reconnoitering the country as the column marched. Soon after noon I came in sight of the enemy's encampments on the opposite side of a creek about a mile in advance. Having caused the roads to be reconnoitered, and finding the creek impassable on account of backwater from the Cumberland, I moved to the right up the creek, and effected a junction with Colonel Oglesby's brigae in the low grounds west of Fort Donelson, where heavy wooded hills intervened between us and the enemy's position. Colonel Dickey's cavalry was again thrown forward, and occupied the heights and thoroughly scouted and reconnoitered the ground in front. Colonel Oglesby's brigade moved up the Paris road to the south of Fort Donelson, while I threw my brigade by its front onto the heights, dragging the artillery up the steep, wooded hills.
After further reconnoitering, the brigade advanced and occupied a ridge south of the center of the enemy's fortifications, with its right resting on the left of Colonel Oglesby's brigade. Some slight skirmishing occurred here, and after resting in this position for an hour or more an further reconnoitering, in accordance with orders from General McClernand I moved the brigade by the right flank, following Colonel Oglesby's brigade across the valley towards the left of the enemy's position. By this time it was dark, and Colonel Oglesby's right becoming involved in ground which had not been reconnoitered, and which was very hilly and covered with a dense growth of underbrush, I was ordered by the general commanding the division to return to the position on the west of the valley, which I did, moving by the left flank, where my brigade rested for the night.
At daylight on the morning of the 13th the enemy opened fire with his artillery from the middle redoubt. Soon afterwards, by order of General McClernand, I marched the Eleventh, Twentieth, and Forty-fifth Regiments, and Tylor's battery to the right across the valley, leaving McAllister's battery, supported by the Forty-eighth Illinois, on the ridge west of the valley, and ordered Colonel Dickey's cavalry to move in rear with detachments thrown toward the right to reconnoiter toward the Cumberland and Dover. Reaching the high grounds east of the valley, Taylor's battery was put in position on the road leading up to Dover, where the left of the enemy's line rested behind earthworks and entrenchments, strengthened by strong abatis in front. The whole force continued to move steadily to the right, Colonel Oglesby's brigade leading, the artillery of his brigade and Taylor's battery moving on the road, while the infantry was in rear of and near to the road. Along this road the artillery advanced, taking successive positions to the right, and keeping up a constant cannonade on the enemy's works on the right and in the middle redoubt across the valley. The open space afforded Taylor's, Schwartz's, and Dresser's guns, warmly returned by those of the enemy in the middle redoubt and the works on his left, presented a rare example of the use of that arm of the service.
About noon I was ordered by General McClernand to detach the Forty-eighth Regiment (Colonel Haynie) to operate with the Seventeenth Illinois (Major Smith commanding) and the Forty-ninth Illinois (Colonel Morrison), of the Third Brigade, in making an assault on the enemy's middle redoubt on the hill west of the valley, supported by the fire of McAllister's guns. This force was under command of Colonel Haynie as senior colonel They formed in line and advanced in fine order across the intervening ravines, and mounted the steep height on which these works are situated in the most gallant manner, and under
13 R R-VOL VII