Numbers 12. Report of Lieutenant Colonel T. E. G. Ransom, Eleventh Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. 11TH INF., 2nd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ILLINOIS VOLS.,
Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 18, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the movements of my command during the 13th, 14th, and 15th instant
On the morning of the 13th instant my command, consisting of nine companies (Company D having been detached with Taylor's battery), officers and men about 500, having the right of the brigade, took position behind the brow of a hill fronting the left of the enemy's lines and within easy musket-range of their breastworks, which position I held during the day. Nothing of interest occurred. Towards evening I was ordered to move to the right, taking position in an opening immediately in front of a recent camp of the enemy, situated in a valley which passed down through an angle of the enemy's field works, my right resting about 100 yards in front of the left of the Thirty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry and my left on the right of the Twentieth Illinois. Early in the evening strong pickets were thrown out along my entire front and on my right flank. Skirmishing was kept up at intervals during the night between my pickets and those of the enemy. Notwithstanding a severe storm of rain and snow during the whole night, my command was under arms most of the time. During the 14th instant nothing of special interest occurred. We occupied the same position as the day before. Many sharpshooters, some from my command and some from the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, did good execution by picking off the enemy as they exposed themselves above the breastworks. During the night my pickets were fired upon by the enemy. About midnight, when the firing became heavy, I ordered my men into line, where they remained for two hours.
At daylight on the morning of the 15th, the firing on the extreme right (Colonel Oglesby's brigade) being very heavy, I again ordered my men into line, where they remained. My pickets were drawn in, and I was attacked in front by a heavy force of the enemy, and after a sharp fight, lasting about three-quarters of an hour, we repulsed them with a loss of about 15 killed and 20-wounded. First Lieutenant Boyce, Company G, fell at his post early in this engagement, urging his men forward and sealing with his blood the sacredness of his cause. But a short time elapsed before we were again attacked by a large force, who brought their colors up in front of ours and not over 100 yards distant, when the fight again commenced with renewed energy.
How long this conflict lasted I am not able to state, but it was an exceedingly firm and bloody one, and after great loss on my part the enemy again fell back. In a few moments I was again attacked by a heavier force on my right flank. I immediately moved my command by the right flank to the rear until my right rested on the left of the Thirty-first Illinois (who had been severely engaged, and bravely maintained their position up to this time), leaving three companies on my left to hold my first position in front. While the fight was raging Colonel Logan, commanding the Thirty-first Illinois, informed me that he was out of ammunition. Just at this time, my wound requiring attention, I turned over the command to Major Nevins, who promptly assumed the responsibility and bravely conducted the fight. In a short time, assuming command, I moved my regiment under a galling fire by