War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0361 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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cause Colonel Davidson's brigade did not appear punctually in its place. Proceeding to his headquarters, I learned from his aide, Captain R. B. Ryan, that his command should be held in readiness to move. I caused the brigade to be put in motion immediately, and at about 4 a. m. all the brigades designated were formed in columns of regiments on the left of an outside of our trenches. Here Colonel Simonton was placed in command of Colonel Davidson's brigade.

At early dawn the head of the column moved, under the orders of General Pillow, who led them, and very soon engaged the enemy with small-arms. Somewhat later Lieutenant Perkins opened fire upon the enemy from his artillery posted in the trenches. Colonel Baldwin's brigade formed the right of the attacking force and was first to open fire. Colonels Wharton's and McCausland's brigades formed a line on the left of Colonel Baldwin. Colonel Simonton's brigade was the next to advance, which it did in the following order from right to left, viz: Third Mississippi, Eight Kentucky, Seventh Tewas, and First Mississippi Regiments. When the head of this brigade had advanced about half way up the hill occupied by the enemy, the Third [Twenty-third] Mississippi Regiment was brought forward and put into action. The Eighth Kentucky Regiment was them met by a heavy fire, which caused it to form in line of battle under cover of [a] hallow to the right of the Third Mississippi Regiment, from which it moved into action under a heavy fire from the enemy. The regiments of Colonel Gregg and Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton (the Seventh Texas and First Mississippi) moved forward together, and came into action on the right of the Eighth Kentucky Regiment. This brigade being heavily pressed by the enemy, the Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiment was brought up to its left and put into action, so as to take the enemy in [the] flank. The left brigade, commanded by Colonel Drake, I placed in position, forming a handsome line, and pressed it forward to the attack. In passing from the left towards the right of our trenches, as did our line of battle, our left had to traverse a much larger circle than our right, and as our right moved near the trenches our left was the only wing liable to be outflanked. I therefore found ample occupation in pressing forward the left wing, keeping a regular, well-directed line, and in guarding the left flank.

Int he last of these duties I was greatly assisted by Colonel forrest and his regiment of cavalry. Colonel Drake's brigade, under its very gallant, steady, and efficient commander, moved almost constantly under my eye, and, when necessary, at my command. It moved in admirable order, preserving in a perfect manner a regular, well-connected line, almost constantly under fire, driving the enemy slowly from hill to hill until about 1 p. m., when we reached a position nearly opposite the center of the left wing of our trenches. Here, observing the enemy in force in front and no troops supporting us on our right, I sent an aide-de-camp to ask for re-enforcements, and received an order to report in person tot he commanding general within our defensive works. Upon hazarding the suggestion that the enemy in front of Colonel Drake's brigade should be attacked, it was, after slight discussion, ordered by General Floyd that this brigade should for a time be displayed before the enemy, and that the other brigades should take their positions in the rifle pits. Having duly disposed of Colonel Drake's brigade according to orders, I returned in person to the entrenchments, at about 800 yards distant. Very soon I found the enemy had advanced and engaged this brigade. After some personal examination of the enemy, and after learning that the right wing, under General Buckner, had called for