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[143] their conduct will make it superfluous for me to praise it. In the afternoon's fight for the recapture of the hill, the Colonel led his tired column with unabated courage. Major Fred. Arn, Thirty-first Indiana; Col. James L. Shackelford, Twenty-fifth Kentucky; Col. Hugh B. Reed, Forty-fourth Indiana, and Colonel John McHenry, Seventeenth Kentucky, and their field and company officers, all won honor and lasting praise; nor can less be given to the valor and endurance of the men who composed their regiments.

To the promptness and courage of Col. Thayer, commanding the Third brigade, in the execution of my orders on the occasion, I attribute, in a large degree, the repulse of the enemy in their attack upon my position about half-past 10 or eleven o'clock in the morning. There can be no question about the excellence of his conduct during that fierce trial. Lieut. Col. McCord and his First Nebraska regiment, and Lieut. P. P. Wood and his company A, Chicago light artillery, have already been spoken of in terms warmer than mere commendation.

I have reserved for the last the mention of that officer whose mention, I confess, gives me most pleasure--Colonel Morgan L. Smith. This officer led his old regiment, the Eighth Missouri, and the Eleventh Indiana, united as a brigade, under his command, in the charge that resulted in the recapture of our position on the right. Words cannot do justice to his courage and coolness. All through the conflict, I could see him ride to and fro, and could hear his voice clear as a bugle's, and as long as I heard it, I knew the regiments were safe and their victory sure. Promotion has been frequently promised him; if it does not come now, Missouri will fail to recognise and honor her bravest soldier.

To Major McDonald, commanding the Eighth Missouri, and to Col. McGinnis, Lieut. Col. W. J. H. Robinson, and Major J. C. Elston, of the Eleventh Indiana, and the officers and men of both those regiments, most honorable mention is due.

Captain Fred. Knefler, my Assistant Adjutant-General, and Lieut. James R. Ross and Lieut. A. Ware, my aids-de-camp, rendered me prompt and efficient services in the field. Their courage and fidelity have earned my lasting gratitude. Nor am I less indebted to my orderlies, Thomas W. Simson and Bird Fletcher, of company I, Fourth United States cavalry, both of whom are brave, intelligent soldiers, worthy of promotion.

Of that portion of my division not mentioned as in action, I would say they were carefully saved for the proposed assault on Sunday. Had the surrender not taken place, they would have been placed foremost in the attack. When my position was attacked in the forenoon, they were under fire, and by their patient endurance and soldierly behavior, won my fullest confidence. The regiments alluded to were the Seventy-sixth, Sixty-eighth, and Fifty-eighth Ohio, and the Forty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Illinois.

Major T. W. Fry, surgeon attached to my staff, who performed his duties in the most skilful manner, freely exposing himself, will, at the earliest moment, furnish a list of the casualties that happened to my division during the battle.

Sincerely hoping the General may prove as fortunate in every battle he may have occasion to fight, I beg leave to congratulate him on his success in this one, and subscribe myself,

Most respectfully,

His very obedient servant,

Lewis Wallace, General Third Division.

The following is the congratulatory order of General Wallace:

headquarters Third division, District of West-Tennessee, February 28, 1862.
Soldiers of the Third Division:
It was my good fortune to command you at the capture of Fort Donelson. Sickness has kept me from thanking you for the patience, endurance, courage, and discipline you showed on that occasion. The country, ringing with the glory of that victory, thanks you, and its thanks are indeed precious!

You were last to arrive before the Fort; but it will be long before your deeds are forgotten. When your gallant comrades of the First division, having fired their last cartridge, fell back upon your support, you did not fail them; you received them as their heroism deserved; you encircled them with your ranks, and drove back the foe that presumed to follow them.

And to you, and two gallant regiments from the Second division, is due the honor of the las fight — the evening battle of Saturday--the reconquest, by storm, of the bloody hill on the right — the finishing blow to a victory which has already purged Kentucky of treason, and restored Tennessee to the confederacy of our fathers. All honor to you.

Lew. Wallace, General Third Division.


Report of Col. Chas. Cruft.

headquarters First brigade, Third division, Department West-Tennessee, Fort Henry, February 18, 1862.
To Capt Fred. Knefler, Assistant Adjutant-General Third Division:
I have the honor to report to you the part taken in the reduction of Fort Donelson, and the fortifications near Dover, Tenn., on the fifteenth inst., by the First brigade of your division. The brigade was composed of the Thirty-first Indiana volunteers, Lieut.-Col. Osborn, temporarily commanding; Twenty-fifth Kentucky volunteers, Col. James M. Shackelford; eight companies of Forty-fourth Indiana volunteers, Col. Hugh B. Reed, and Seventeenth Kentucky volunteers, Col. John H. McHenry.

At half-past 8 o'clock A. M., Gen. Wallace's order was received to put the brigade in rapid motion to the extreme right of our lines, for the purpose of reenforcing Gen. McClernand's division. It was speedily moved forward in a column of companies, the Twenty-fifth Kentucky in advance, followed by the Thirty-first Indiana, Seventeenth Kentucky and Forty-fourth Indiana.


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