War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0387 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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on Saturday, and refused to bring his men out with my regiment on Sunday morning when ordered to do so.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Forrest's Regiment of Cavalry.

MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., November 7, 1862.

Being informed by General Pillow that it is material for the purposes of justice and a proper understanding by the Government of the operations of the army at Donelson that I should make a statement of the result of the conference of general officers on the night of February 14, at which I was present by order of General Floyd, I make the following supplemental report:

On that day and the day before a large, fresh force, said to be 20,000 men, had reached the landing below us. At that time we were invested by a force which our information led us to estimate at 30,00. All the officers present felt the necessity of cutting our way out and resuming our communication with General Johnston. It was therefore resolved to give them battle in the open field the next morning.

I understood it to be the ultimate intention to retire from the place if we succeeded in opening our way, but nothing was said about our retreating from the field. No order was given to that effect and no preparation was made for that purpose; no suggestion was made of that character and no such determination arrived at.

On the day of the fight (15th) no artillery was taken from our entrenchments, except, perhaps, one piece late in the evening; no rations were prepared or taken on the field; blankets and knapsacks were left behind; no order of retreat was prescribed; no quartermaster, commissary, or ordnance stores were prepared to accompany a retreat; and, if a retreat had been attempted from the field of fight, it could not have been accomplished. The commands were scattered and mowed in fragments; very many of the men after the middle of the day had gone back into the town, and were around the fires and up and down the river bank. I had again and again during the day sent portions of my command into the entrenchments and had ammunition brought out on horseback.

The day itself was mainly occupied in the active operations of the fight. Soon after the fighting in the field was terminated fighting was begun on our right, in General Buckner's rifle pits, which lasted until about sundown.

In my opinion the pursuit of the enemy could not have been continued longer without coming in contact with a large, fresh force, which, in the scattered and exhausted condition of our troops, we could not have withstood.

The character of the country over which we would have had to retreat from Donelson to Charlotte was excessively poor and broken, and at that time covered with snow and sleet, and could not have furnished a half-day's rations for our force.


Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry.

[Indorsement Numbers 1.]

I have compared the above copy with the original supplemental report of General Forrest and attest it is a true copy.


Confederate States District Judge.