War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0034 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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FORT HENRY, February 8, 1863.

Wheeler's force took to the right of Charlotte, and marched for Columbia; then marched rapidly and left no force between here and Nashville. Six gunboats and fleet have arrived at Donelson from Nashville. Tennessee about 15 feet.


Colonel, Commanding.


[Department of the Cumberland.]

Numbers 4. Report of Colonel Abner C. Harding, Eighty-third Illinois Infantry, commanding Fort Donelson.


Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson, February 10, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to forward Colonel Harding's official report of the action at Fort Donelson on the 3rd instant. I have but to remark that this report does not show the completeness of the victory, as enough rebel dead have since been found to make the number of their killed equal to 200.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.


Department of the cumberland, Murfreesborough, Tenn.


Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 6, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the engagement of the forces under my command with the enemy under Generals Wheeler, Forrest, and Wharton at this place on the 3rd instant:You will remember that on the 2nd instant I forwarded to you a report that the enemy, 900 strong, with several pieces of artillery, under command of Forrest, had taken a position on the river at Palmyra, for the purpose of obstructing the navigation of the Cumberland, and that I made a proposition to take a transport then lying at this landing, arming it with artillery and infantry, and making a reconnaissance toward that point, which proposition you approved.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 3rd, I ordered Major [E. C.] Brott, of my regiment, to take the steamer Wild Cat and place upon it one company of the Eighty-third and two guns of Folood's battery, protected by bales of hay, and proceed up the river in the direction of Palmyra. This order had been so far executed as that the expedition was ready to move by 11 a. m. Early in the forenoon of that day reports were brought in that the enemy wee advancing upon Donelson by the road leading down the river. I had started Captain [Henning] von Mindedn, of Company G, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, with 30 men, by way of the rolling-mill road, to make a reconnaissance overland in conjunction with the river expedition. He had moved before the first report of the approach of the enemy came in. Also, early on the morning of that day a small party of mounted men, under Lieutenant [G.] Lene, of Company G, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, had been sent