War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0189 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

ment. The enemy was in strong force, and repeatedly attempted to break the line or turn my right. He was as often baffled and repulsed by the steady and unflinching fire of the whole regiment, which stood like a line of adamant before the stealthy and stubborn advance of the enemy. We were enfiladed at turns by a battery on the left, which never ceased to pour grape and canister into our rank for three hours. The fire was murderous, as the long list of the dead and wounded sadly shows. My order was to hold the height of the ridge, and not to yield an inch. It was done, but at the cost of 54 killed and 186 wounded (many mortally) of 613 officers and men engaged in the battle.

Finding the ammunition in the cartridge-boxes nearly exhausted, I so reported to Colonel Oglesby, and was at hand. Soon the Twenty-fifth Kentucky Regiment appeared with flags flying, as previously ordered by Colonel Oglesby. I attempted to march the eighth from its position to go for ammunition and give place to the Twenty-fifth Kentucky, but at this moment, from some unaccountable cause, the Eighth was fired into by the Twenty-fifth Kentucky, which alarmed the men. The Twenty-fifth Kentucky fell into utter confusion, and I was obliged to retire from our favorite position in some confusion. Receiving the order to reform the regiment again on the left of the division I did so, and, having received a supply of ammunition, was ordered to take possession in the line of battle, where the regiment remained for the night. Sunday morning I led the regiment, full of pride, into the fort, in common with the whole army.

Where all fought so nobly, so sacrificingly; where all stood by our noble flag to the last, it is hard to say who has most honor. I was sustained all the time by Major Post on the left until he fell wounded. Lieutenant Joseph G. Howell, acting adjutant, fell dead in the latter part of the battle, after rendering me efficient aid, bearing an order from Colonel Oglesby to myself. He was a noble and gallant officer. Captain Robert Wilson was dangerously wounded in the action, whose loss I severely felt. Cap. Joseph M. Hanna (color company) next fell, dangerously if not mortally wounded, cheering his men to die by their colors. Lieutenant Marsh, Company B, and Lieutenant H. A. Sheetz (color company), both fell dead at their posts, examples of true valor. Lieutenant John M. Lowry was severely wounded, but did not leave the field. Lieutenants Monroe and Dennison were slightly wounded, but did not leave the field. Captain James M. Ashmore being absent sick, Captain Harvey was on duty as senior captain, and is entitled to much praise for his cool bearing.

Accompanying please find a list of killed and wounded.*




Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 9. Report of Captain Samuel B. Marks, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry.

FORT DONELSON, February 22, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with Order No.-- I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers in the recent engagement at this place.


*Embodied in division return, p. 182.