firing as rapidly as the guns could be worked. By a judicious disposition of my guns I was enabled to hold six of the enemy's batteries, consisting of thirty-six guns, as I have since learned, in check during the day. The rebel infantry repeatedly charged upon our position, but by a generous distribution of canister shot they were driven back in confusion.
At 11 o'clock I found that the whole of the right wing of our forces had given way and that we were exposed to an attack on the flank, and, in compliance with your order, I retired to the top of the next hill, where a large body of infantry were placed in position to support the battery. Only two of my guns were placed in action here, as the supply of ammunition was nearly exhausted, but Company A, Chicago Light Artillery, of General Wallace's division, coming up just at that time, I was enabled to borrow a supply of canister, and on the rebels making a last desperate charge it was administered with a very good effect, and their forces were soon on the full retreat.
Thus terminated the action so far as my battery was concerned. My loss in killed and wounded was as follows: Private Oscar E. Beckers, killed. Wounded severely, Sergt. James F. Whittle, Corp. B. Franklin Lilly, Privates Tyler A. Mason and Charles H. Machin; slightly wounded, Corps. William H. Prince, Privates William W. Lowrie, Francis N. Marion, and Charles W. Pierce. One thousand and seven hundred rounds of fixed ammunition were fired during the action. It is with great satisfaction that I am enabled to report that all my command behaved with as much coolness as if on parade. When all conducted themselves so gallantly it would be invidious to discriminate. To Company D, of the Eleventh Illinois Regiment, which you detached to support my command, I am under great obligations, and under the exhausted condition of my horses and some of my men it is certain that my battery would have been much less effective were it not for their valuable services, which were always promptly rendered. To the Seventeenth Illinois Regiment Infantry, who supported me during the morning and were always on the alert, ready for action, I also wish to express my thanks.
I beg leave to call your attention to the annexed list of losses sustained during the siege.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Light Battery B, Illinois Volunteers.
Colonel W. H. L. WALLACE,
Commanding Second Brigade, First Division.
Numbers 18. Report of Colonel Leonard F. Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 25, 1862.
In obedience to your order requiring a report of the movements and operations of the troops under my command during the investment and siege of this place I have the honor to submit the following:
On Saturday, the 15th instant, at about 1 o'clock p. m., I reported myself to you for duty, and was at once assigned to the command of a
* See p. 182.