War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0390 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA. Chapter

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XVII.

and our batteries were visited by Generals Floyd and Pillow in person, and our artillerists especially commenced by them.

Ont he following day the increased inflammation and pain of my wound rendered it impossible for me to remain longer at the batteries, and I was, by direction of Surgeon Williams, placed on board a steamer, with other wounded soldiers, to be conveyed to Nashville.

During my services at Fort Donelson, both before and during the engagements, I was under obligations to Acting Adjt. W. W. Foote, of the Corps of Artillery, and to Lieutenant H. S. Bedford, adjutant of the battalion, for the prompt and faithful manner with which they discharged their duty.

I cannot close this statement of my brief and humble connection with the defense of Fort Donelson without expressing my particular obligations to First Lieutenant (Acting Captain) J. Culbertson, of the Regular Artillery, and Lieutenant H. S. Bedford and Lieutenant Cobb, of the Ordnance Department, for their zeal and energy in superintending the work at the batteries and valuable services rendered firing the engagement, in all of which they were greatly assisted by Captain T. W. Beaumont; nor to Lieutenants Martin and McDaniel, for their untiring energy in imparting instructions to the artillerists under my command. Neither can too much be said in praise of the 200 volunteer infantry, who, after three weeks' instruction, in the midst of labor and toils, both day and night, acquired such skill in the management of their guns as to be able to maintain successfully a four days' cannonade with a flotilla of gunboats, crippling at least five of them, and compelling their flag-officer to withdraw his fleet entirely from the contest so badly crippled that he was unable to renew the fight. Nor should the gallant Captain Ross and Lieutenant Starkovitch* (both of artillery officers, who in command of Captain Ross' light artillerists, worked their heavy guns with such admirable precision) be forgotten in the award of praise.

Our success was greatly due to the admirable position of our guns, rising as they did successively from the river to the height of 50 feet, thus enabling us to throw our shot by a plunging fire into the holds of the boats, and thus reaching and crippling their machinery; and to the narrowness of the river (here only 500 feet wide), which compelled the boats to approach the guns with their prows exposed.

I amy here add that, from information derived from the men themselves, I afterwards learned that Captain Bidwell, Lieutenant Burt, with 36 men, and all the horses of Porter's light battery, and Forrest's cavalry regiment, and many stragglers from various corps, effected their safe retreat on Saturday night without the loss of a man or any opposition from the enemy.

In justice to myself (as I far for a short time had charge of the artillery defenses at Fort Donelson), I may with propriety say that I had nothing whatever to do with the arrangements of the exterior defenses, which were entirely under the direction of the general commanding and engineers.

In my opinion the site itself was most unfortunate-first, because the space inclosed by the trenches formed a cul-de-sac, cut in the middle by an impassable backwater, thus rendering communication between the wings of our army difficult and hazardous; second, because the whole position was surrounded by hills at the distance of from 800 to 1,500 yards higher than those occupied by us, thus giving commanding position for the enemy's rifled field guns, from which every point in our lines could be reached.

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*Probably Stankieuriz.

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