Sergeant Stone then filled some shells with melted lead to give them great wright and strength, and one the next day, when they had reached their nearest range, we intended to lash on our disports and fire them at great depression, so as to go through their hulks.
No boats, however, came up except one late in the evening, and, firing at her with the rifle, she soon got out of slight. This was Saturday, and the day on which General Buckner's lines were penetrated. Finding the garrison called out to support him and no gunboats threatening, I took a detachment, and, with Sergeants Stone, took charge of a small siege gun on the infantry fortifications of the fort, and played on the enemy;s land forces over the heads of our troops, with what effect we could not tell.
Lieutenant Stankieuriz was firing a siege howitzer from another salient at the same time, and apparently with good effect, as we could see his shells fall.
Lieutenant Fitzgerald, of my company, with First Lieutenant Sparkman, are most gallant officers; also Lieutenant Bedford. Captain Culbertson, with Captains Beaumont, Bidwell, and Graham, and their companies, deserve great credit, Captain Culbertson being one of the best officers I have ever seen, and of military education.
I must not omit to mention a gallant feat performed by Sergt. Patrick Cook (since died in prison at Chicago), Corporal Dockery, Privates Johnson and Mays, and either or ten others at the rifle. In the midst of the bombardment of Friday evening, during the rapid firing of this gun, a ball suddenly stopped about half way down resisting all efforts to drive it farther. This detachments boldly left their battery, as instructed, hunted up a long log just fitting the bore, all mounted the parapet, in the height of the bombardment, and drove the ball home, thus saving the gun from bursting or entire disuse for the time.
We were so busily engaged at our batteries that it was impossible for us to know much of what took place in other parts of the field.
This will be closed with the remark that all of us were surrendered the following (Sunday) morning with the rest of the troops.
With due apology for whatever of improper length, want of taste, &c., which the short given me to prepare the above has allowed, be liege me, respectfully,
R. R. ROSS,
Captain Maury Artillery.
To His Excellency President DAVIS.
Numbers 78. Extracts* from report of the special committee on the recent military disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson and the evacuation of Nashville.
Resolution creating committee.
Resolved, That a special committee be instructed to inquire into the military disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson and the surrender of
* The reports and statements of Colonels Baldwin and Brown, General Buckner, Major Cheairs, Colonel Cook, Major Doss, Colonel Farquharson, General Floyd, Lieutenant-Colonel Gilmer, Colonels Gregg, Hanson, and Heiman, General Johnston, Colonel Lillard, Adjutant McGinnis, Colonel Palmer, General Pillow, and Colonel Trousdale, omitted under this heading, appear either te reports of the capture of Fort Henry, the siege of Fort Donelson, or of the evacuation of Nashville, &c.
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