War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0129 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY, TENN.

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same evening I had the honor to receive from you the following field order

The First Division, General J.a. McClernand commanding, will move at 11 o'clock a.m. to-morrow, under the guidance of Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson, and take position on the roads from Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Dover.

2nd. It will be the special duty of this command to prevent all re-enforcements to Fort Henry or escapes from it; also to be held in readiness to charge and take Fort Henry by storm promptly on the receipt of orders.

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4th. The Third Brigade, Second Division [General Smith], will advance up the east or same bank of the Tennessee River as fast as it can be securely done, and be in readiness to charge upon the fort or to move to the support of the First Division, as may be necessary.

5th. All of the forces on the west bank of the river not required to hold the heights commanding Fort Henry will return to their transports, cross to the east bank, and follow the Third Brigade as rapidly as possibly.

In pursuance of this order, notwithstanding the heavy rains throughout the previous night, which found my division without tents and ill prepared for exposure, it was put in motion by 11 o'clock a.m. of the 6th in the order of march previously directed by me, and so as to enable the different brigades and arms of my command to afford mutual support in case of an attack.

The distance from Camp Halleck to Fort Henry by the route of our march is about 8 miles, whereas by the river it is only half that distance. By 1 o'clock p.m. we had accomplished a march of 4 miles, when the firing of our gunboats upon the fort, being distinctly heard by my men, was hailed by loud shouts, and they pushed on with increased eagerness, hoping to reach the fort in time to cut off the retreat and secure the surrender of the enemy.

About 3 o'clock p.m., the report coming back that the enemy were evacuating the fort, I immediately sent an order to my cavalry in advance to make rapid pursuit if upon investigation it were found to be true.

A similar order had also been sent forward by Colonel Oglesby. Captain Stewart, of my staff, with a squad of his own cavalry, first coming up with the enemy, boldly charged his rear while he was in the act of clearing the outer line of his defenses, while a portion of Colonel Dickey's cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel McCullough, also hastening up, pursued the enemy several miles and until nightfall, and successively overtaking his rear guards of cavalry and infantry quickly dispersed them, killing 1 man, capturing 38 prisoners, and driving him to abandon six pieces of artillery, with their gun-carriages and one caisson, a large number of different kinds of small-arms, knapsacks, blankets, animals; in short, everything calculated to impede his flight, which were subsequently brought into the fort by detachments respectively under the command of Colonel Logan, Captain Dresser, and Lieutenant Gumbart.

The Eighteenth Regiment, Colonel Lawler, forming the head of the column, composed of the First Brigade, eagerly hastening forward, first reached the fort, entering the same at 3.30 o'clock p.m., and were immediately followed by the remainder of that brigade.

The Second Brigade, under the able and judicious lead of Colonel W. H. L. Wallace, although unavoidably detained by a battery of heavy siege guns and the aggravated condition of the roads, followed close upon the First, and soon after the portion of Colonel Cook's brigade with him, thus completing the arrival of all the forces under my command within the enemy's works, where they encamped for the night in his deserted