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Chapter 2:

Gen. George B. Crittenden, commanding the Confederate forces in east Tennessee, under date of January 18, 1862, advised Gen. A. S. Johnston from his camp at Beech Grove, Ky., on the north side of the Cumberland river, that he was threatened ‘by a superior force of the enemy in front, and finding it impossible to cross the river, I will have to make the fight on the ground I now occupy.’ He had under his command 4,000 effective men in two brigades: The First, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer, was composed of the Fifteenth Mississippi, Lieut.-Col. E. C. Walthall; Nineteenth Tennessee, Col. D. H. Cummings; Twentieth Tennessee, Col. Joel A. Battle; Twenty-fifth Tennessee, Col. S. S. Stanton; Rutledge's battery of four guns, Capt. A. M. Rutledge, and two companies of cavalry commanded by Captains Saunders and Bledsoe. The Second brigade, commanded by Brig.-Gen. William H. Carroll, was composed of the Seventeenth Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Miller; Twenty-eighth Tennessee, Col. John P. Murray; Twenty-ninth Tennessee, Col. Samuel Powell; two guns of McClung's battery, Captain McClung; Sixteenth Alabama, Col. W. B. Wood, and the cavalry battalions of Lieutenant-Colonel Brauner and Lieut.-Col. George Mc-Clellan. The movement to the north of the Cumberland [16] was made by General Zollicoffer without the approval of General Johnston. In a dispatch to the latter, dated December 10, 1861, Zollicoffer said: ‘I infer from yours that I should not have crossed the river, but it is now too late. My means of recrossing is so limited, I could hardly accomplish it in the face of the enemy.’

General Crittenden united his two brigades, and after consulting with their commanders, decided to attack the enemy. Soon after daylight on the 19th of January, the advance was made, and after a march of nine miles, Zollicoffer in front formed his command and made the attack with the Nineteenth Tennessee. This gallant regiment charged into the woods, driving the Tenth Indiana regiment, when General Zollicoffer, under a fatal misapprehension, rode up and ordered Colonel Cummings to cease firing, believing that the attack was upon one of his own regiments. He then advanced as if to give an order, and was killed just as he discovered his mistake. This caused the Nineteenth to break its line and fall back. The Twenty-fifth Tennessee had also engaged the enemy, and Colonel Stanton was wounded and disabled at the head of the regiment which now, impressed with the same idea which had proved fatal to the brigade commander, that it was firing on friends, broke its line and fell back. Colonel Cummings, senior colonel, assumed command of the brigade; the Fifteenth Mississippi and Twentieth Tennessee were moved into action, and Carroll's brigade coming up, a general advance was made. General Crittenden in his report of the battle says: ‘Very soon the enemy began to gain ground on our left,’ when General Carroll, who was at that point, ordered ‘the Nineteenth Tennessee, now commanded by Lieut.-Col. Frank Walker, to meet this movement of the enemy, and moved the Seventeenth Tennessee to its support. The Twenty-eighth, Twenty-fifth and Nineteenth Tennessee were driven back by the enemy, and while reforming in the rear of the Seventeenth Tennessee, that well-disciplined [17] regiment met and held in check the entire right wing of the Northern army. For an hour now the Fifteenth Mississippi and Twentieth Tennessee had been struggling with the superior forces of the enemy.’ Their valor was heroic. These regiments only abandoned their position when the forces on the left retired and exposed them to a destructive flank fire; the Twenty-ninth Tennessee came to their rescue and checked the flank movement for a time with a raking fire at thirty paces. It was here that Colonel Powell was badly wounded. Valuable service was rendered at this critical moment by the Sixteenth Alabama, but the battle was lost after three hours of fighting. Owing to the formation of the field the Confederates were unable to use artillery; the rain which was falling rendered useless the flint-lock muskets, with which more than half of them were armed; and the death of General Zollicoffer and the peculiar circumstances attending it were very demoralizing to the troops. General Crittenden retreated without molestation from the enemy to his original camp, and during the night fell back to the south side of the Cumberland river, abandoning from necessity his artillery, ammunition, wagons, horses and stores of every description. General Thomas had in action, or in striking distance, the Ninth, Fourteenth, Seventeenth, Thirty-first and Thirty-eighth Ohio regiments; the Second Minnesota, Tenth Indiana, Carter's Tennessee brigade, Tenth and Twelfth Kentucky regiments, Wolford's cavalry, and Kenny's, Wetmore's and Standarts' batteries. General Crittenden reported his loss at 125 killed, 309 wounded, 99 missing. Of this loss the Twentieth Tennessee had 33 killed, 59 wounded; Fifteenth Mississippi, 44 killed, 153 wounded; Nineteenth Tennessee, 10 killed, 22 wounded; Twenty-fifth Tennessee, 10 killed, 28 wounded; Seventeenth Tennessee, I killed, 25 wounded; Twenty-eighth Tennessee, 3 killed, 4 wounded; Twenty-ninth Tennessee, 5 killed, 12 wounded; Sixteenth Alabama, 9 killed, 5 wounded. General [18] Thomas reported his loss at 39 killed, 207 wounded.

The State of Tennessee echoed the words of General Crittenden when he reported the death of General Zollicoffer: ‘In counsel he has always shown wisdom, and in battle braved dangers, while coolly directing the movements of his troops.’ He was a statesman and soldier, and all lamented his death, as well as that of his accomplished aide-de-camp, Henry R. M. Fogg, Lieut. Bailie Peyton, of the Twentieth Tennessee, and others whose names were not reported.

Soon following this disaster, on the right of the Confederate line established by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, occurred the loss of the forts which commanded the lower Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

The engagement at Fort Henry lasted two hours and ten minutes. Brig.-Gen. Lloyd Tilghman was in command of the Confederate forces, consisting of 2,610 officers and men of all arms. Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding an army of 16,000 men, had landed at Bailey's ferry, four miles below Fort Henry, on the 4th of February, 1862, and proceeded with the investment of the fort, awaiting its reduction by Flag-Officer A. H. Foote. The squadron commanded by the latter, composed of the ironclad gunboats Cincinnati, the flagship Essex, the Carondelet, the St. Louis, the Conestoga, the Tyler and the Lexington, armed with 54 heavy guns, steamed up to within 1,700 yards of the fort, and at thirty minutes past noon of the 6th, the fire was opened and responded to by the eleven guns of the fort. The distance between the fort and fleet was reduced to 1,200 yards and soon to 600. The most available gun in the fort in a short time burst and disabled every man at the piece. Soon the vent of the only 10-inch columbiad was closed and rendered useless, leaving nothing for defense except the ordinary 32-pounders.

At this juncture General Tilghman ordered Col. A. Heiman, Tenth Tennessee, the next officer in rank, to [19] retire to Fort Donelson with the entire command, leaving with himself only Capt. Jesse Taylor's artillery company of Tennesseeans, who manned the heavy guns. Captain Taylor's company had fifty men present for duty, with Lieutenants West and Miller. The captain, a native of Lexington, Tenn., was an officer of skill and courage, and the result of the battle with the Federal fleet shows how well his guns were served. Thirty-one shots struck and disabled the flagship Cincinnati, killing 1 and wounding 9; the Essex received 22 shots, one of which passed through the ship, opening one of her boilers, disabling 28 of her crew, and taking off the head of the captain's aide; the St. Louis was struck seven times, and the Carondelet six times. Flag-Officer Foote, in his report of the attack on Fort Henry, states that it ‘was defended with most determined gallantry,’ and that it was surrendered after seven of the eleven guns had been disabled. During the fight General Tilghman himself served one of the guns, and his gallant bearing was an inspiration to Captain Taylor's company. In his official report he makes honorable mention of the officers and men of the company, and states that ‘Lieutenant Watts is the coolest officer under fire I ever saw.’ Taylor's casualties amounted to 16 killed and wounded.

The location of Fort Henry was unfortunate, and at the date of the attack the high water in the Tennessee river had surrounded and separated it from the outside line of works. The forces were entirely inadequate for its defense, and General Tilghman made the best defense possible. He maintained it long enough to enable Colonel Heiman to escape with the forces, and sacrificed himself and Captain Taylor's company of Tennesseeans.

General Grant invested Fort Donelson on the 12th of February, 1862, with 15,000 troops, reinforced that evening by six regiments of infantry and Flag-Officer Foote's fleet of four ironclad and two wooden gunboats—the St. Louis, Carondelet, Louisville, Pittsburg, Tyler and [20] Conestoga. Reinforcements continued to arrive. Wallace's division was brought over from Fort Henry, 10,000 men were sent by General Buell, and the Confederate lines were enveloped by 24,000 troops. General Buckner states, in his report, that at the close of the attack Grant's forces exceeded 50,000. Brig.-Gen. John B. Floyd, of Virginia, commanded the Confederate forces, amounting to 12,000 men. General Pillow commanded the left, General Buckner the right.

The Tennesseeans present were, the Third Tennessee, Col. John C. Brown; Eighteenth, Col. Jos. B. Palmer; Twenty-sixth, Col. John M. Lillard; Thirty-second, Col. Ed. C. Cook; Forty-first, Col. Robert Farquharson; Tenth, Col. A. Heiman; Forty-second, Col. W. A. Quarles; Thirtieth, Col. John W. Head; Forty-ninth, Col. James E. Bailey; Forty-eighth, Col. W. M. Voorhees; Tennessee battalion, Colonel Browder; Fiftieth, Colonel Sugg; five companies of infantry, Col. S. H. Colms; Fifty-third, Col. Alfred H. Abernathy; Forrest's regiment of cavalry, Col. N. B. Forrest; Ninth battalion of cavalry, Lieut.-Col. George Gantt; Maney's light battery of four guns, Capt. Grant Maney; Green's battery, Captain Green; Porter's battery, six guns, Capt. Thomas Kennedy Porter. The heavy guns were commanded by Capt. J. H. Dixon; one battery of 32-pounders, one rifle gun, one 10-inch columbiad and two howitzers were commanded by Capt. R. R. Ross; Capt. B. G. Bidwell, Thirtieth Tennessee infantry, was assigned to a battery of four 32-pounders; Capt. T. W. Beaumont, Company A, Fiftieth Tennessee infantry, had charge of a battery of four 32-pounders, and a battery of eight 32-pounders was commanded by Capt. Jacob Culbertson. Brig.-Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, Brig.-Gen. Simon B. Buckner and Brig.-Gen. Bushrod R. Johnson commanded the troops, General Floyd in chief command. The Tennessee brigade commanders were Col. A. Heiman, Col. John C. Brown and Col. James E. Bailey, the latter commanding [21] the garrison of the fort; Col. N. B. Forrest commanded the cavalry.

The investment of Fort Donelson and the works occupied by the Confederate forces was complete by the afternoon of the 12th of February, and on the 13th an unsuccessful assault was made on Bushrod Johnson's left wing. It was met gallantly and repulsed by the Tenth Tennessee, Lieut.-Col. R. W. MacGavock; the Fifty-third Tennessee, Lieut.-Col. Thomas F. Winston; the Forty-eighth Tennessee, Col. W. M. Voorhees; the Forty-second Tennessee, Col. W. A. Quarles, and Maney's battery. General Johnson and Colonel Heiman both commended in high terms the conduct of the men who met this attack. After a second and third assault, the enemy retired, leaving his dead and wounded on the field. He had met three bloody repulses. The principal sufferer on the part of Heiman's brigade was Maney's battery; it was fought without protection and with skill and courage, but his loss, chiefly from sharpshooters, was such that he was afterward unable to man two of his four guns. Colonel Brown, commanding brigade, reports that pending this engagement of two hours duration, ‘the enemy planted one section of a battery (of field guns) almost in front of Captain Graves, commanding a Kentucky battery, and opened an enfilading fire upon the left of my line, and at the same time a cross-fire upon Colonel Heiman. Captain Graves, handling his favorite rifle piece with the same fearless courage that characterized his conduct during the entire week, in less than ten minutes knocked one of the enemy's guns from its carriage, and almost at the same moment the gallant Porter (commanding battery) disabled and silenced the other, while the supporting infantry retreated precipitately before the storm of grape and canister poured into their ranks from both batteries.’ Two hours before this assault on Heiman's brigade, General Buckner reports, ‘the enemy made a vigorous attack on Hanson's position (the Second Kentucky, [22] Col. Roger W. Hanson), but was repulsed with heavy loss. The attack was subsequently renewed by three heavy regiments, but was again repulsed by the Second Kentucky, aided by a part of the Eighteenth Tennessee (Colonel Palmer). In both of these affairs, also in a third repulse of the enemy from the same position, Porter's battery played a conspicuous part.’ Col. Roger Hanson, in his report of this action, states that ‘in resisting these attacks I was greatly assisted by Porter's battery upon the left. It always fired at the right time and to the right place.’

General Grant had so far failed to accomplish anything with his army. On the 14th the main attack was made with the enemy's gunboats. Flag-Officer A. H. Foote, United States navy, reported that the action continued one hour and a half, and that ‘in the latter part of the action his fleet was less than 400 yards from the fort.’ ‘The wheel of-this vessel [the flagship], by a shot through her pilot-house, was carried away, and the tiller-ropes of the Louisville also disabled by a shot, which rendered the two boats wholly unmanageable. They then drifted down the river. The two remaining boats, the Pittsburg and Carondelet, were also greatly damaged between wind and water, and soon followed us, the enemy rapidly renewing the fire as we drifted helplessly down the river. This vessel, the St. Louis, alone received 59 shots, four between wind and water, and one in the pilot-house, mortally wounding the pilot and others. There were 54 killed and wounded’ on the several vessels.

Capt. Joseph H. Dixon, an officer of great intelligence and courage, was killed on the evening of the 13th when a few shots were exchanged between the fleet and fort. One shot came through the embrasure, striking the left cheek of one of the gun-carriages out of which a screw bolt was driven, striking him in the forehead, killing him instantly. This was the only casualty sustained by the [23] batteries. Colonel Bailey's brigade constituted the garrison of the fort and rendered great assistance to the gunners.

No battle or combat of the war was more decided than that between the heavy batteries and the Federal fleet, and there were no higher intelligence and gallantry displayed on any field of service than that exhibited by Captains Dixon, Culbertson, Ross, Beaumont, Bidwell and Graham. Lieutenants Stankiewitz, Fitzgerald, Sparkman, Bedford, George Martin and W. C. Alien were honorably mentioned. Captain Culberson reported that ‘our success is mainly attributed’ to Lieut. H. S. Bedford, who directed the 10-inch gun. Captain Bidwell, referring to Private John G. Frequa (or Fuqua) in his report, stated that ‘at the highest gun in my battery he stood perfectly upright, calm, cool and collected. I heard him say, “Now, boys, see me take a chimney.” The chimney [of the vessel] and the flag both fell. Very soon he sent a ball through a porthole and the boat fell back.’ Captain Beaumont makes honorable mention of Major Robertson, who volunteered to serve one of his guns; also of Sergt. J. S. Martin, Corps. W. H. Proctor and Dan C. Lyle, and of Privates Elisha Downs, Poston Couts, Nelson Davis, Isaac Christie, Wm. Trotter, Thomas Pearce and R. M. Crumpler. But no duty was omitted by officers or men, and Tennessee will always hold in grateful memory the prowess of her sons who manned the heavy guns in the defense of Fort Donelson.

On the 15th of February a combined attack was made by the two divisions commanded by Generals Pillow and Buckner. General Pillow led the left to the attack, soon followed by the right. Pillow's division constituted two-thirds of the army. The battle raged from daylight to 1 o'clock and to that hour was a great success. It was won by the troops of all of the States. Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, all shared alike in the glory of the achievement. The object of this [24] attack is stated in the report of General Floyd to have been, as the result of a consultation with the officers of divisions and brigades, ‘to dislodge the enemy from the position on our left, and thus to pass our people into the open country.’

Col. John G. Brown reported that when his brigade moved out on Saturday morning it ‘was provided with three days cooked rations and marched with knapsacks, the purpose being to turn the enemy's right wing and march out on the Wynn's Ferry road to fall back on Nashville.’ After several fierce combats in cooperation with the left division he reports that he ‘led the Third, Eighteenth and Thirty-second Tennessee across an open field on the right of Wynn's Ferry road under the fire of a battery posted on that road.’ The infantry support retreated, leaving one section of the battery in his hands. He pursued the retreating forces. After this another fierce combat ensued, but after the firing of a few volleys of musketry the enemy abandoned the field, leaving 800 killed and wounded. In this last combat Colonel Brown was reinforced by the Fourteenth Mississippi regiment and Graves' battery. The brigade lost 50 in killed and wounded, among them Col. Thomas M. Gordon of the Third, wounded, and the accomplished Lieut.-Col. W. P. Moore, mortally wounded.

General Pillow, leaving Heiman's brigade in the trenches, with the balance of the left division, assisted by Forrest's cavalry, engaged the enemy hotly for two hours and succeeded in driving him back on Buckner's division. Forrest's cavalry charged the infantry support of and captured a battery composed of four field pieces and two 24-pounders. Gen. Bushrod Johnson, of Tennessee, always reliable and strong in battle, contributed largely to the success of the movement. His command became united with the forces of General Buckner as the enemy retired, as General Pillow reports, ‘and engaged the enemy in a hot contest of nearly one hour, with large [25] forces of fresh troops that had now met us. This position of the enemy being carried by our joint forces, I called off further pursuit after seven hours of continuous and bloody conflict, in which our loss was severe, and leaving not less than 1,000 of the enemy dead on the field.’ The object of this battle seemed to be accomplished, but our council of war was divided, and the troops were ordered to their original position in the intrenchments.

As Buckner returned he found the Federal forces of Gen. C. F. Smith advancing rapidly to take possession of his portion of our works, bravely opposed by Maj. James J. Turner of the Thirtieth Tennessee. He had a stubborn conflict lasting one hour and a half, resulting in the seizure of our extreme right. This position was in rear of the Confederate river batteries and field-work for their protection, and was the key to the Confederate situation. It took Buckner in reverse and necessitated the ultimate surrender of our forces. The position seized by the Federal forces had been occupied by the Second Kentucky. In the struggle to regain it, this gallant regiment was reinforced by the Eighteenth, the Third and Thirty-second Tennessee, and subsequently by the regiments of Colonels Quarles, Sugg and Bailey. General Buckner reported that ‘the enemy made repeated attempts to storm my line on the right, but the well-directed fire of Porter's and Graves' artillery, and the musketry fire of the infantry, repelled the attempts and forced him to shelter. Porter's battery, from its exposed position, lost more than half its gunners, and the intrepid commander was severely wounded late in the afternoon of Saturday, being succeeded in command by the gallant Lieutenant Morton.’

The artillery of Tennessee was especially conspicuous. Colonel Heiman reported that in the battle of the 13th, referring to Maney's battery. ‘First Lieutenant Burns was one of the first who fell. Second Lieutenant Massie was also mortally wounded, but the gallant Maney, with [26] the balance of his men, stood by their guns like true heroes.’ Generals Pillow and Bushrod Johnson warmly commended Captains Maney and Green; and General Floyd, commander-in-chief, in his report of the battle of the 13th, said: ‘Too high praise cannot be bestowed upon the battery of Captain Porter for their participation in the rout of the enemy in this assault. My position was immediately in front of the point of attack, and I was thus enabled to witness the incidents of it.’ Col. John C. Brown reported that Captains Porter and Graves ‘excited the admiration of the whole command by an exhibition of coolness and bravery, under a heavy fire from which they had no protection, which could not be excelled. Captain Porter fell dangerously wounded by a minie ball through his thigh while working one of his guns, his gunners being nearly all of them disabled or killed. The command then devolved upon Lieutenant Morton, a beardless youth, who stepped forward like an old veteran, and nobly did he emulate the example of his brave captain.’ Lieutenant Morton subsequently became distinguished as captain of Morton's battery of Forrest's cavalry.

Gen. N. B. Forrest, then colonel of Forrest's Tennessee cavalry, disputed the advance of General Grant on Fort Donelson with commendable enterprise and skill, no other obstacle being offered to the march from Fort Henry, and pending the engagement he was actively employed on the flanks of our army. Besides his own regiment, three mounted companies from Kentucky, commanded by Captains Williams, Wilcox and Henry, were assigned to his command, and gallantly assisted him. He also had assigned to him Gantt's Tennessee battalion. Forrest reported that he ‘charged two batteries of artillery, taking nine pieces of artillery with 4,000 stand of arms.’ He lost between 300 and 400 men, killed, wounded and missing, a greater loss than was sustained by any other regiment of the army. Among his killed was [27] Capt. Charles May, who fell leading his company to a charge on the enemy. Fort Donelson was the opening of a career to Forrest that carried his name and fame to the civilized world and yet excites the admiration of all who read of his personal prowess and heroic actions. He retired from Fort Donelson before its final surrender. General Floyd with his brigade, and General Pillow with his staff, left on a transport pending negotiations.

The Confederate forces amounted to 12,000 to 14,500 men. General Badeau, in his life of Grant, Vol. I, page 36, says, on the last day of the fight Grant had 27,000 men, and other reinforcements arrived after the surrender; but General Buckner believed that this was far below the number, and General Buell stated in 1865 that Grant had 30,000 to 35,000 exclusive of the naval contingent.

The Federal loss amounted to 2,500 killed, wounded and missing. The Confederate loss was about 1,420. On

Thursday there was a rainfall, followed by snow on Friday, with freezing weather, and by the evening of Saturday, the 15th, the men who had spent a week in the trenches without sleep and without fire to warm them, were worn out to such an extent that General Buckner decided he could not longer maintain himself, and surrendered the troops on the morning of the 16th. This was a great disappointment to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the department. On the 14th he telegraphed General Floyd: ‘If you lose the fort, bring your troops to Nashville, if possible.’ Roger Hanson in his report said that ‘up to the time (1 o'clock p. m. of the 15th) when we were ordered back to the trenches, our success was complete and our escape secure,’ but ‘our success’ was misleading and defeated the wishes of General Johnston.

Columbus, Ky., was still held by the Confederate troops, as well as New Madrid and Island No.10. Maj. John P. McCown was detached from Columbus, on the [28] 26th of February, 1862, and ordered to New Madrid, Mo., and placed in command. General Beauregard dispatched General Polk on the same day that the place ‘must be watched and held at all cost.’

Three days earlier Major-General Pope, of the Federal army, had assumed command of the army of the Mississippi, then concentrated at Commerce, Mo. This was made Pope's base of operations against New Madrid. In a week he was in motion, and on the 3d of March he was in front of New Madrid. At once he drove in the Confederate outposts and invested the place. General Pope reported his strength at 22,808 present for duty. His division commanders were Brig.-Gens. D. S. Stanley, Schuyler Hamilton, John M. Palmer, E. A. Paine, J. B. Plummer and Gordon Granger. Eleven batteries of artillery, and the Second and Third Michigan regiments of cavalry, over 2,000 strong, constituted a part of his army, to which was attached a flotilla brigade, under Col. N. B. Buford, 2,251 strong. Equipments, arms and ammunition were perfect.

To meet this well-appointed army, General McCown had 5,000 infantry and three companies of artillery. Brig.-Gen. A. P. Stewart, of Tennessee, was assigned to the command of the forces: Commodore Hollins, Confederate States navy, with five small wooden gunboats, was present under McCown's orders. New Madrid was defended by a small earthwork called Fort Thompson, in honor of Brig.-Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, of the Missouri State Guard. The work was garrisoned by the Eleventh and Twelfth Arkansas regiments of infantry, Stewart's Louisiana battery and Upton's Tennessee battery, commanded by Col. E. W. Gantt, Twelfth Arkansas regiment. Another work at the mouth of Bayou St. John was garrisoned by the Fifth and Fortieth Tennessee, two Arkansas regiments under Col. L. M. Walker, the First Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee regiments, and Bankhead's Tennessee battery. [29]

On the 4th of March the enemy made a demonstration in force on McCown's lines and was driven back by Hollins' fleet and our land batteries. On the 6th, Pope occupied Point Pleasant, twelve miles below, with infantry and artillery, fortified the place, and established a blockade of the river against transports. General McCown reported, under date of March 31st, that on the same day the enemy with ‘a white flag induced Capt. J. W. Dunnington (of Tennessee), commanding the gunboat Ponchartrain, to near the shore, when she was fired into by musketry, killing and wounding several.’ Skirmishing continued from day to day until the 13th, the enemy having made gradual approaches and planted batteries of heavy guns commanding Fort Thompson and the river. When convinced that the gunboats could not maintain a contest with land batteries, General McCown ordered the evacuation of New Madrid. A heavy rainstorm continued during the night and made the evacuation disorderly, and caused the abandonment of the heavy guns and a considerable quantity of quartermaster and commissary stores.

General Beauregard made demand for an explanation of the causes leading to the evacuation, and when the reports were submitted they were referred to Major Brent for examination, who reported on the 15th of April: ‘1, that the works at New Madrid could have held out longer, the enemy up to the date of the evacuation having been several times signally repulsed; 2, that disorder and confusion prevailed at Fort Thompson on the night of the 13th, the men were disinclined to obey orders, and orders were given apparently without authority; that sufficient means for transportation were not furnished; that part of the abandoned guns could have been saved.’ But nothing came of the investigation except to demonstrate the unfitness of the commander at Fort Thompson. The force under McCown was inadequate for the defense of New Madrid; and though General Beauregard considered [30] its maintenance and defense important, on the 15th of March he approved the projected evacuation. General McCown, in reporting the result to him, said: ‘The principal object I had in holding New Madrid was to possess a landing for reinforcements to fight the enemy should I receive them.’

Dr. W. S. Ball, medical director, Captain West, provost marshal, Lieutenant Robinson of Upton's battery, and one man were killed; Capt. William D. Hallum, of the Fifth Tennessee, and eight men were wounded. Hallum received a fearful wound, the ball passing through his neck, and was reported by McCown as killed, but he recovered in a short time, served throughout the war, and made an honorable record.

McCown, with his troops, transports, and Hollins' fleet, fell back to Tiptonville, on the Tennessee side of the river. General Stewart with his brigade was forwarded to Corinth and participated conspicuously in the battle of Shiloh.

Meanwhile, on the 17th of March, the Federal gunboats had made a vigorous attack without effect at Island No.10, the fire being principally directed at the battery commanded by Captain Rucker, who returned it, the action continuing during the day. McCown, pursuant to orders, turned the command over to Brig.-Gen. L. M. Walker, just promoted. On the 19th he was ordered to return to Madrid Bend. On the 31st he relinquished command, under orders, to Brig.-Gen. W. W. Mackall. General Mackall found himself in command of 2,273 infantry, rank and file, with 58 heavy guns, ten 8-inch columbiads, the balance 32-pounders. Five batteries were upon the mainland and three upon Island No.10. The infantry force consisted of the Fifty-fifth Tennessee, Col. A. J. Brown, with 50 unarmed men; the Eleventh Arkansas, Colonel Smith, armed with every variety of sporting guns; the Forty-sixth Tennessee, Col. John M. Clark, with 560 armed men out of a total of 400 present [31] for duty; the Fourth Arkansas battalion, Major McKay, poorly armed, and two companies of cavalry. Hollins' fleet was well armed, but the boats were worthless. General Walker and Colonel Steadman, next in rank, were absent, sick. One battery on the island was under water. The line occupied was about 25 miles in length, with about 1,000 available infantry for its defense, confronted by Pope's army and a powerful fleet of gunboats. Success, or the delay of the enemy, was impossible. Subsequently General Beauregard informed Mackall in writing, that ‘when I sent you there, I considered matters in a desperate condition, and that you were going on a forlorn hope.’ Brig.-Gen. J. Trudeau was chief of artillery. The battery commanders, Capts. E. W. Rucker, Robert Sterling, Hoadley, Andrew Jackson, Jr., Jones, J. B. Caruthers, W. Y. C. Humes, Dismukes, Fisher, Johnston, were Tennesseeans. The artillerymen were in good discipline, and although the approaches to the island batteries were under water, and the batteries ultimately were submerged, the men were in good form and full of confidence.

The only losses sustained by the Confederates in the attack of the 17th of March was Lieut. William M. Clark, of Rucker's battery, killed, and Sergt. I. T. Postlethwaite and six men slightly wounded. Four shots struck Foote's fleet without effect. The exchange of shots continued at intervals until the 6th of April, when Captain Jackson, senior officer, under orders, spiked the guns and withdrew across Reelfoot lake with the entire artillery force. Flag-Officer Foote's experience at Forts Henry and Donelson caused him to keep without the range of Confederate guns. With his tactics the forts would never have been reduced. It was only when Pope's army crossed to the Tennessee shore, and capture was imminent, that Island No.10 was abandoned. General Mackall being cut off from the forts and heavy batteries, on the night of the same day undertook to save the [32] infantry and light battery by a retreat through Tiptonville, the only way open. His occupation of that place was anticipated by the Federal army, and on the morning of the 7th he wisely surrendered the forces under his command, consisting, as reported by him, of Stewart's field artillery company of 5 guns, and 2,900 infantry, of whom 400 were unarmed. There were 58 heavy guns abandoned, including 10 guns of the floating battery which were sunk in desperation in the Mississippi river. But General Pope reported to General Halleck ‘that 273 field and company officers, 6,700 privates, 123 pieces of heavy artillery, 35 pieces of field artillery, all of the very best character and latest patterns, 7,000 stand of small-arms, tents for 12,000 men, several wharfboats,’ and hundreds of horses and mules, with immense stores of ammunition, were surrendered to him. Col. W. G. Cumming, Fifty-first Illinois, commanding brigade, in an official report, dated the 10th of April, said: ‘Soon after the surrender I was ordered by Major-General Pope to take charge of the prisoners, who were about 3,000 in number.’ On the 8th of April, when the affair was fresh in his memory, General Pope telegraphed the department commander that ‘2,000 prisoners, including General Mackall,’ had surrendered and were prisoners of war.

Nashville had been defended at Fort Donelson. The surrender of one made it necessary to abandon the other. General Johnston determined to concentrate his own troops with those at Columbus, Ky., and at Pensacola, at Corinth, Miss., the junction of the Mobile & Ohio and the Memphis & Charleston railroads. General Grant was moving on the same point, and Gen. Don Carlos Buell, of the Federal army, who had been in front of Bowling Green with an army of 40,000 men, occupied Nashville as soon as it was abandoned by the Confederate forces, and began the movement of his troops that enabled him to form a junction with Grant in time to save the army of the latter from annihilation.

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