War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0211 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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brigade composed of the Seventeenth and Forty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Soon after taking command I was ordered to the right of our line for the purpose of supporting General Wallace, who was engaging the enemy on that part of the field. On reporting the re-enforcements so sent to General Wallace I by his order took position on his left and advanced, first sending forward two companies deployed as skirmishers. We continued to advance until we reached the summit of a hill previously occupied by Taylor's battery, the skirmishers having advanced meantime beyond the summit of the hill in view of the enemy's batteries, and drew from them a heavy discharge of grape, canister, and shrapnel. The space between our lines and the works of the enemy being examined, and no enemy appearing in the intervening space, I ordered my command to fall back about twenty paces behind the summit to a more secure position, holding the two companies of skirmishers as an advance guard. This position we continued to occupy until dark, when by your order I withdrew for the night.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Colonel Seventeenth Illinois, Commanding Third Brigade.

Brigadier General JOHN A. MCCLERNAND,

Commanding First Division, District West Tennessee.

Numbers 19. Report of Colonel William R. Morrison, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.


Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 28, 1862.

GENERAL: Having been assigned to the command of that portion of the Third Brigade of your First Division brought against Fort Donelson in the late engagement, resulting in its fall, I have the honor to report that in the evening of the 11th instant I left the encampment near Fort Henry with my command, numbering in the aggregate 1,377 effective men, composed as follows: Of my own, the Forty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, numbering 627, and the Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, Major Francis M. Smith commanding, numbering 750. The sick, ailing, and detailed for guard remained with the baggage in the encampment. Marching by the Dover Ridge road 3 miles, we encamped for the night at the junction of the lower Dover road, extending pickets 1 mile on this road for the protection of right rear of First Brigade, Colonel Oglesby, my command forming the reserve corps of your division.

In the early morning of the 12th, when directed by you personally to do so, I marched directly upon Fort Donelson, following immediately upon the rear of Colonel Oglesby's brigade, coming into a cleared valley some 2 miles in front of Fort Donelson. About the hour of 1 o'clock p. m., receiving orders to that effect, my command was quickly drawn up in line of battle, then marched up the plain towards the hill in front and on our right, which was understood to be occupied by the enemy. In executing this movement, the troops, encouraged by your presence in advance, swept over underbrush, fences, ravines, and brooks in the best possible order, casting away their knapsacks, overcoats, and every inconvenience to their most speedy advance. Arriving at the foot of