previous next



headquarters Forty-Fourth Regt. Indiana Vols., Fort Henry, February 18, 1861.
Col. Charles Cruft, Commanding First Brigade, Third Division:
Sir: On the morning of Saturday, February fifteenth, the Forty-fourth regiment, Indiana volunteers, left their bivouac near the enemy's lines and marched to the attack on Fort Donelson. By order of Gen. McClernand we first took position near the battery, (which was afterward assaulted by the rebels.) In this position the enemy's shot passed over our heads. Shortly afterward we were ordered forward into line with our brigade, (First.) As we marched past the enemy's breastworks, we received a heavy fire, wounding some of our men. We took our position on the left wing of our brigade, in front of and within range of the enemy's guns; they were invisible to us, while we were exposed to their view. There was part of a regiment of Union troops (Col. Logan) on the slope of the hill between us and the enemy. Col. Logan came to our lines and requested we would not fire, as it would endanger his men. I gave the order to the men to withhold their fire. We remained exposed to the enemy's fire for fifteen or twenty minutes without being able to return it, or to determine whether our friends were still in danger of our guns. At this time, the enemy's fire partly subsiding, the regimental colors were ordered forward and were planted ten paces in front of our line of battle by First Lieut. Story, of company C. This failing to call forth a fire, Captain Bingham, of company H, advanced to a point ten or twelve paces in front of our line, and waved our colors in the air. This drew his fire, which was most heartily responded to by our men, and was followed up in rapid succession on both sides. Our men behaved most gallantly. In the early part of the action, Capt. Cuppy, of company E, was severely wounded while in advance of his men bravely cheering them on. By this time the regiment on our left having entirely changed their position, leaving our flank exposed, a movement was made by a well-mounted cavalry regiment and a body of infantry to turn our left wing. Capt. Murray, company B, was ordered to open fire upon them, and did so with terrible effect. Company E and company H were ordered to the support of company B, and poured in a well-directed fire, causing them to fall back in disorder. At this time, finding my regiment was left entirely alone and unsupported, the regiments on the left having withdrawn, and our brigade having changed position to the right, thus exposing both wings, of which the enemy were about to take advantage, the order was given to change position to the right, which was done by right flank, in good order, with the exception of a part of the left wing, which, from not having fully understood the order, became separated from the main body and some confusion ensued, but in a few minutes they rejoined us. Ours was the last regiment engaged with the enemy during the fight in the morning. Having joined our brigade, we took position on an adjoining elevation and awaited orders. Major Stoughton, posted during the entire action in the most exposed position, deserves the highest praise for the cool courage and daring displayed. I would gladly specify very many instances of personal bravery displayed. Adjt. Colgrove acted with coolness and bravery during the entire day. Too much credit cannot be bestowed on our men for their cool and determined courage, and especially during the trying time when exposed to the enemy's bullets without being permitted to return it, both officers and men in this our first engagement, but where almost all performed their part so well, it would require too lengthy a list to name them personally, whilst many justly deserving might be unintentionally omited. The Forty-fourth Indiana does its duty. We lost in this engagement seven killed, thirty-four wounded and two missing. From our position on the hill where our column rested, we could see the battle-field of the morning, and the enemy again form his line of battle at about half-past 3 o'clock P. M. A renewed attack upon their lines was ordered by General Wallace. My regiment advanced to foot of hill occupied by enemy, formed in line of battle in face of a storm of bullets — finding ground in our front occupied by the Eighth Missouri regiment. I advanced my regiment one hundred yards, faced to the front, and charged up the hill at double-quick — our men loudly cheering — we advanced rapidly to summit of hill, firing at the enemy. The enemy soon retreated inside their entrenchments, closely followed by our troops. A fire was opened on us by their batteries, the shell falling near our lines. Whilst deliberating upon an attack upon their fortifications, we received an order from Gen. Grant to fall back to brow of hill, which was done. Here we bivouacked for the night.

The following morning (Sunday) we were ordered by you to march forward to attack the enemy's works. When just ready to march, the joyful intelligence was brought us that the enemy had surrendered, which was received with hearty cheers. Our column being in motion, we were the first to march into the town of Dover.

I am, Colonel, your very obedient servant,

Hugh B. Reed, Col. Commanding Forty-fourth Regt. Ind. Vols.

Report of General W. H. L. Wallace.

headquarters, Second brigade, First division, United States advance forces, Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 17, 1862.
Major M. Brayman, Assistant Adjutant-General First Division:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade, from the time of leaving Fort Henry, on the eleventh inst., up to the sixteenth inst., when the Federal forces entered this fortification:

My brigade, as formed by order of Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding the District of Cairo, consisted of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry, Lieut.-Col. T. E. G. Ransom Commanding; the Twentieth Illinois Infantry, Col. C. C. Marsh Commanding;

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 Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John A. Logan (2)
U. S. Grant (2)
W. H. L. Wallace (1)
Lewis Wallace (1)
Stoughton (1)
Story (1)
Hugh B. Reed (1)
T. E. G. Ransom (1)
A. Murray (1)
J. A. McClernand (1)
C. C. Marsh (1)
Cuppy (1)
Charles Cruft (1)
Colgrove (1)
M. Brayman (1)
Bingham (1)
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 17th, 1862 AD (1)
February 18th, 1861 AD (1)
February 15th (1)
16th (1)
11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: