War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0243 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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geon Martin at times gave us most valuable assistance. Dr. Sexton, an efficient and skillful surgeon when sober, was so much under the influence of liquor for twenty-four hours as to be incapable of discharging the responsible duties of his office. Assistant Surgeon Christy was exceedingly kind, prompt, and skillful, rendering most timely and efficient aid.

In our hospital there were three amputations above the knee, a number of fingers taken off, balls extracted, and wounds such as described in the foregoing report dressed.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

THOS. W. FRY,

Brigade Surgeon, Acting Medical Director.

H. S. HEWITT,

Brigade Surgeon and Medical Director U. S. Forces.

Numbers 39. Report of Colonel Charles Cruft, Thirty-first Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

HDQRS. 1ST Brigadier, 3rd DIV., DEPT. WEST TENNESSEE,

Fort Henry, February 18, 1862.

I have the honor to report to you the part taken in the reduction of Fort Donelson and the fortifications near Dover, Tenn., on the 15th instant, by the First Brigade of your division. The brigade was composed of the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn temporarily commanding; Twenty-fifth Kentucky Volunteers, Colonel James M. Shackelford; eight companies of the Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteers, Colonel Hugh B. Reed, and the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, Colonel John H. McHenry.

At 8.30 o'clock a. m. General Wallace's order was received to put the brigade in rapid motion to the extreme right of our line, for the purpose of re-enforcing General McClernand's division. It was speedily moved forward in column of companies, the Twenty-fifth Kentucky in advance, followed by the Thirty-first Indiana, the Seventeenth Kentucky, and the Forty-fourth Indiana. An order to halt the column at a point indicated for the formation of the regiments in line was not executed by the advance, owing to the pressing request of a messenger from one of the Illinois regiments, then to the right, to hurry forward and engage the enemy. The guide sent with the head of the column here shamefully abandoned it, not, however, until he had given Colonel Shackelford an improper instruction after passing Taylor's battery in the direction of the enemy's entrenchments, and entering the woods just beyond, the head of the column became suddenly engaged with a superior force of the enemy in front and to the right. This appeared to be a force that was endeavoring to outflank the battery and the line of infantry supporting it and pass into the ravine behind. A well-directed fire was opened on the Twenty-fifth Kentucky and Thirty-first Indiana before they could form to resist it. The line of battle, however, was formed rapidly and steadily under continued volleys of the enemy's musketry. The Seventeenth Kentucky and Forty-fourth Indiana were shortly brought up in good order and entered the action. The enemy's fire upon the right continued to be very severe, and this assault was pressed up to within 20 feet of our lines. It continued for some minutes with much