distance from our former position. In the afternoon my regiment was relieved by the Fifty-eighth Ohio, and, Colonel Ross then being in command, the regiment was moved back to get what they so much needed - food and rest. The regiment was exposed three days and nights to severe cold, with rain and snow, in line of battle nearly all the time.
There were many acts of individual bravery, but as the facts were not reported in time I can mention but one. Corporal Smith, of Company E, went out sharpshooting on his own responsibility, and did good execution among the rebel sharpshooters and the skirmishers in advance of Taylor's battery, firing 40 rounds of ammunition, running great risk, and showing excellent bravery - which praise, in fact, is due the whole regiment.
Respectfully submitting the above report, I remain, yours, respectfully,
F. M. SMITH,
Major, Commanding Seventeenth Illinois Regiment.
W. H. L. WALLACE,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, First Division.
Numbers 21. Report of Colonel John McArthur, Twelfth Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Division.*
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part performed by my brigade during the late operations against Fort Donelson:
First. My brigade, consisting of the Ninth, Twelfth, and Forty-first Illinois Regiment, left Fort Heiman, Ky., on the morning of February 12, 1862, bringing up the rear of the troops that proceeded from Fort Henry, and arriving about 3 miles from our line of operations at 6 p. m. of that day, encamped, and at 10.30 o'clock that night moved the brigade a mile and a half nearer the enemy, again encamping for the remainder of the night.
Second. Under arms next morning (13th) by 8 o'clock, being ordered to hold ourselves in reserve and also support the batteries of Major Cavender, then in position, against the center of the enemy's works. At 4 p. m. moved around to the left of General McClernand's division. That night a portion of my command threw up two small carthworks, and placed in them two 20-pounder and two 10-pounder guns, respectively. These were designed to operate against the left of the enemy's center, but, however, were never used. Same night, at 11.30 o'clock, moved the Ninth and Forty-first by General McClernand's order about a quarter of a mile nearer to his left, remaining under arms all night without fires in the midst of a heavy snow-storm.
Third. 14th, under arms, awaiting orders, until 5 p. m., when we were ordered to occupy ground on the extreme right of our lines. Arrived at our new position a little after dark (about 7 p. m.), having been hotly shelled by the enemy's batteries on the way. Encamped for the night without instructions, and, as I regret to add, without adequate knowledge of the nature of the ground in front and on our right.
* Brigadier General C. F. Smith commanded the Second Division, but seems to have made no report.