War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0389 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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petent officer to the rolling-mill, and had two new rear traverse wheels cast, 4 inches in diameter larger than the older ones. these wheels were not to be obtained until a short time before the battle, and only reached us in time to enable us to remount this valuable gun the day before the battle began. With these new shells it worked like a charm.

The large rifled gun was sent to us more than ten days before the engagement, but nighter pintle nor pintle plate (without which it could not be mounted) was sent with it. I sent an officer of artillery at once to Nashville to obtain and bring forward these and other important fixtures, to enable us to mount this and other guns and work them to advantage. Fortunately they reached us just in time to enable us to place this gun in working order.

Our batteries being now in readiness, the following dispositions were ordered by me: 200 additional men were called for to act as supernumeraries, to aid in repairing the works or remounting guns, to carry ammunition, to extinguish fires, and to supply the places of disabled artillerists.

Captain T. W. Beaumont, with his company (80 men), had charge of the five 32-pounder guns next the river, assisted by several lieutenants. Captain B. G. Bidwell's company, 75 strong, had the 10-inch columbiad and four 32-pounder guns on the left, all under the eye of Captain Dixon, of the Engineers. Captain J. R. Shuster, chief of battalion, and Lieutenant Jacob Colbertson, C. S. Army, on special duty. Captain Ross (just arrived from Hapkinsivlle) and his company voluntarily gave up their light battery and took charge of the half-moon battery, containing the rifle gun and two carronades, furnishing a detachment, under charge of Lieutenant Starkovitch,* to manage the 8-inch howitzer and two 9-pounder nondescript, and Captain Maney's light battery was moved to the rifle trenches, in General Pillow's division, and no longer acted under my orders.

On the 12th the gunboats made their appearance, but did not venture within the range of our guns. Early the next morning (a vigorous attack then being made by the enemy on the exterior defenses) the gunboats opened a spirited cannonade of shot and shells from heavy rifled and smooth-bore guns upon the batteries and fort, which as, though at too long a range, returned with spirit by our guns-one of the boats being struck and damaged by shot from Captain ross' rifled gun, driving the boats back under the shelter of bend in the river, from which they continued to throw shells. Unfortunately a single shot dismounted one of our 32-pounder guns, instantly killing the brave Captain Dixon, disabling for a short time Captain Shuster, and killing and wounding 2 or 3 privates.

I immediately placed Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Colbertson in charge of these batteries, and although unable to walk without critches and then with great pain, I took my post at the river batteries. In the mean time the two armies were hotly engaged along our whole line, and soon the gunboats returned to the contest, keeping up a continued discharge of shells and solid shot upon our batteries, without, however, doing us any material damage. Our fire was for some time carefully withheld in order to draw the boats nearer to us, and, as expected, they soon ventured nearer, when a few well-directed shots from our columbiad and rifled gun drove them back, one of the boats being so seriously injured that she (as we afterwards learned) was with difficulty kept from sinking. The contest at the close of the day ceased by land and water,

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*Probably Stankieuriz.

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