Beatty, each in their respective departments, rendered services which were invaluable to me. They were efficient, untiring, and regardless of their own personal safety. Dr. Edgar, surgeon of the Thirty-second, whose regiment was not in the engagement, generously volunteered his professional services in the absence of my surgeon, Dr. W. H. Medcalf. Whenever a poor, suffering soldier could be found he ministered to his wants. My adjutant (my brother) while I was upon the field was most efficient in transmitting my orders by day and night, without regard to the position of the enemy. To all of these gentlemen I tender the acknowledgments due to their bravery and efficiency.
Of the officers of the line and of the men what shall I say? Where shall I begin or end? With a regimental organization but a few weeks old, armed but five days before going into battle, possessing a full knowledge of the inferior quality of their arms, these brave men have performed such deeds of valor as are performed only by those who appreciate the value of that Union which will nerve them to yet other deeds of glory.
I remain, dear general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. R. MORRISON,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, First Division.
Brigadier General JOHN A. MCCLERNAND,
Commanding First Division.
Numbers 20. Report of Major Francis M. Smith, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ILLINOIS REGIMENT,
Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 18, 1862.
SIR: In pursuance to your order I submit the following report. I cannot tell the exact number of killed and wounded each day, and will give the total result.*
On the afternoon of the 13th this regiment, together with the Forty-ninth Illinois and Forty-eighth Illinois, under command of Colonel Haynie, were ordered to move forward from the road up to the rebel breastworks. The ground was difficult to get over, being composed of thick underbrush, and getting within short distance of the enemy's intrenchments, the way was obstructed with fallen timber. At this juncture the enemy opened a cross-fire upon us with artillery and infantry, which was returned with great spirit by the men under my command. After an engagement of about thirty minutes, resulting in severe loss in my regiment, the order was given to fire in retreat. After falling back out of range of the enemy's fire I withdrew my command to the road. My regiment was in line of battle nearly all night, suffering from cold and hunger, yet no one complained, and all were even cheerful.
On the 14th my regiment formed part of the support to Taylor's and Schwartz's batteries, and remained all day in the same position. About 3 o'clock in the evening the enemy opened his batteries on us with shell, but were replied to by the batteries on our front before they did us much damage. Remained in line of battle most of the night, and the cold rain and snow made great suffering among our men. On the morning of the 15th the batteries from the rebel side again commenced with shell against my regiment and others supporting the batteries, killing 4 and wounding several in my regiment. I retired down a ravine a short
* Embodied in division return, p. 182.