Henry where it crossed Panther Creek. By an early hour next morning this had been done. At this place, named by me Camp Halleck, the portion of Colonel Cook's brigade with him, including a battery of Major Cavender's Missouri artillery, formed a part of my command until General Smith's division, of which it was a part, came up.
At Camp Halleck, on the night of the 4th, my men lighted their camp fires for the first time since their departure from Cairo. In the mean time the rations which they had drawn for the 1st and 2nd of February had been consumed. On the 4th they had twice disembarked and once embarked, closing the labors and trials of the day by ascending to the crest of high and rocky hills, up which they hauled their artillery by hand and the aid of prolonged ropes. Here, bivouacking in the cold, they cooked a meal for the first time in three days.
Our camp, marked distinctly by its numerous fires, ranging along the crest and down the slopes of lofty hills and in the valley toward the river, together with the many transports and gunboats which had come up and formed the foreground, exhibited a most grand and imposing spectacle, and, having been witnessed by the enemy's scouts on the opposite side of the river, multiplied in their imaginations our numbers, and, as we afterward learned from prisoners, materially contributed to induce the early evacuation of Fort Henry.
On the 5th I ordered Colonel R. J. Oglesby, commanding the First Brigade, to send a strong detachment of infantry and cavalry, under instructions to reconnoiter the country between Camp Halleck and Fort Henry, the approaches and accessibility of the latter, and its position and various external relations. The order was promptly executed, under the personal supervision of Colonel Oglesby, accompanied by Colonel J. D. Webster, chief of your staff, Captain A. Schwartz, chief of my staff, and Lieutenant H. C. Freeman, engineer of my division and also a member of my staff, whose zeal and efficiency were rewarded by valuable information gained.
During this reconnaissance Captain Schwartz and Lieutenant Freeman, together with their orderlies, being in advance, encountered the pickets of the enemy at the crossing of two paths, about one mile and a half from the fort. A few shots caused the enemy to disappear, but, as was supposed, for the purpose of returning with increased numbers and the hope of capturing our party. Captain Schwartz and Lieutenant Freeman having reported what had transpired and the supposed intention of the enemy to Colonel Oglesby, the latter promptly moved forward his detachment of infantry to and beyond the spot where the enemy had been seen. In the mean time the enemy had shown himself in the rear both of our infantry and cavalry, with the evident design of cutting off the latter. Not being apprised of the proximity of the former, Captain Dollins instantly turned upon the superior numbers of the enemy and boldly met him, and after a sharp skirmish of some ten minutes, in which one man was killed and several wounded on each side, put him to flight, forcing him to abandon a number of his guns and sabers, which were carried away by our cavalry as trophies. All this was done before it was possible for the infantry to extend to Captain Dollins the support which had been promptly attempted by Colonel Oglesby.
On the 5th the division commanded by Brigadier General C. F. Smith came up from Paducah to Camp Halleck, and was disembarked on the opposite bank of the river; and about dark the Fourth Illinois Cavalry also came up after a laborious march and joined my division. During the