« AnteriorContinuar »
MILL SPRING. the enemy. At daylight, their little little boat, they had silently escaped steamer was seen lying in the river, across the river during the night, and was quickly set on fire by our leaving 10 more guns, with caissons, shells ; cutting off, as was fondly cal- and many small arms, 1,200 or 1,500 culated, all chance of farther Rebel horses and mules, with tents, blankets, retreat. Fire was then opened on and all the material of an army, betheir intrenchments, but there was hind them. no response ; and it was soon discovered that, taking advantage of their The Rebel engineers had con
A Rebel letter to the Memphis Avalanche, says 11 guns were spiked and thrown into the river. GRANT AND FOOTE AT FORT HENRY.
structed-mainly by slave labor- with his gunboats, proceeded cauat a point some 80 or 90 miles up tiously up the river, shelling the the Tennessee and Cumberland, woods on either side to discover any where those rivers first approach masked batteries that might there be within 10 or 12 miles of each planted. Having pushed this reconother, a few miles south of the noissance far enough to receive a 32Kentucky line, and north of the pound ball through the unprotected Louisville and Memphis Railroad, side of one of his boats, Gen. Grant two strong and spacious works; decided that the proper landing-place FORT HENRY, commanding the Ten- for the troops was about four miles nessee from its eastern bank, and below the fort, where he and they FORT DONELSON, controlling the pas- were debarked " accordingly. The sage of the Cumberland from the next day was spent in preparations, west, a little below the Tennessee and the next appointed for the atvillage of Dover. A dirt road con- tack: Gen. Grant directing the main nected the two forts, whereof the body of his forces, under Gen. John garrisons were expected to support A. McClernand, to move diagonally each other if assailed. Fort Henry, across the country and seize the road situated on a point or bend of the leading from the fort to Donelson river, and scarcely above its surface and Dover, while Gen. C. F. Smith, when in flood, menaced the approach with his brigade, advanced along the by water for a mile on either hand, west bank of the river, and Com. but was overlooked by three points 10 | Foote, with his gunboats, moved within cannon-shot on either bank of slowly up and attacked the fort from the river. It covered two or three the water. acres of ground, mounted 17 large Com. Foote formed his vessels in guns, 11 of them bearing upon any two lines: the iron-clads Cincinnati vessels approaching from below, with (flag-ship), Essex, Carondelet, and St. a spacious intrenched camp in its Louis, in front, while the old wooden rear, and a wide abatis encircling Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington, all. It was defended by Gen. Lloyd formed a second line some distance Tilghman, of Kentucky, with 2,600 astern, and out of the range of the men.
enemy's fire, throwing shell over the To Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, of Illi- iron-clads into and about the fort. nois, was assigned the task of its Thus advancing slowly and firing reduction, with the powerful aid of deliberately, the iron-clads steadily Commodore A. H. Foote and his neared the fort, using only their bowfleet of seven gunboats, four of them guns, because unwilling to expose partially iron-clad. Leaving Cairo" their weak, unsheltered sides to the with some 15,000 men on steam heavy guns of the fort, one of them transports, he moved up the Ohio to having a caliber of 128 and another the mouth of the Tennessee, then as- of 60 pounds, and but 12 of ours in cended that stream to within ten all of our front line being available. miles of Fort Henry, where his trans- For a moment only was there hesitaports halted, while Com. Foote, tion in the attack; when, after an
10 So says Gen. Tilghman's official report. 11 Feb. 2, 1862. 2 Feb. 4-5. 13 Feb. 4.
hour's mutual cannonade, a 24-pound his way through the miry woods and shot from the fort pierced the Essex over the difficult trails he was obliged at an unguarded spot, and, tearing to traverse in order to reach and through her thick oak planking as occupy the main road from Henry though it had been cheese, penetrated to Donelson. Had he been directed her starboard boiler, instantly filling to start at 6 instead of 11 that her from stem to stern with burning morning, he would probably have steam, killing both her pilots at their intercepted and captured Tilghman's post of duty, and severely scalding entire force. As it was, the latter Capt. W. D. Porter and nearly 40 of says he ordered all but the hundred his gunners and crew. Thus com- or so inside the fort, and employed pletely disabled, the Essex drifted in working its guns, to take the road out of the action, to the great joy of to Donelson, under Col. Heiman, his the Rebels, who for a moment second in command; and that order thought the victory their own; but was obeyed with great promptness. her consorts kept on firing and near- and celerity. Tilghman remained ing for twenty minutes more, when himself with the handful in the fort; they were within 600 yards of the and, at 1:45 P. M., seeing further deRebel guns, whereof all but four had fense alike impotent and hopeless, by this time been silenced: one hav- and being urged by his officers to ing burst, disabling every man who surrender, he, intending to negotiate served it, while the vent of the great for terms, raised a flag of truce, which, 10-inch columbiad had been closed, being unperceived, amid the dense rendering it useless; while our fire at smoke, had no effect on the fire of the short range grew hotter and hotter. fleet. Five minutes later, by the advice
Gen. McClernand, as Com. Foote of his officers, he, having ceased firing, had apprehended, had not yet worked lowered his flag, thereby surrender
" and is
the too have
GEN. GRANT BEFORE FORT DONELSON.
47 ing at discretion.i4 Our loss in this / enforcements to about 15,000 20 men. conflict, in addition to that on the Most of them were Tennesseans, with Essex, was 1 killed and 9 wounded about 2,000 Mississippians, 1,200 on the Cincinnati; none on our other Virginians, 1,000 Kentuckians, and vessels. Gen. Tilghman says our a thin regiment each from Alabama, total casualties were reported to him Arkansas, and Texas. The fort was at 73, while his own were 21. Com. commanded by two or three points Foote reports his captures at 60 or farther inland, within cannon-shot; 70 men, besides the General and his the country rolling to the bluffs of staff, and a hospital-ship containing the Tennessee: some of the hills 60 invalids, with barracks, tents, &c., midway having an elevation of about sufficient for 15,000 men,
300 feet. Deep ravines, with steep,
rocky sides, especially near the bluffs FORT DONELSON—two miles below of the Cumberland, separated these Dover, where the Cumberland makes hills, and, with the tall, dense, prima short bend westward from its itive forests generally prevailing, afnortherly course—was a much larger forded admirable positions for defenand stronger work than Fort Henry, | sive warfare. A heavy and difficult covering a level plateau of nearly a abatis in good part surrounded the hundred acres, which surmounts the fortress landward, rendering assault steep bluff, 100 feet high, with two at many points all but impracticable. strong water batteries on the bank Gen. Grant, bringing Smith's at its base, of 9 and 3 guns respect- division across the Tennessee, and ively, one of them a 10-inch colum- sending an officer down that river biad, three 64-pounders, and the rest to turn back all vessels ascending it 32-pounders; all protected by very with troops or supplies, crossed from heavy earthworks, and all bearing on Fort Henry 21 to the neighborhood the approach up the river. The fort of Donelson, gradually extending itself had but 8 heavy guns mounted his lines 22 so as to invest the Rebel in addition to the field batteries of stronghold nearly from river to river, its garrison. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow 16 by a line some three miles long, and had been in command there ! until 100 to 300 rods distant from the the arrival 18 of Gen. John B. Floyd,19 Rebel rifle-pits and batteries, which when the number of its defenders formed an irregular crescent, encirhad been swelled by successive re- cling their fort at a distance of one or two miles. Skirmishing by sharp-1 Gen. Grant decided to complete shooters on both sides was maintained the investment of the fort, at least on with spirit throughout the day, main- that side, while he fortified his weak ly from behind the trees of the great points, and awaited the return of forest, which at most points covered the gunboats in fighting condition. our army and the space between the Floyd, however, not concurring in hostile lines. The weather was thus that view of the matter, decided to far like a clear, bright, Northern Octo- assume at once a vigorous offensive, ber, and our men in the highest spirits. while his men were elated with their
14 Gen. Grant's official dispatch says: “In cavalry, who were easily repulsed, but who a little over one hour, all the batteries were picked up about 20 of his stragglers, while silenced.” Com. Foote says: “The Rebel flag several of his field-gúns were lost on the way, was hauled down after a very severe and owing to poor teams and bad roads. closely contested action of one hour and fifteen 16 Of Nashville, Tennessee. 17 Since Jan. 18. minutes." Gen. Tilghman says he surrendered 18 Feb. 13. 19 Of Virginia. "after an engagement of two hours and ten 20 The Richmond Dispatch has a letter from minutes." The time probably seemed longer one of the officers, dated Augusta, Ga., Feb. 22, on that side than on ours.
who says: "Our troops number about 18,000.” 15 Tilghman says he surrendered 66 beside The Nashville Patriot, of about. Feb. 19, gives his staff (11), and 16 on the hospital-boat; and a list of the regiments present, with the strength adds that his escaping force was overtaken, of each, which foots up 13,829, and is evidently some three miles from Fort Henry, by our | incomplete. 21 Feb. 12. 22 Feb. 13,
Com. Foote now arrived as with his defeat of the gunboats. Massing ** gunboats-four iron-clad, and two heavily on his extreme left, comwooden-and it was determined that manded by Pillow, and ordering he should attempt to silence and Buckner, as in the center, to attack carry the water batteries. He did likewise, he made a desperate effort so at 3 P. M. next day, steadily ad- to beat back our investing and augvancing with his iron-clads to within menting forces, and open for his army 400 yards of the Rebels' great guns; a line of retreat up river toward when, by an hour's desperate fight- Nashville. The attack of Pillow on ing, he had driven most of the our right, held by Gen. McClernand, enemy's gunners from their batteries, was impetuous, daring, and persistand seemed on the point of complete ent. After two hours' desperate success. Just here, however, the fighting, McClernand was worsted wheel of his flag-ship St. Louis and and fell back on our center, sending the tiller of its consort, the Louis- urgently for rëenforcements, but still ville, were shot away, rendering both contesting every inch of ground. boats unmanageable, and causing Two or three of his regiments were them to drift helplessly down the badly broken, and several more reriver. All his iron-clads had endured ported out of ammunition; which serious damage: the St. Louis hav- should not have been, since it was ing received 59 shots, and each of the not yet noon. Our men, however, others about half so many, with an had the bad habit generally of using aggregate loss of 54 killed and ammunition wastefully, loading and wounded. Of his twelve guns, one firing as fast as possible, even when had burst, while the enemy had there was not one chance in a thoubrought over 20-most of them very sand of hitting an enemy. The heavy-to bear upon him from Don- Rebels usually economized their carelson, as well as the water batteries, tridges, firing only when they could to which the gunners returned on do so with effect. observing his predicament, and again. Pillow, still successful and slowly poured in their hottest fire. Com. advancing, about noon joined hands Foote, perceiving victory hopeless, with Buckner in the center, and took gave up the contest, and retired command of their united forces, when with his boats down the river, badly a charge was made by Forrest's cavcrippled.
alry on our infantry supporting a
aggregate of his twelve com
23 Evening of the 13th. .
25 Gen. Simon B. Buckner, of Kentucky; forI merly commander of her State Guard.