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[140] in a position chosen by himself. Though strongly fortified by nature, all the additional safeguards suggested by science were added. Without a murmur this was borne, prepared at all times to receive an attack, and with continuous skirmishing by day, resulting ultimately in forcing the enemy to surrender without conditions.

The victory achieved is not only great in the effect it will have in breaking down rebellion, but has secured the greatest number of prisoners of war ever taken in any battle on this continent.

Fort Donelson will hereafter be marked in capitals on the map of our united country, and the men who fought the battle will live in the memory of a grateful people.

By order

U. S. Grant, Brigadier-General Commanding.

Report of Col. Webster.

The preparations made by the enemy for the defence of this position were very extensive. A complete and accurate survey of the works and vicinity would require more means and time than can now be commanded.

The water batteries, (upper and lower,) which were intended to subserve the primary object of the position, the control of the river navigation, were well located for the purpose.

At the lower and principal one were mounted nine pieces--eight thirty-two-pounders and a ten-inch columbiad. At the upper, one gun of the extensive form and dimensions for a ten-inch columbiad, but bored as a thirty-two-pounder and rifled, and two thirty — two--pound carronades. Both these batteries are sunken or excavated in the hillside. In the lower, strong traverses are left between the guns to secure them against an enfilading fire. The elevation above the water, say thirty feet at the time of the gunboat attack, gave them a fine command of the river, and made the task of attacking them in front an arduous one. The range of the guns in arc was, however, quite limited.

The main fort was in the rear of these batteries, occupying a high range cloven by a deep gorge opening toward the south. The outworks consisted in the main of what have come to be called rifle-pits — shallow ditches, the earth from which is thrown to the point, affording them a shelter from the fire of the attack.

Along the front of this extensive line, the trees had been felled, and the brush cut and bent over breast high, making a wide abattis very difficult to pass through. The line run along a ridge, cut through by several ravines running toward the river. The hill-side rises by abrupt ascents to a height of perhaps seventy-five or eighty feet.

Our army approached the place with very little knowledge of its topography. Our first line of battle was formed on the twelfth instant, in some open fields opposite the enemy's centre. On the thirteenth we were established on a line of heights in general parallelism with the enemy's outworks, and extending a distance of over three miles.

Various elevations and spurs of the hills afforded position for our artillery, from which we annoyed the enemy, but which were not of such commanding character as to enable us to achieve decided results. The ranges were long and the thick woods prevented clear sight.

During the next two days our lines were gradually extended to the right and left, our skirmishers thrown out in front, keeping up an active and, as we since learn, an effective fire upon the enemy's outworks. On the thirteenth, a gallant charge was made against the enemy, and was probably only prevented from being successful by the fall of the colonel leading it, who was seriously wounded.

Up to the fifteenth our operations had been chiefly those of investment, but we had not gained a position from which our artillery could be advantageously used against the main fort. On the fifteenth the enemy, seeming to grow uncomfortable under the constricting process, came out of his intrenchments and attacked our right with great force and determination, achieving considerable success in the forenoon. This active movement necessitated active retaliation. On the left wing an attack was ordered on the outworks, and the right was reenforced and ordered to retake the ground lost in the morning. How well both orders were executed, need not be stated. On the right our former position was regained and passed, and on the left a successful assault gave us possession of a position within the enemy's lines, and opened the way to a still better one, which nightfall alone prevented us from occupying with our rifled artillery, which would readily have commanded the enemy's main works.

This repulse from the ground so hardly won in the forenoon, and probably still more our possession of a vantage gained within their lines, induced the enemy to capitulate on the morning of the sixteenth.

J. D. Webster, Chief of Staff.

Report of General Lewis Wallace.

headquarters Third division U. S. Forces, District of West-Tennessee Fort Henry, February 20, 1862.
Capt. John A. Rawlins, Asst. Adjt.-Gen. U. S. Forces, District of West-Tennessee:
sir: A report of the action of my division before Fort Donelson has been delayed from various causes. I submit it to the General as speedily as possible.

The Third division assigned to me, consisted of the Thirty-first Indiana, Lieut.--Col. Osborn commanding; Seventeenth Kentucky, Col. John H. McHenry; Forty-fourth Indiana, Col. Hugh B. Reed; and the Twenty-fifth Kentucky, Col. James M. Shackelford, all constituting the First brigade, Col. Charles Cruft commanding. Also the First Nebraska, Lieut.-Col. McCord; Seventy-sixth Ohio, Col. Woods; Fifty-eighth Ohio, Col. Steadman, constituting the Third brigade, Col. John M. Thayer commanding. A brigade numbered “Second” in the order, was not formed together, as an organization, before or after the

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