War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0038 WEST TENN.AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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given me. I immediately called my commissioned officers into council, submitted the proposition of Colonel Woodward, and put the question: "Shall we fight?" The unanimous vote was, "Fight them," and this vote of the officers was but the reflected sentiment, purpose, and determination of the entire command. After negotiations had ended between Colonel Woodward [who bore himself as a gentleman] and myself they made a charge with their cavalry. We repulsed and drove them off, with a loss to them of 5 to 10 men, killed and wounded, and 4 horses killed. On our part we met with no loss in killed or wounded. After about half an hour's fighting the enemy retreated in confusion, and were no more seen during the day or night.

I cannot close this brief and hasty report without expressing to you, colonel, and through you to the commanding general, the warmest and most earnest approval of the conduct of all officers and men engaged in the battle. Each and every one of them did his duty and did it well.

I have the honor further to report that when I found a battle inevitable I directed several buildings to be set on fire, to prevent the enemy's taking cover behind them or in them. Of the prudence of this course I have no doubt. It in my judgment contributed greatly to the confusion of the enemy's cavalry, which was represented to be 335 strong, supported by 450 infantry and one 6-pounder. Neither infantry nor cannon were brought into action.

I am, colonel, with sentiments of regard, yours,


Major, Commanding.

Colonel W. W. LOWE,



Respectfully forwarded.

The attacking force at Donelson, it should be remembered, was the same [increased] to which Clarksville was surrendered. In justice to Major Hart and his command I respectfully suggest that his report be made public. The remnant of the Seventy-first Ohio and its gallant commander deserves, under all the circumstances, more than a passing notice.


Colonel Fifth Iowa Cavalry,


AUGUST 26, 1862.-Skirmish at Cumberland Iron Works, Tenn.

Reports of Colonel William W. Lowe, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.


August 30, 1862.

SIR: On the 25th instant, at about 1.30 p.m., I received a dispatch from Major Hart, commanding at Fort Donelson, stating that he was being attacked. I immediately started over with all the cavalry force I could collect without delay and arrived at the fort about sunset. I found that the enemy had been repulsed by Major Hart's command, as stated in his report, to which I beg leave to refer you.* It then being too late to make any move that night I immediately took steps to make everything secure and awaited the movements of the enemy. Nothing being heard from him during the night I started the next morning at


*See p.37.