War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0382 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter

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XVII.

were ready to go aboard. I did not get a satisfactory answer, but learned that the general was fighting off the men in my front, who I thought belonged to one of the Virginia regiments, commanded by Major Thomas Smith, who has since informed me that some did not go.

There seemed to me to be room enough on board for us all, and if he had wanted them out of the way I could have cleared the bank in a moment's time. When the boat left there did not seem to me to be 500 men on deck. It is, perhaps, unbecoming in me to say whose fail it was that my regiment was not embarked, but I certainly owe it to myself to show that it was not mine. While this excitement was going on General Buckner sent for me and informed me that unless the steamboat left the landing immediately he would have a bomb-shell thrown into it; that the had sent word to the boat to that effect. He made some further remarks of an explanatory character, among others that we were in danger of being shelled by the gunboats of the enemy, as he had surrendered the place, and the gunboats were or might be at the fort; that his honor as an officer and the honor and good faith of the Confederacy required that at daylight he should turn over everything under his command agreeably to the terms of capitulation with General Grant, of the Federal Army. I returned to the boat to make every effort to get aboard, but it had shoved off and was making up the river, with very few persons aboard.

If I have been at fault and caused the unnecessary imprisonment of my regiment, I am deserving the eternal infamy of my fellow-soldiers; but, to the contrary, not an officer or private of the regiment who witnessed the proceedings us freely and cheerfully exonerates me from any blame whatever.

During the summer and fall campaign in Western Virginia, in Kentucky, and in Tennessee this regiment has done credit to themselves and their State for the arduous service they have performed. At Sewell Mountain, Cotton Hill, and Fort Donelson their manly endurance of privations, prompt obedience to orders, and their eagerness for the fray was never excelled by veteran soldiers of any army, and has entitled the Twentieth Mississippi to a prominent place in the history of this revolution.

In obedience to my instructions to furnish the Department whatever information I may have of the battle of Donelson, I hereby append an unofficial statement, which I have in my possession, made by W. E. Baldwin, captain of infantry, C. S. Army, colonel Fourteenth Mississippi Volunteers, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division (General Buckner's), Central Army of Kentucky, from October 30, 1861:

FORT WARREN, MASS., March 19, 1862.

To supply an anticipated omission in the future history of our country, it may not be improper here to state that this brigade, composed of the following regiments: Fourteenth Mississippi, commanded by Major W. L. Doss; Twenty-sixth Tennessee, commanded by Colonel J. M. Lillard; Twenty-sixth Mississippi, commanded by Colonel A. E. Reynolds, and Forty-first Tennessee, commanded by Colonel R. Farquharson, was temporarily divided in the line around Fort Donelson, the Fourteenth Mississippi and the Forty-first Tennessee being posted on the right wing, under General Buckner's immediate supervision. The Twenty-sixth Tennessee and the Twenty-sixth Mississippi were posted under my own command on our extreme left. These regiments, with the Twentieth Mississippi, Major W. N. Brown, which was added to the command, constituted the advance in our attack on the right of the enemy at 6 o'clock on the morning of February 15. They all behaved with great gallantry in a six-hours' combat, which resulted in the total defeat of the enemy's right, whereby a way was opened for the retreat of the army. The opportunity not having been seized, and the enemy, 60,000 strong, having completely enveloped our little force, numbering before the losses occasioned by four days' constant engagement, but 12,000 officers and men, the senior generals, Floyd and Pillow, relinquished the command to General Buckner and made