position on the right of the Forty-eighth Illinois, which order I obeyed, and did not again bring my regiment into action.
Below you will find reports of losses sustained by the regiment in the late engagement.* It will be perceived that the mortality of the regiment was slight, which is attributed to the fact that my men never fell into confusion.
In closing this report I cannot too highly commend the bravery of both the officers and men under my command. No body of soldiers were ever subjected to a more dangerous and exposed position than the one occupied by my regiment on the 13th instant; yet they did not flinch, but, on the contrary, maintained their ground with the most perfect self-possession and determined bravery. They fought well, did much execution, and brought credit upon themselves.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JOHN E. SMITH,
Colonel, Commanding Forty-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Colonel W. H. L. WALLACE,
Commanding Second Brigade.
Numbers 15. Reports of Colonel Isham N. Haynie, Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FORTY-EIGHTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS,
Fort Donelson, February 17, 1862.
SIR: I have hesitated as to whether it is properly my duty to make a written report of the attempt, on Thursday, the 13th of February, by the three regiments then temporarily under my command, to storm the enemy's redoubts to the south of the main fort, from the fact that the action occurred under your own immediate observation. I have, however, concluded there can be no impropriety in it, and I herewith submit my report of the same.
On the morning of Thursday, the 13th instant, I became temporarily detached from the brigade under Colonel W. H. L. Wallace, of the Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, having about the time the brigade were ready to move from their camp grounds of the preceding night received orders to remain where the regiment had encamped, for the purpose of supporting a battery which had been placed immediately in front of the center of the Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, under my command. In obedience to this order I remained with this battery, whilst the remainder of the brigade moved to the eastward. During the time I was thus detached your orders were communicated to me, by which I was directed to form my regiment upon the left of the Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers - this last regiment then being formed upon the left of the Forty-ninth Regiment and both being to my right, removed about 500 yards. I at once ordered the Forty-eighth Regiment to be formed at the point indicated, and as soon as it was done I proceeded to the extreme right of the whole line for the purpose of conferring with Colonel Morrison, before then in command of the Seventeenth and Forty-ninth Regiments. I there met Colonel Morrison, with Captain Stewart, your aide, and was for the first time then informed that it was your orders for these three regiment (Seventeenth, Forty-eighth, and Forty-ninth) to storm a redoubt
* Embodied in division return, p. 182.