War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0377 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Nowlin will ever be thought of with admiration by those who witnessed it, and cherished as a glorious memory by their friends.

Respectfully submitted.

JOHN GREGG,

Colonel Seventh Regiment Texas Infantry.

Major GEORGE B. COSBY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.

Numbers 69. Report of Colonel John W. Head, Thirtieth Tennessee Infantry, commanding brigade.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., August 23, 1862.

SIR: The surrender of Fort Donelson having prevented me from making a regular report, by the advice of General Buckner I respectfully submit the following to you:

In the organization of the troops at Fort Donelson by General Pillow, after the fall of Fort Henry, the Forty-ninth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Bailey; the Fiftieth, commanded by Colonel Sugg, and the Thirtieth, commanded by myself, were placed under my command as a brigade, and ordered to garrison the fort.

On Wednesday, February 12, two of the enemy's gunboats ascended the river and opened a fire upon the river batteries and fort. This was continued but a short time and resulted in no injury to us.

On Wednesday evening the Thirtieth Regiment was ordered by General Pillow to take position in the outer line of defense, between the right of the brigade commanded by Colonel Drake and the left of the brigade commanded by Colonel Heiman.

The enemy were encamped in force in front of the position. I accompanied the regiment, leaving the fort garrisoned by the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth, under the immediate command of Colonel Bailey. The men Fiftieth, under the immediate command of Colonel Bailey. The men were immediately put to work preparing rifle pits for their protection. The pits were completed by Thursday morning.

We were fired upon occasionally during the fight on Thursday, but the enemy not being in range of our guns, it was not returned by us.

During the bombardment of the fort and river batteries on Friday by the enemy from their boats our position was in range of their fire. The officers and men, however, behaved with coolness and gallantry.

About 2 o'clock on Saturday morning I received orders to report my regiment to General Buckner on the right wing. This I did without delay. I was ordered by General Buckner to occupy with my regiment the line of defense before held by his command, and, if attacked and overpowered, to fall back into the fort.

The trenches to be held covered a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. The regiment numbered about 450 men fit for duty. The companies of Captains Carson and Semple were placed in the pits on the extreme right, before held by the regiment of Colonel Hanson. The company of Captain Martin was held as a reserve. The three companies were placed under Major Turner, with instruction to report the first appearance of the enemy. The balance of the regiment was disposed of along the pits occupied by the remainder of General Buckner's forces. During the morning a brisk fire was kept up with the enemy's sharpshooters, resulting in a few casualties on both sides.