War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0351 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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which order was executed at the shortest possible notice; and in justice to the officers and soldiers must say they bore themselves most gallantly. Notwithstanding they were completely (or nearly so) worn down by incessant fighting and fatigue duty for eight consecutive days, we succeeded in driving back the enemy, although they had fresh and we had exhausted troops.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon was in command of the regiment from the time we arrived at Donelson, on the night of the 8th, until about 1 p. m. on the 15th, when he was wounded and retired from the field. I was then in command until the surrender, which was at 6 o'clock Sunday morning, February 16.

For a detailed account of the killed and wounded of the Third Tennessee Regiment during the entire fight at Donelson I refer you to the subjoined paper, marked A.*

The foregoing report of the conduct and actions of the Third Tennessee Regiment and of its casualties at Fort Donelson I have the honor to submit the you. Killed, 12; wounded, 76.

Very respectfully,

N. F. CHEAIRS,

Major, Commanding Third Tennessee Regiment.

Colonel JOHN C. BROWN,

Commanding Third Brigade, Second Division,

Central Army of Kentucky, C. S. Army.

Numbers 8. Report of Colonel Joseph B. Palmer, Eighteenth Tennessee Infantry.

FORT WARREN, BOSTON HARBOR, MASS.,

March 7, 1862.

The Eighteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers arrived at Fort Donelson February 8, 1861, with an aggregate reported for duty of 685, and these encamped mainly without tents or other protection from the weather, and with scarcely any cooking utensils, until the surrender of the forces at that point on the 16th of the same month.

On the day after reaching Donelson the whole regiment was employed in the preparation of works of defense-rifle pits, trenches, &c., at which both men and officers continued without relief or rest night and day until the 12th. Early in the forenoon of that day, pursuant] to orders from brigade headquarters, I ordered out Company C, commanded by Captain W. R. Butler, on picket service, with the usual instructions. They went in the direction of the enemy's lines about 1 1/2 miles and took position, when suddenly they discovered several thousand Federal troops advancing towards our encampment. Captain butler, thus finding his position greatly exposed, conducted a prudent and skillful retreat, gradually falling back so as to keep the enemy under constant observation-finally fired upon them and came within I immediately communicated to you and General Buckner in person. General Buckner's division, which occupied the right of the whole line of our defense, was therefore arranged in order of battle for the general engagement which ensued.

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*Not found.

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