War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0383 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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their escape, the former taking with him some 1,500 troops of his immediate command, only leaving Major Brown with the Twentieth Mississippi, who, like veterans, were silently and steadily, though sullenly, guarding the embarkation of troops while their chief was seeking safety.

The command was unconditionally surrendered on the morning of February 16 by General Buckner, who shared the fate of his command. It is unbecoming in soldiers to criticize the conduct of superiors, but when, after rejecting the counsels of juniors, the conation of affairs in placed beyond the power of human means to retrieve, the seniors endeavor to escape responsibility by throwing the same upon the former, comment it unnecessary.

After surrendering the force was taken on transports, the rank and file separated from the officers. Most of the officers were confined in Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio.

On March 4 the field officers, 50 in number, were brought from that place to this (Fort Warren), where we have since been waiting with patience for the time when we can again strike for our homes and our country's independence.

It may not be improper for me here to state that, should an arrangement be established with the Federal Government for the exchange of prisoners of war, in consideration of the services rendered by this regiment and the further fact that it is mustered for the war, I would request that it be placed first in the list to be exchanged.

Respectfully submitted.


Major, Twentieth Mississippi Regiment.


Secretary of War, C. S. A.

Numbers 71. Reports of Colonel Nathan B. Forrest, Tennessee Cavalry.

FEBRUARY -, 1862.

Having been ordered by Brigadier-General Clark to Fort Donelson from Hopkinsville, I arrived at Fort Donelson on Monday evening, February 10, and finished crossing with my command on Tuesday morning.

On the same afternoon I was ordered, with 300 of my cavalry, to reconnoiter in the direction of Fort Henry. We met about 3 miles from Fort Donelson the enemy's cavalry, supposed to be about 600, and, after a short skirmish, pressing them hard about 6 miles, captured 1 prisoner and mortally wounded several others.

The following morning I was ordered out with my own regiment, three Kentucky companies, viz, Captains Williams, Wilcox, and Hewey's, and Lieutenant-Colonel Gant's battalion of Tennessee cavalry (the commanding general having signified to me the night before his desire that I should take change of all the cavalry at the post as brigadier of cavalry.)

I had gone about 2 miles on the road towards Fort Henry when we met the advance of the enemy. My advance guard engaged them, when I sent forward three rifle companies, and after a skirmish they retreated, leaving several dead and wounded. The enemy halted, and, after maneuvering for some time, commenced to move by a parallel road towards the fort. Receiving information of this change, I changed my position from the right to the extreme left of my line of battle, throwing two squadrons of cavalry across the road. As soon as the enemy's advance came in sight I again attacked them vigorously. The enemy were on an elevated ridge, thickly wounded, and, when the attack was made, little else than their cavalry could be seen.