previous next

The Rebel loss by this conflict and capitulation must have been fully 10,000 men, including 2,000 killed and wounded,1 to say nothing of arms and munitions. Our loss in killed and wounded was probably the larger.2

The blow so well struck at Donelson was swiftly followed by important successes throughout Kentucky and in Tennessee.

Gen. Don Carlos Buell had, at the then recent partition of departments, been assigned3 to that of the Ohio, including, besides three Free States, Tennessee, and all of Kentucky east of the Cumberland, with his headquarters at Louisville; where he still remained when his advance consisting of some 16,000 men, led by Gen. O. M. Mitchel, moved,4 simultaneously with Gen. Grant's demonstration on Donelson, upon Bowling Green, the Rebel stronghold in Kentucky, where Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston had succeeded to the command, while Gen. Beauregard had been sent him from the east as a reenforcement. But Johnston's force, enormously and purposely magnified by current report, had never amounted to 25,000 effectives, and had ere this in good part been sent to the defense of Donelson, until it had been reduced to about 7,000 or 8,000 men. As Mitchel advanced across Green river from his camp at Bacon creek, Johnston commenced his retreat on Nashville; so that, when Mitchel had reached5 the north bank of Barren river, and looked across into Bowling Green, sending over Col. Turchin's brigade during the night, at a ferry a mile and a half below, he found the railroad depot on fire, with 7 locomotives, and a large amount of corn and other provisions, with the bridges of course destroyed, and the last of the Rebel army, consisting of Texas Rangers, just moving off on a railroad train, which had been retained for the purpose. The river, being wide and at a high stage, could not here be crossed till next clay ; so that Mitchel's forced march of 42 miles in 37 hours, clearing his road of trees which had been felled across it, was rewarded by very moderate captures, including a brass 6-pounder, and some $5,000 worth of commissary stores ; but it was

1 Gen. Pillow, in his supplemental report, says:

We sent up from Dover, 1,134 wounded. A Federal surgeon's certificate, which I have seen, says that there were about 400 Confederate prisoners wounded in hospital at Paducah, making 1,534 wounded. I was satisfied the killed would increase the number to 2,000.

Pollard gives what he terms a correct list, by regiments, of the Confederate prisoners taken at Fort Donelson, footing up 5,079; but he evidently does not include in this total the wounded, of whom many must have been left on the field or in the hospital at the fort, as he says: “The village of Dover, which was within our lines, contained in every room in every house sick, wounded, or dead men. Bloody rags were everywhere, and a door could not be opened without hearing groans.” And in his list of regiments we do not find the 20th Mississippi, whose commander, Maj. W. M. Brown, officially reports that he surrendered 454; nor the 32d Tennessee, Col. Cook, who reports that he surrendered 538.

Gen. Grant's report makes his captures 12,000 to 15,000 prisoners, at least 40 pieces of artillery, and a large amount of stores, horses, mules, and other public property.

2 Gen. Grant, speaking of the battle of the 15th. says: “Our loss can not fall far short of 1,200 killed, wounded, and missing,” including 250 taken prisoners. The reports of Col. Cruft, Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, and Col. Lauman, show an aggregate loss of 1,306 in their three brigades, clearly indicating that Gen. Grant underestimated his casualties.

3 Nov. 9, 1861.

4 Feb. 11, 1862.

5 Feb. 14.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 11th, 1862 AD (1)
November 9th, 1861 AD (1)
February 14th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: