War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0510 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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The result of the late attacks upon this fort and the one at Sulphur trestle convinced me that the fatal defect in both works was a want of protection for the garrison against artillery, and for two days previous I had labored to remedy this by constructing a temporary bomb-proof of rather a novel character, it being entirely outside of the fort. This work consisted simply in covering the ditch, which was fifteen feet wide and six feet deep, with logs, which with a slight covering of earth, would undoubtedly throw off any shot that might strike. The entrance to this underground apartment, which would be by a covered passageway under the gate of the fort, was unfinished at the time skirmishing commenced, but the delay of the enemy in making the main attack proved our salvation. I continued the work as rapidly as possible, and by midnight it was ready for use. During the night the noise made by the enemy's battery enabled me to locate the position of their guns with certainty, and the two pieces in the fort were brought to bear upon them, ready to return their fire as soon as commenced.

From early daylight until 6 a. m. October 2 a straggling fire with small-arms was kept up from both sides, principally from the west, where a thick growth of timber approached to within short range of the fort. I reserved the artillery to operate against the enemy's battery. At 6 a. m. he opened fire from one gun in position on the Brown's Ferry road, southwest from the fort, which was promptly responded to. Ten minutes after three rifled guns opened upon us in quick succession from a slight elevation half a mile north. With such a cross-fire there is scarcely a spot in the fort but what can be reached by a shell, and I immediately moved the troops into the bomb-proof, leaving a sufficient number posted as sentinels to watch for indications of an assault. The enemy's guns, after half an hour's practice, obtained the range and threw shell into the fort with great accuracy. About sixty rounds were fired, twenty-two of which struck the fort (nearly all inside), the balance either bursting overhead or passing beyond. Two shots passed through the regimental flag of the Seventy-THIRD Indiana, a tall chimney was crumbled to the ground, one caisson was disabled, and about 30 horses were killed or wounded. Lieutenant Tobin, commanding the section of Battery A, replied to this severe five coolly and deliberately, and is entitled to much praise for the manner in which he handled his guns. Ambulances were seen moving about in the vicinity of the rebel guns, and it is believed that they did not escape without loss. At 8 a. m. the firing ceased, and General Buford sent in a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the fort and garrison, and empowering his adjutant-general to grant certain conditions. What these conditions were I did not inquire, but promptly refused to surrender. I inclose herewith copies of the correspondence which passed. The enemy basely took advantage of this flag to move a portion of his troops to within 200 yards of the fort, forming, as I suppose, for a charge in case we should refuse to surrender. I therefore concentrated the artillery and infantry at that point, but subsequently learned that it was simply a cover to enable them to steal six wagons and four ambulances directly from under my guns. Respect for the usages of war prevented me from opening fire while the flag was in sight, but as soon as it disappeared I opened briskly and drove them from his new position, killing 4. A number were wounded, but were carried off in the wagons. Finding that his artillery practice, hitherto so successful, was perfectly useless here, and not daring to attempt an assault upon our excellent fortifications, the enemy commenced drawing off his troops at once, leaving a body of sharpshooters to attract our attention. Suspecting something