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[169] It was apprehended that their recent achievements at Fort Henry would be repeated at Donelson, and it was natural that the commanding general should make every other interest subservient to the efficiency of the heavy batteries. The river defenses consisted of two batteries. The upper one was on the river bank immediately abreast of the earthworks; It was crescent shaped, and contained one 32-pound calibre rifle gun and two 32-pounder carronades. The other battery was some hundred and fifty yards lower down and consisted of eight 32-pounders and one 10-inch Columbiad. This lower battery, although essentially a straight line, ran en echelon to the left over the point of a hill that made down obliquely from the earthworks to the river, with the right piece resting on the brink of the river bank, and the Columbiad over in the valley of a stream, emptying into the river, some hundred and fifty yards lower down. The back water in this stream protected the batteries from a direct assault. About nine hundred yards below the lower battery, a floating abattis was placed in the river for the purpose of preventing the passage of boats. This was done by anchoring full length trees by the roots and allowing the tops to float. In ordinary stages of water this might have offered some impediment, but at the time of the attack the river was very high and the boats passed over without the least halt or break in their line of approach.

In all the accounts that I have seen from the Federal side, the armament of the water batteries is over-estimated. Flag-Officer Foot reports that there must have been about twenty heavy guns, and General Lew Wallace places it at seventeen. Admiral Walke, while correctly stating the number in the lower battery, is in error in claiming that the upper was about the same in strength.

On the morning of the 12th of February the finishing touches were put to the Columbiad, and the batteries were pronounced ready for gunboats, whereupon Lieutenant Dixon proceeded to the assignment of the guns. Captain R. R. Ross, of the Maury Company Light Artillery, whose company had been ordered to heavy batteries by General Pillow, was placed in command of the rifle gun and the two carronades. Captain Beaumont's company, A, Fiftieth Tennessee, and Captain Bidwell's company, Thirtieth Tennessee, worked the 32-pounders, and the Columbiad was turned over to my command, with a detachment of twenty men under Lieutenant Sparkman, from Captain Ross's company, to work it. I received private instructions to continue the firing with blank cartridges, in the event the gun should dismount itself in action. The drill officers, Lieutenants Mc-

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