War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0202 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA.Chapter XVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

killed or wounded. I herewith append a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of my command.* My field music and band were employed during the action in removing the wounded and dead from the field, thus rendering efficient aid and permitting me to retain all my fighting men in the ranks.

Tendering my congratulations on the glorious victory and capture of Fort Donelson, I have the honor to remain, your very obedient servant,


Colonel Twentieth Regiment Illinois Inf., 2nd Brigadier, Illinois Vols.

Lieutenant I. P. RUMSEY,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div., Illinois Vols.

Numbers 14. Report of Colonel John E. Smith, Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry.



Fort Donelson, February 17, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to orders I took position with my command on the morning of the 15th instant on the left of the Twentieth Illinois Infantry and opposite to the left wing of the enemy's forces. My men were not brought into action until 1 o'clock p. m. of the same day, at which time I was ordered to the support of the Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, who were engaging the enemy about 800 yards from the position I then occupied. This order my regiment executed with promptness and steadiness. The advance was made up a slope of ground upon the summit of which the enemy were strongly entrenched and from which they poured forth a heavy and continued fire of musketry. Notwithstanding the severe ordeal to which my regiment was subjected in making this charge our line of battle remained unbroken, and the men marched bravely on until we reached a position in front of the Forty-ninth Illinois Regiment and within 50 yards of the enemy's breastworks, where we halted and opened fire upon them at this point. Our engagement was sharp, and lasted about an hour. Finding that the rebels were in great force, and being unsupported (the Forty-ninth Illinois having retired), I deemed it prudent to change my position to one in the ravine that skirted the hill, and wait for re-enforcements. In making this movement, the right wing retired first, under the protection of the left wing, the latter giving the enemy a murderous volley, that drove them back behind their intrenchments. While waiting for re-enforcements I received an order to retire my regiment to the right of McAllister's battery. The retreat was made in good order, the rear of the battalion occasionally exchanging shots with the enemy. During that night and the day and night following the action of my regiment consisted in skirmishing by company with sharpshooters of the enemy.

On the morning of the 15th instant an attack was made by the enemy upon McAllister's battery. I immediately ordered my regiment forward, and with a charge drove the assailants back. This position we held for over two hours, keeping up a continual though irregular skirmish with the rebels. About 2 o'clock the same day I received your order to take


* Embodied in division return, p. 182.