incidents of the surrender — appearance of the battle field, &c.
A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial
, writing from Dover, Tenn.
, February 18, gives a long account of the surrender of Fort Donelson
, and indulges in a good deal of romance for the entertainment of his Yankee readers.
We copy a portion of his remarks:
I had proceeded up our lines about two miles, and within a line of the rebel works, when cheer after cheer made all the forest ring again.
In a few moments two horsemen came down the bill at a rate of speed not outdone upon the Long Island
race course, with the intelligence that two white flags, the signal for an unconditional surrender, had just been raised upon the highest point of the rebel fortification, I hastened on to join the 58th, and found them just entering the first of the enemy's works.
Before reaching the point where the Parrot guns were placed on Saturday morning. I found an enfilading battery had been placed under cover of a thick undergrowth, to repel any charge which might be made upon the Parrot guns.
That battery had done fearful work — the small trees within its range were cleared off, almost without an exception from three to four feet from the ground.
Before passing inside the first of the rebel works where the Fifty-eighth had just raised our flag, saw twenty or thirty yards outside the works three dead bodies laid by an extinguished camp fire, all of them more or less burned.
They were probably killed by a shell from one of our Parrot guns, and had fallen in the fire.
The face of one of them was perfectly charted.
He lay upon his back with his arms and legs extended, his head among the ashes, turned backward nearly under his body — his neck being broken and some of the bones protruding through the roasted skin and flesh.
Another was burned upon both legs and one arm, till the parts looked like roasted beef.
The third had his mouth mashed, apparently by the fragment of a shell, considerable portions of his clothing being burned off. A few rods distant, in different directions, lay four other dead bodies.
One of them held in his hand a small pocket almanac.
Across a ravine upon a hill to the right of the earthworks was the camp of a Mississippi regiment.
The men were gathered in little groups all over their camp, with their arms in their hands, in a perfect state of consternation. --Col. Bausenwein
ordered the prisoners to fall into line and deliver up their arms.
The men came forward and piled up their guns — of all descriptions, like those at Somerset
. --In this camp there was about a cord
of guns and two or three bushels
Passing a little to the north of the last-named camp was the camp of the Issaquah Artillery
, from Louisiana
This was really a fine looking, well-uniformed set of men. Their uniform, like all their artillery, was of light gray, with red trimmings, their caps having a wide, red band.
The three officers in charge of this battery were Lieuts. Spencer
, of Mississippi
, and Lieut. Wilson
, of Georgia
They delivered their horses and swords to Lieut. Col. Rempel
; also, the six fine field pieces, together with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging.
I found the above named officers well raised, gentlemanly fellows.
was quite sullen, and said he considered their army had been sold by Floyd
I told him I had no doubt his disposition was good enough to do a thing of that kind, as the aforesaid gentleman had drove a most flourishing trade in stealing, which I considered only the first degree of rebellion.
said he hoped we might get him, as they had no further use for him. These men were respectful and even genteel in their conversation, till I expressed the hope that they might soon become good Union men when Lieutenant Gibson
replied, ‘"I hope, by G — d, when that takes place that I may die."’ This was the battery which fired upon us on Saturday morning. I commended their skill in gunnery, and stated the fact that they had come near killing me and my friend Colonel Rempel
. One of them asked if we were the two gentlemen who were on horseback their battery.
I told him we were.
‘"Well sir,"’ and he, ‘"I pointed that gun directly for you, and I congratulate you that you are alive."’ Lieutenant Wilson
said, ‘"I fired the gun, and am d — d sorry I didn't kill you."’
When the Tennessee
prisoners were in line, many little incidents of an amusing character took place; one of which I will relate.
I said to them, ‘"Gentlemen, what could ever have induced you to fight against that old flag?"’ A pleasant looking old Irishman quickly replied, ‘"Please yer honor, what made you fight against the new flag?
Tell me that now. "’ Well knowing that Pat
would have the last word, I passed.
* * * * * * * *
I have talked with prisoners who were in the affair at Fort Henry
, who say that our gunboats did no damage here, compared with what they did at that place.
At Fort Henry
the country is level, and there was nothing to interfere with their range — while here they could do nothing only at very short range or too long range, on account of the peculiarities of the location.
It was supposed that mortars would be necessary before the work was done, and they were accordingly sent for, but did not arrive till Sunday night--the day of the surrender.
Visit to the battle-field.
A correspondent of the Chicago Times
, Feb. 17.--I was invited on Sunday morning by Gen. McClernand
to take a ride over the battle-field.
It would be difficult to describe in a few words the scenes which have met my view.
The battle ground was chiefly confined to the space outside the rebel fortifications, extending up the river bank a distance of two miles, to the point where Gen. McClernand
's forces rallied from the retirement which they were at first forced into by the impetuous charge of the enemy.
It must be remembered that it was here that the grand was made by the rebels up the river bank, with the intention of turning our right bank and cutting their way out. Some ten or twelve thousand men composed the force sent out for this purpose.
They advanced under cover of a deadly fire of artillery, and steadily drove Gen. McClernand
's force before them a distance of fifty or sixty reds.
Our troops here made a stand, and having been reinforced by one or two regiments, began the assault, before which the enemy were forced to retreat.
The ground was contested with desperation, and the slaughter on both sides was immense.
The whole space of two miles was strewed with dead, who lay in every imaginable shape and form.
Federals and Rebels were promiscuously mingled, sometimes grappling in the fierce death-throe, sometimes facing each other as they gave and received the fatal shot or thrust, sometimes lying across one another, and again heaped in piles which lay six or seven feet deep.
I could imagine nothing more terrible than the silent indications of agony that marked the features of the pale corpses which lay at every step.
Though dead and rigid in every muscle, they still writhed and seemed to turn to catch the passing breeze for a cooling breath.
Starting eyes, gaping mouths, clenched hands, and strangely contracted limbs, seemingly dragging into the smallest compass, as if by a mighty effort to rend asunder some irresistible bend which held them down to the torture of which they died.
One sat against a tree, and, with mouth and eyes wide open; looked up into the sky as if to catch a glance at its fleeting spirit.
Another clutched the branch of an overhanging tree, and hung half suspended, as in the death pang he raised himself partly from the ground; the other hand grasped this faithful musket, and the compression of the mouth told for the determination which would have been fatal to a foe had life bind a minute later.
A third clung with both hands to a bayonet which was buried in the ground, in the act of striking for the heart of a rebel foe. Great numbers lay in heaps, just as the fire of the artillery mowed them down, mangling their forms into an almost undistinguishable mass.
Many of our men had evidently fallen victims to the rebel sharpshooters, for they were pierced through the head by rifle bullets, some in the forehead, some in the eyes, others in the bridge of the nose, in the cheeks, and in the mouth.
This circumstance verified a statement made to me by a rebel officer among the prisoners, that their men were trained to shoot low and aim for the face, while ours, and general thing, fired at random, and shot over their heads.
The enemy in their retreat, carried off their wounded and a great many of their dead, so that ours far outnumbered them on the field.
The scene of action had been mostly in the woods, although there were two open places of an acre or two where the fight had raged furiously and the ground was covered with dead.
All the way up to their entrenchments the same scene of death was presented.
There were two miles of dead strewn thickly, mingled with firearms, artillery, dead horses, and the paraphernalia of the battle field.
It was a scene never to be forgotten — never to be described.
The captured Confederates.
We subjoin the Yankee
statement of the forces captured at Fort Donelson
by way of preface, that it exceeds by several regiments the list published in the Memphis Appeal
of the 21st, which is said to be authentic:
Brigadier-General B. R. Johnston
Third Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Brown
Tenth Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Helman
Eighteenth Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Palman
, of on.
Thirtieth Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Head
Thirty-second Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Cook
Forty-ninth Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Bailey
Fiftieth Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Sugg
Fifty-first Tennessee regiment of infantry, Col. Brouder
regiment of infantry, Col. Billard
regiment of infantry, Col. Voorhees
regiment of infantry, Col. Abernathey
regiment of infantry, Col. Quaries
regiment of infantry, Col. Varqueson
First Mississippi regiment of infantry, Lt.
, Col. Hamilton
Third Mississippi regiment of infantry, Lieut. Col. Wills
Fourth Mississippi regiment of infantry, Col. Drake
Twentieth Mississippi regiment of infantry, Colonel
regiment of infantry, Col. Reynolds
regiment of infantry, Major Garwin
regiment of infantry, Col. Hughes
regiment of infantry, Col. Cook
Fourteenth Mississippi regiment of infantry, Col. Baldwin
Seventh Texas regiment of infantry, Col. Gregg
Second Kentucky regiment of infantry, Col. Hanson
Eighth Kentucky regiment of infantry, Lt. Col. Lyon
regiment of infantry, Col. Lee
's battalion of infantry.
Battalion Fourth Alabama, Col. Combs
Four detached companies of infantry.
cavalry, Col. Grant
cavalry, Col. Forrest
, 800 strong.
Eight batteries light artillery.
's Virginia brigade, consisting of the 36th, 50th, 51st, and 56th, in all 2,500 strong, and a thousand or fifteen hundred stragglers, escaped.