War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0159 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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Numbers 74.-Captain Jacob Culbertson, C. S. Army, commanding batteries.

Numbers 75.-Captain B. G. Bidwell, Thirtieth Tennessee Infantry, commanding battery.

Numbers 76.-Captain T. W. Beaumont, Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry, commanding battery.

Numbers 77.-Captain R. R. Ross, Maury (Tennessee) Artillery.

Numbers 78.-Extracts from the report of the Special Committee of the Confederate House of Representatives.

Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding army in the field.

FORT DONELSON, February 16, 1862.

GENERAL: I am pleased to announce to you the unconditional surrender this morning of Fort Donelson, with 12,000 to 15,000 prisoners, at least forty pieces of artillery, and a large amount of stores, horses, mules, and other public property.

I left Fort Henry on the 12th instant with a force of about 15,000 men, divided into two divisions, under the command of Generals McClernand and Smith. Six regiments were sent around by water the day before, convoyed by a gunboat, or rather started one day later than one of the gunboats, and with instructions not to pass it. The troops made the march in good order, the head of the column arriving within 2 miles of the fort at 12 o'clock m. At this point the enemy's pickets were met and driven in. The fortifications of the enemy were from this point gradually approached and surrounded, with occasional skirmishing on the line. The following day, owing to the non-arrival of the gun-boats and re-enforcement sent by water, no attack was made, but the investment was extended on the flanks of the enemy and drawn closer to his works, with skirmishing all day.

The evening of the 13th the gunboats and re-enforcements arrived. On the 14th a gallant attack was made by Flag-Officer Foote upon the enemy's works with the fleet. The engagement lasted probably an hour and a half, and bid fair to result favorably to the cause of the Union, when two unlucky shots disabled two of the armored boats so that they were carried back by the current. The remaining two were very much disabled, also having received a number of heavy shots about the pilot-houses and other parts of the vessels. After these mishaps I concluded to make the investment of Fort Donelson as perfect as possible, and partially fortify and await repairs to the gunboats. This plan was frustrated, however, by the enemy making a most vigorous attack upon our right wing, commanded by General J. A. McClernand, with a portion of the force under General L. Wallace. The enemy were repelled after a closely-contested battle of several house, in which our loss was heavy. The officers, and particularly field officers, suffered out of proportion. I have not the means yet of determining our loss even approximately but it cannot fall far short of 1,200 killed, wounded, and missing.* Of the latter I understand through General Buckner about 250 were taken prisoners. I shall retain enough of the enemy to exchange for them, as they were immediately shipped off and not left for recapture.

About the close of this action the ammunition in cartridge-boxes gave out, which, with the loss of many of the field officers, produced great confusion, in the ranks, and, seeing that the enemy did not take advantage of it, convinced me that equal confusion and possibly greater demoralization existed with him. Taking advantage of this fact, I


*But see Numbers 5, p. 167.