on the right, when four Union regiments, under Colonel Cruft, were brought up. An unfortunate mistake, on the part of this reinforcement, led one regiment to pour a volley into the ranks of another, causing terrible loss, and increasing the confusion, of which the enemy promptly availed himself by pressing forward with greater energy than before.
A few minutes later, Colonel Wallace's brigade came up, but so completely had the enemy brought up his forces, that they were compelled to fall back with heavy loss; notwithstanding, in another part of the line, another strong body of the enemy was driven back.
General Grant saw the emergency, and he hastened to meet it. General Smith was ordered to make a strong assault on the left of the line, and to carry the position at all hazards; while preparations were also made to renew the operations on the right, with a view to recover the position wbich had been lost in the morning.
General Smith immediately ordered the Third brigade of his division-embracing the Seventh, Fiftieth, and Fifty-second Illinois, the Twelfth Iowa, and Thirteenth Missouri regiments—to move against one portion of the enemy's lines; while, with the Fourth brigade-embracing the Second, Seventh, and Fourteenth Iowa, and the Twenty-fifth Indiana regimentshe, in person, dashed against another part of the works.
The Second Iowa regiment led the advance, followed by the Fifty-second Indiana, and the other regiments of the brigade, while the sharpshooters were deployed on either flank as skirmishers. The column moved forward without firing a gun, and charged into the work, driving the enemy before it at the point of the bayonet, and occupying the position.
The successful result of this desperate struggle inspired the troops, and in every portion of the line the wildest enthusiasm prevailed.
Soon afterwards Colonel Smith, commanding the Fifth brigade, moved the Eighth Missouri and Eleventh Indiana regiments against the position, on the extreme right of the line, from which the Union troops had been driven, at an earlier hour of the day; and part of the First brigade, commanded by Colonel Cruft, was moved to his support. The assault was made in two columns; the hill was carried by storm ; and the enemy was driven into his works.
No further movements were made during the fifteenth ; both armies occupying their respective positions and preparing for a renewal of the engagement on the morning of the sixteenth. At daybreak, however, the enemy displayed a white flag, and proposals for a surrender were tendered and accepted.
The following are copies of the documents which passed between the two commanding-generals previous to the acceptance of the surrender : GENERAL BUCKNER TO GENERAL GRANT.
HEAD-QUARTERS, Fort Donelson, Feb. 16th, 1862. “SiR :-In consideration of all the circumstances governing the present situation of affairs at this station, I propose to the commanding officer of the Federal forces the appointment of commissioners to agree upon terms of capitulation of the forces and fort under my command, and in that view suggest an armistice until twelve o'clock to-day. "I am sir very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"S. B. BUCKNER,
“Brigadier-General, C. S. A. “To BRIGADIER-General Grant, commanding United States forces near Fort Donelson."
GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL BUCKNER. General Grant replied as follows:
“HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY IN THE FIELD,
“CAMP NEAR DONELSON, Feb. 16th, 1862. “To GENERAL S. B. BUCKNER, Confederate Army:
“Yours of this date, proposing an armistice and appointment of commissioners to settle terms of capitulation, is just received. No terms other than an unconditional and immediate surrender
can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works. “I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“U. S. Grant, “Brigadier-General, U. S. A., Commanding."
GENERAL BUCKNER TO GENERAL GRANT.
The determined answer of General Grant convinced the rebel commander that his opponent was not a man with whom he could trifle, and he immediately penned the following reply :
“HEAD-QUARTERS, DOVER, TENN., Feb. 16th, 1862. “To BRIGADIER-GENERAL U. S. Grant, U. S. A.:
SIR :—The distribution of the forces under my command, incident to an unexpected change of commanders, and the overwhelming force under your command, compel me, notwithstanding the brilliant success of the Confederate arms yesterday, to accept the ungenerous and uncbivalrous terms which you propose. "I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
“S. B. BUCKNER,
"Brigadier-General, C. S. A." The battle of Fort Donelson was one of the most desperate character, but throughout the bloody conflict not a man in the Union ranks had a doubt as to the glorious result which would ultimately attend their efforts.“ Even the sight of the savage wounds," says a participant, " or the still more sickening one of the ghastly faces of the dead, seemed to have no effect upon our men.
It did not unnerve or unman them. They fought on just as tranquilly as though the hideous angel of death had been a thousand leagues away. When a man was wounded his comrades would help him to the rear, and then return instantly to their position, and resume their fighting as if nothing had happened.” Our loss during the engagement was four hundred and forty-six killed, seventeen hundred and thirty-five wounded, and one hundred and fifty prisoners; while that of the rebels was two hundred and thirty-one killed, one thousand and seven wounded, and
nearly fourteen thousand prisoners, including General
WEST TENNESSEE - ISSUES A CONGRATU-
On the fourteenth of February, 1862, General Halleck issued an order creating the new district of West Tennessee, embracing the country between the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers to the Mississippi State-line, and Cairo; and on the seventeenth its commanding general thus congratulated his troops :
“IIEAD-QUARTERS, DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Fort DONELSON, February 17th, 1862. “The general commanding takes great pleasure in congratu