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[156] in person, to move forward with my command to the support of Gen. McClernand, who had been engaged with the enemy in the morning, Passing along the central road leading to the breastworks, half a mile, I met and passed the column of Gen. McClernand retreating. Moving my men at double — quick, we were soon between the forces of Gen. McClernand and the enemy, who was rapidly approaching. On arriving at a small opening in the timber, I filed in to the right, crossing the ravine and ascending the hill, placed Col. Lynch's Fifty-eighth regiment on the right slope of the hill. The Chicago battery, Lieut. Wood, taking position, by direction of the General, in the road, the Nebraska regiment, Lieut.-Col. McCord, was placed immediately on the right of the battery, on the line of the Fifty-eighth Illinois. A detached company of the Thirty-second Illinois, company A, Capt. Davidson, occupied the position next to the battery on the left. The Fifty-eighth Ohio were in position on the left of this company. The line of battle was thus formed across the road, at right angles with it. The Seventy--sixth Ohio was placed some fifty yards in the rear of the First Nebraska, and directed to lie upon the ground, as a reserve. The Forty — sixth and Fifty--seventh Illinois were also held in reserve on the road, in the rear, ready and anxious for the fight. Col. Steadman's Sixty-eighth Ohio were stationed on a road on the left, leading to the Fort. In this position we had not long to wait for the enemy, who soon approached with a battery supported by a large body of infantry. Lieut. Wood immediately commenced an effective fire with his battery, which was instantly returned by the enemy. The extreme left of the First Nebraska, resting on the battery, under orders previously given, at once opened a well-directed fire, which rapidly extended along the line to its right. This regiment continued an almost incessant discharge of musketry for three quarters of an hour, the battery continuing its firing at the same time, when the enemy were completely repulsed and fled. Nothing but the thick underbrush prevented a charge with the bayonet. The enemy made an effort three times to push forward through our lines, but were as often driven back.

Col. Cruft's brigade was engaged on my right in the direction of the river with the enemy's forces, who were endeavoring to outflank his right. The enemy approaching the centre of our lines where my brigade was posted, evidently shows that it was his intention to open his way through and unite with the forces that should outflank Col. Cruft; but in both these attempts he was overcome and forced to retreat.

I have since learned from the enemy that his force in the engagement which I have described, in addition to his battery, was three regiments of infantry and a squadron of horse, which were repulsed by one regiment of our infantry, the First Nebraska, and the Chicago battery. The enemy also admit a large number of killed and wounded in this action. The Nebraska regiment had but three killed and seven wounded. The enemy poured volley after volley upon us, but fortunately aimed too high to do much execution. The Nebraska regiment being the only one engaged at this time, I was with it during the action, and am pleased to be able to say that every officer and soldier behaved very gallantly throughout. I cannot omit to speak, in high terms, of the soldierly bearing and efficient conduct of Lieut.-Col. McCord and Major Livingston, during the engagement.

Col. Wood and his regiment were also exposed to the full fire of the enemy, and their position was rendered the more trying as I had directed them. not to fire until ordered forward for that purpose, if the emergency should arise, which, however, was not necessary.

In the afternoon, Col. Lynch was sent forward with his regiment, to the assistance of our forces who were engaged on the right, where Gen. Wallace, with a part of his division, had encountered the enemy, and who drove them back within their intrenchments, recovering the ground lost in the morning. Col. Davis moved forward and took position on the road in front. The other regiments of the brigade remained in the positions occupied by them during the engagement, and camped there that night. The next morning at daylight, (Sunday,) on receiving orders from Gen. Wallace, I moved my command over to the road on the right, and passed down the road to the base of the hill, leading to the fortifications, where the line was formed in connection with our other forces, with the intention of storming the works; but before this could be attempted, the enemy surrendered.

Not having received reports from the different regiments under my command during the battle, I am not able to submit a detailed report of its casualties.

I must acknowledge the efficient services, in the prompt execution of orders, of S. A. Strickland, my A. A. A. General; my aids-de-camp, Capt. Allen Blacker and Lieut. Chas. E. Provost.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

John M. Thayer. Colonel First Nebraska, Commanding Third Brigade, Third Division, Department of West-Tennessee.
To Capt. Fred. Knefler, A. A.A. General, Third Division.

Colonel Hayne's report.

headquarters Forty-Eighth Illinois Volunteers, Fort Donelson, February 17, 1862.
Brig.-Gen. John A. McClernand, Commanding First Division Illinois Volunteers:
sir: On the morning of the thirteenth of February inst., I became temporarily detached from the brigade under W. H. L. Wallace, having, about the time the brigade was ready to move from their camp-grounds of the preceding night, received orders to remain where the regiment had encamped, for the purpose of supporting a battery which had been planted immediately in front of the centre of the Forty-eighth Illinois volunteers, under my command. In obedience to this order, I remained with the battery, whilst the remainder of the brigade moved to the eastward. During the time I was thus detached, your orders

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