War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0285 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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on duty with me during the entire day; also to Captain Parker, of my staff, whom I assigned to the command of Captain Ross' field battery, with new recruits as gunners, and who fought and served them well. The conduct of these officers, coming under my immediate attention and observation, met my hearty approval and commendation. Colonel Brandon was severely wounded early in the action.

Colonel Baldwin's brigade constituted the front of the attacking force, sustained immediately by Colonel wharton's brigade. These two brigades deserve especial commendation for the manner in which they sustained the first shock of battle, and, under circumstances of great embarrassment, threw themselves into position and followed up the conflict throughout the day. Being mostly with these two brigades, I can speak from personal knowledge of the gallant conduct and bearing of the two brigade commanders, colonels Baldwin and Wharton. I must also acknowledge my obligations to Brigadier General B. R. Johnson, who assisted me in the command of the forces with which I attacked the enemy and who bore himself gallantly throughout the conflict; but having received no official report form him, I cannot give the detailed operations of his command.

I have pleasure in being able to say that Colonel Forrest, whose command greatly distinguished its commander as a bold and judicious commander, and reflected distinguished honor upon itself, passed safely through the enemy's line of investment, and trust it will yet win other honors in defense of our rights and just cause of our country.


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, Decatur, Ala., March 14, 1862.

The position we occupied was invested on February 11 by a force which we estimated to be about 20,000 strong. This force had approached us partly by water, but mainly by land, from Fort Herny. I considered the force we had sufficient to repulse the assault of this force. We repulsed everywhere a vigorous assault made by the enemy against our position.

Fresh troops, however, continued [to arrive] every day by water until the 14th. We are satisfied the enemy's forces were not short of 30,000 men. Our impressions of his strength were confirmed by information derived from prisoners we had taken on that day. That evening the enemy landed thirteen steamboat loads of fresh troops.

It was now manifest we could not long maintain our position against such overwhelming numbers. I was satisfied that their last troops were of General Buell's command. We tell the want of re-enforcements, but did not ask for them, because we knew they were not to be had. I had just come from Bowling Green, and knew that General Johnston could not spare a man from his position; he had, in fact, already so weakened himself that he could not have maintained his position against a vigorous assault. Under these circumstances, deeming it utterly useless to apply for re-enforcements, we determined to make the best possible defense with the force in hand.

Our investment by a force of 30,000 men on the 14th being completed, and the enemy on that evening having received thirteen boat loads of fresh troops, a council of general officers was convened by General Floyd,