transportation having been left in the morning, and some of the regiments leaving even their knapsacks. Captain Richardson's battery was left midway between Camp Halleck and Fort Henry, being unable to proceed on account of the impracticability of the roads. The 7th instant quartered the infantry in Fort Henry, partly in tents and partly in barracks formerly occupied by the rebels.
The 8th instant four companies of infantry were sent by transports to Camp Halleck, with orders to bring up our baggage left there, and also Captain Richardson's battery, which they accomplished, returning the following day. On the 8th the Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers, Colonel C. J. Wright, which had been assigned to the Third Brigade, arrived from Smithland. The 10th instant, having with much trouble and labor made bridges over the slough formed by backwater from the Tennessee River, the command encamped 1 mile from the river, immediately inside of the outer fortifications, where we remained until the morning of the 12th.
On the 11th instant the Seventh Iowa Volunteers was transferred from the brigade and the Fifty-second Indiana added, Major Cavender's entire battalion of First Missouri Light Artillery having been in the mean time temporarily assigned to the brigade. Leaving Fort Henry at 8 o'clock a. m. the 12th instant, the command arrived within a mile and a half of Fort Donelson at 3 o'clock p. m., the road being excellent and all transportation having been left at Fort Henry. Distance marched, 12 miles. The position assigned the brigade under my command was well chosen, being a high ridge of nearly 1 mile in length, and almost overlooking the enemy's works on his right. In fine spirits, with full assurance of success, the troops passed the night, prepared for an attack should a sally be made from the fort. The 13th, the men's haversacks being well filled, a hearty breakfast was eaten at an early hour, and under orders at 8 a. m. I moved the command up the Dover road to a point within one-half mile of the enemy's outer works; deployed in line the Seventh Illinois on the right and Fifty-second Indiana on the left as skirmishers. The command moved steadily forward through the dense timber, crossing the deep ravine without resistance until the Seventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock commanding, found itself within short range of a battery till then undiscovered, which immediately upon appearance of our colors opened a destructive fire, killing instantly Captain N. E. Mendell, Company I, and wounding several others. Owing to the density of the timber our own artillery was not yet in position. The regiment retired beyond range and to the support of Captain Richardson's battery, First Missouri Light Artillery, just going into position. With the remaining four regiments I proceeded to the summit of a ridge overlooking the fort, a distance of nearly 600 yards intervening, the immensity of the abatis covering the whole precluding the possibility of proceeding farther but by an unwarranted destruction of life, the enemy in force being secure, concealed in his rifle pits and behind his palisades, from which continuous firing was kept up during the remaining portion of the day, answered by sharpshooters and skirmishers from our side, each side sustaining a slight loss. This position gained, it was held during the night, the men resting on their arms without fires and without blankets, everything but arms and ammunition having been cast aside on approaching the fort.
On the 14th, after a long and weary night of watching, the men being unprovided with tents or blankets and our immediate proximity to the enemy's works and batteries precluding the possibility of building fires, knowing that the light would draw his fire from his two strong redoubts,