War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0150 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN.,N.ALA., AND S.W.VA. Chapter XVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

latter gun, with an iron carriage on an iron chassis, had, on previous trials of firing with 20-pound charges, proved defective, owing to the too great recoil for the length of the chassis or other defects. This was, however, remedied by clamping the carriage to the chassis, and even then it recoiled with such tremendous force against the hunters, that in almost every instance it disarranged the pintle. I have since learned that this defect was common to these guns.

At about 1 o'clock the gunboats opened fire with shell and shot, which was immediately returned by our rifled gun and 10-inch columbiad. The former fired Archer shells. At the third or fourth fire one of the clamps of the columbiad broke, and fearing that another fire would upset the gun, it was not fired again. The rifled gun was fired in quick succession and with good effect; meanwhile the gunboats kept up a constant fire with good practice.

As the boats advanced we opened fire with the eleven guns bearing on the river, which was kept up for about half an hour, when the enemy withdrew. Their shot fell in and around the fort. Some of their shells fell a quarter of a mile beyond the fort, showing a range superior to our own. None of the shells which fell in the fort exploded, and but one man was wounded. I reported the result to General Tilghman, and that the enemy was landing a large force and that additional transports were arriving.

I was satisfied that we could not hold the heights opposite the fort, and that it would be prudent to move the forces there to Fort Henry, but did not like to take the responsibility without the order of General Tilghman, as a previous order from you stated positively that these heights must be held. However, these troops were held in readiness to move at a moment's warning.

At 5 o'clock I sent another courier, with an escort, to the general, stating my views in regard to the troops at Fort Heiman, and requesting his orders, or, what I desired more, his presence, and cautioned him not to come without a strong escort and by the upper road, believing that the enemy had already cavalry pickets on the main Dover road.

Before night I re-enforced the outposts on the Dover road with two companies of the Tenth Tennessee, under Captains Morgan and Ford, and the 6-pounder rifled gun. At 11.30 General Tilghman and Major Gilmer's corps of engineers arrived, with three companies of Lieutenant-Colonel Gantt's cavalry, from Fort Donelson.

At daylight on the morning of the 5th General Tilghman directed the removal of the troops from Fort Heiman to Fort Henry, with the exception of the cavalry. General Tilghman now formed the troops at the fort into two brigades. The first, commanded by myself, consisting of the Tenth Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel MacGavock; Forty-eighth Tennessee, Colonel Voorhies; Fifty-first Tennessee, Colonel Browder; Colonel Gantt's battalion of cavalry, and Captain Culbertson's light battery. The second brigade, under command of Colonel Drake, consisted of the Fourth Mississippi, Major Adaire; Twenty-seventh Alabama, Colonel Hughes; Alabama Battalion, Major Garvin; Captains Milner's and Milton's cavalry, and a section of light battery, Captain Crain. He appointed Major McConnico assistant adjutant-general and Lieutenant Phar aide-de-camp, his own staff having remained at Fort Donelson. General Tilghman assigned each brigade its position at the rifle pits, and all preparations were made to receive the enemy by land and water.

A reconnoitering party of cavalry met the enemy, and in a skirmish one man of Captain Milner's company was killed. General Tilghman