Latest from the North.
We are in possession of Northern papers of the 17th inst. All of them teem with ‘"the latest"’ and ‘"the very latest"’ intelligence from Fort Donelson, the capture of which is heralded in the most imposing and largest sized capitals.
The Baltimore Sun, of Monday, publishes an extra dated at 2 P. M. of that day, from which we make the following extracts:
surrender of Fort Donelson.
great losses on both sides.
&c., &c., &c.
The fall of Donelson.We have this morning, through the ‘"Associated Press,"’ some stirring intelligence.--Fort Donelson, in Tennessee, is said to have surrendered to the Federal forces, with 15,000 prisoners, including Gens. Johnston, Buckner and Pillow. The captured fort was made of earth, and was constructed last summer; situated at Dover, on the west bank of the Cumberland, where that river washes an obtuse angle. It is 12 miles southeast of the latter fort, and, it is stated, mounted about ten 24 and 32 pounders. Some seven or eight post roads intersect at this point, and the Memphis and Cincinnati railroad passes but four miles South of it. The position is important as controlling the rivers as far up as Clarksville, and, in conjunction with Fort Henry and Tennessee bridge, as breaking off from the Confederates some 20 miles of railroad communication. The next point of attack will probably be Clarksville, about thirty miles from Dover, and where the railroad crosses the Cumberland. It is stated that extensive and formidable Confederate works have been in construction there for two or three months, and a large number of heavy guns have been sent thither for the protection of the bridge and the communication with Nashville. It is also reported that General Buckner left Bowling Green ten or twelve days ago with ten thousand men, supposed to be destined for Clarksville. The dispatches are as follows: Cincinnati, February 16.--The Commercial has received the following relative to the evacuation of Bowling Green by the rebels: On learning that the rebels were retreating, forced marches were ordered by Mitchell, to save, if possible, the railroad and turnpike bridges on Big Barren river. They had, however, been destroyed. Gen. Mitchell reached the banks of the river all the way here, between Bowling Green and Nashville. It is believed that the divisions of McCook and Thomas embarked at the mouth of Salt River on steamers for the Cumberland on Saturday night and yesterday. The troops that have been in the camp of instruction at Barostown were at Louisville yesterday, embarking for the Cumberland River. Three Indiana regiments, with a battery of artillery, leave New Albany to-day. The aggregate of these reinforcements is probably 40,000 men. General Buell, we understand, goes with General McCook's division to take command in person on the Cumberland, where our forces will, by to-morrow, number 80,000 men. While he presses the enemy on the Cumberland with his tremendous force, their flank and rear are pressed by the heavy divisions under General Mitchell and General Nelson. Since writing the above, we learn that ten regiments now in the Ohio camps are ordered at once to the Cumberland. Washington, Feb. 17.--In the House, this morning, Mr. Colfax asked and readily obtained permission to make a statement relative to Fort Donelson, [profound silence.] He said that Gen. McClellan had authorized him to inform the House that he had just received a dispatch from Cairo informing him of the arrival of the gunboat Carondolet at that place this morning, bringing the news of the capture of Fort Donelson on yesterday by the land forces of the United States, with fifteen thousand prisoners, including Gen. A. Sidney Johnston and Gen. Buckner. Floyd ran and escaped. There has been very heavy loss on both sides. [When the fact of Floyd having ran was announced, it was greeted with applause and laughter.] [This dispatch appears to be about one hour later than previous accounts.] Chicago, Feb. 17.--A special dispatch to the Tribune, dated ‘"Camp in the Field, February 15, 6 P. M.,"’ says: ‘ The right wing commenced storming the fort about noon to-day, and have taken the right wing of the enemy's fortifications, over which the Stars and Stripes are now floating. The opposing forces are now almost breast to breast, ready to open the work of death upon each other at any moment. ’ Cincinnati, Feb. 17, A. M.--Fort Donelson was taken yesterday with fifteen thousand prisoners, including Buckner and Johnson. St. Louis, Feb. 17.--Dispatches from General Grant to General Hallock announce the surrender of Fort Donelson, with 15,000 prisoners, including Generals Johnson, Buckner, and Pillow.
The Singe--three days fighting--Federal gunboats disabled.
St. Louis, Feb. 16.--A special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat, dated Saturday, Feb. 15, P. M., says: ‘ Commander Foote reached here at twelve o'clock last night, on board the U. S. gunboat Conestoga. He stormed Fort Donelson on Friday afternoon. The gunboats St. Louis, Louisville, Pittsburg, Carondolet, Tyler, and Conestoga, after fighting a little over an hour, withdrew. Fifty-four were killed and wounded on the gunboats, pilots Riley and Hinton, of the St. Louis, being among the latter. Commodore Foote, while standing on the pilot house of the St. Louis, his flag-ship, was slightly wounded. The St. Louis was hit sixty-one times, and two of the gunboats were disabled. The Tyler and Conestoga remained out of range of the enemy's guns. The line of battle was as follows: The St. Louis on the right, next the Louisville, then the Pittsburg, and the Carondolet on the left. The enemy's firing was very accurate. They had three batteries--one near the water, one fifty feet above this, and a third fifty above the second. The upper one mounted four eighteen-pounders. This one was held in reserve until our boats got within 400 yards of the fort. Our fire was directed principally at the water battery. One of the enemy's guns burst and a number were dismounted. The enemy could be seen carrying the dead out of their trenches. All the gunboats were left up the Cumberland except the Conestoga. She left there yesterday morning. A rifled gun on the Carondolet burst, killing six men. The rudder of the Pittsburg was shot away. The mortar boats left here yesterday morning. ’ The above statements of the fight were received from a gentleman who was aboard the St. Louis during the engagement. Later.--A gentleman who left Fort Donelson yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock, and reached here at noon to-day, says that the fight had been going on all day yesterday.--The right wing of the enemy's fortifications were taken, and the Stars and Stripes were floating over them. The forces were breast to breast, and the battle was to be renewed. Cairo, Feb. 16.--The steamer Minnehsha arrived here from Fort Donelson, having left the fort at 5 o'clock last evening, bringing a military mail and dispatches, and one hundred and fifty wounded to the hospital at Paducah. The fight commenced, as befere stated, on Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday the contest was desperate. The Illinois 18th suffered severely, and the Iowa 17th sustained considerable loss. Capt. Swartz's battery, which was taken by the enemy, was recaptured by our men. Two Colonels were wounded and two killed. The loss is heavy on both sides. The upper fort was taken at 4 o'clock, and the Union flag is now floating over it. Our troops behaved with great gallantry. The gunboats St. Louis, Louisville, and Pittsburg were disabled. The Minnehsha met the mortar boats at Paducah going up.
The position of Affairs on Friday.
St. Louis, Feb. 16.--The Democrat has a special dispatch from the rear of Fort Donelson, dated on Friday, as follows: ‘ The fort cannot be reduced without a terrible battte. Its rear seems almost impregnable. The outer works and bastions are located on ridges from 150 to 250 feet high.--Upon a similar range of hills outside there our army is drawn up in line of battle, completely encircling the enemy from the south of the fort to the water of a stream which flanks the fort on the north. Gen. Oglesby, who has the extreme right last night pushed forward his brigade to the Cumberland, and has planted a battery commanding the river, which will effectually prevent the arrival of any more reinforcements. In fact, we have them completely surrounded, and can complete the job at our leisure. This morning it was discovered that the enemy had placed logs on the top of their breastworks, leaving but little space for them to shoot through, and much diminishing their risks from the unerring aim of our sharpshooters. The casualties among our artillery are thus far very small. The loss of the enemy, as far as can be ascertained, is considerable. Yesterday afternoon the storming party had retired, and when the rebels had been thickly crowded less than to repel the assault, Capt. ... ’
A Sorties by the enemy.
Chicago, Feb. 16.--Captain Wise, of the steamer Minnehsha, reports that the enemy made a sortie from the fort at ten o'clock on Saturday morning and drove our forces back three-quarters of a mile and captured Captain Seawards battery, but at one o'clock our troops rallies and re-captured the battery and drove the enemy before them and planted our flag on their outer fortifications. The steamer from Evansville brings a report that four of our Colonels were killed yesterday afternoon, among them Colonel John Logas, of Illinois.
Chicago, Feb. 16.--The Tribune's special correspondence is as follows: ‘ Fort Donelson, Feb. 15.--Forenoon.--The firing commenced yesterday at day break and continued at upheavals all day. Up to four o'clock no moves tent or assault by the land forces had been made. Night before last an attempt was made by the rebels to take Taylor's battery, but they were repulsed by two regiments an driven back beyond their entrenchments. Our loss in wounded is considerable, but so far not more than three or four are dangerously wounded. Six gunboats arrived yesterday and commenced an attack on the fort at two o'clock in the afternoon. The firing was very rapid and severe, and lasted one hour and twenty minutes, when our gunboats fell back. The four iron-clad boats went within three hundred yards of the fort. All the rebel river guns, except six, were either dismounted or silenced. The first shot fired from the gunboat Louisville dismounted the rebels' 128-pounder. The Louisville received 57 shots, two of which took effect, one striking the starboard side of her deck, passing through the entire length of the boat, killing three men and breaking her tiller rope a short distance from the pilot house. The rope was then managed by scene of the hands, when a shell from the Tyler, which lay some distance astern, burst over the Louisville, scattering the men at the tiller rope, and so much disabled the steering tackle that the boat was compelled to fall astern. One shot struck the Pittsburg in the bows and stove an immense hole in her, which caused her to drop out of action. The leak, however, has been stopped. One shot struck the pilot house of the St. Louis, passing through it, between the pilot's legs, without injuring him. All the boats were more or less injured, but none but the Louisville seriously. There were five killed and two wounded on the Louisville. The gunboats will not be in a condition to renew the attack before to-morrow morning. In consequence of the height of the bluffs on which the rebel fortifications are built, our cannon cannot have as much effect on them as on Fort Henry; therefore it will require a much longer time to reduce this fort. The rebels have raised the black flag; it can be seen flying from a bank a short distance above. Still Later.--St. Louis, Feb. 16.--Dispatches received at headquarters say that our gunboats were pretty effectually disabled, except one. Commodore Foote was Wounded twice, but not seriously. The upper redoubt taken by our troops commands the main work of Fort Donelson, and Gen. Grant telegraphs that he would be able to capture that fort to-day, (Sunday.) ’
Dispatch from Com. Foote.
U. S. Flag-Ship St. Louis,I made an attack on Fort Donelson yesterday, at 3 o'clock P. M., with four iron-clad gunboats and two wooden ones, and after one hour and a quarter severe fighting, the latter part of the day, within less than 400 yards of the fort, the wheel of this vessel and the tiller of the Louisville were shot away, rendering the two boats unmanageable. They then drifted down the river.--The two remaining boats were also greatly damaged between wind and water. This vessel received 59 shots, and the others about half that number each. There were fifty-four killed and wounded in this attack, which we have reason to suppose would, in fifteen minutes more, could the action have been continued, resulted in the capture of the fort bearing upon us as the enemy was running from his batteries when the gunboats helplessly drifted down the river from disabled steering apparatus, as the relieving tackle could not steer the vessels in the strong current, when the fleeing enemy returned to the river battery guns, from which they had been driven, and again hotly poured their fire upon us. The enemy must have brought over twenty guns to bean upon our boats from the water battery and the main fort on the hill, while we could only return the fire with twelve boat guns from the four boats. One rifled gun aboard the Carondolet burst during the action. The officers and men in this hotly contested but unequal fight, behaved with the greatest gallantry and determination, all deploring the accident which rendered two of our gunboats suddenly helpless in the narrow and swift current. In consultation with Gen. Grant and my own officers here, I determined to retire until we could repair damages by bringing up a competent force from Cairo to attack the fort. I have sent the Tyler to the Tennessee river to render the railroad bridge impassable.
Near Fort Donelson, via Paducah, February 15, 1862.
To Hon. Gibson Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
Near Fort Donelson, via Paducah, February 15, 1862.
To Hon. Gibson Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
A. H. Foote, Flag Officer,
Com' Naval Force Western Division.
Com' Naval Force Western Division.
The President thanks the army and Navy.
Washington City, D. C., Feb. 15.--The President, Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, returns thanks to Brig.-Gen. Burnside and Flag Officer Goldsborough, and to Brig.-Gen. Grant and Flag-Officer Foote, and the land and naval forces under their respective commands, for their gallant achievements in the capture of Fort Henry and Roanoke Island. While it will be no ordinary pleasure for him to acknowledge and reward, in becoming manner, the valor of the living, he also recognizes his duty to pay fitting honor to the memory of the gallant dead. The charge at Roanoke Island, like the bayonet charge at Mill Springs, proves that the close grapple and sharp steel of loyal and patriotic soldiers must always put rebels and traitors to flight. The late achievements of the navy show that the flag of the Union, once borne in proud glory around the world by naval heroes, will soon again float over every rebel city and stronghold, and that it shall forever be honored and respected, as the emblem of Liberty and Union, in every land and upon every sea.
By order of the President:
The by Caution of Bowling Green--why it was done.
Louisville, Saturday, Feb. 15, 1862.Mitchell's Division, by a forced march, reached the river at Bowling Green to-day, making a bridge to cross. The enemy had burnt the bridge at 1 o'clock in the morning, and were evacuating the place when he arrived. D. C.
To Maj.-Gen. McClellan:
To Maj.-Gen. McClellan:
Buell, Brig.-Gen. Comd'g.
[From the Washington Star, of Saturday.] Just as the Star goes to press to-day, the General-in-Chief has received a dispatch from Gen. Buell, announcing that his advance, under Gen. Mitchell, reached the river opposite Bowling Green yesterday by a forced march. The enemy, fearing the passage of his force across the river by the remaining bridge there, burned that immediately, or sufficient of it to render it impassable. Gen. Mitchell at once set about constructing another, under the protection of his guns. The enemy thereupon last night evacuated their Bowling Green stronghold, of which Gen. Mitchell is now, doubtless, in possession, as no enemy was left to resist him in raising the Stars and Stripes over it, the river being but to cross. Gen. Buell had for some days past been concentrating a large force in the neighborhood, with which, doubtless, to march directly on to Nashville after having reduced Bowling Green. It is the impression in military circles here, that on evacuating their Bowling Green stronghold last night, the main body, if not all the rebel army, fled directly toward Nashville; as to attempt to reinforce Fort Donelson instead, would be well nigh a hopeless undertaking, and would inevitably be followed almost immediately by the fall of Nashville before the main body of Buell's army, and the fall of Knoxville before the division of Gen. Thomas. Neither Buell or Thomas can meet with any resistance to speak of in marching directly on those most important strategic positions, if the army running away from Bowling Green has failed in its retreat to aim to cover Nashville, which, by-the-bye, is the main object of the effort of the enemy to continue to hold Fort Donelson.
Our troops in possession.
Louisville, Sunday, Feb. 16.--Gen. Mitchell's troops have crossed Barren river, and are in possession of Bowling Green.
Bowling Green.Our news from this point is as yet exceedingly meagre, consisting only of Gen. Buell's very brief dispatch. That, however, is enough to show that the rebels have evacuated their Western Manassas, and that it is now in our hands. As will be seen by the map, there were only two feasible routes for the decamping rebels to take--one by railroad almost directly North to Nashville, and one in a Western direction, toward Fort Donelson. They first began to evacuate the place about a week ago to-day, when Floyd and his division marched out, apparently to the latter good. After these had gone there was not a very great force remaining — certainly not over ten thousand men. These as ... The rebel evacuation of Bowling Green was a ‘"military necessity."’ The flank movements of Generals Thomas and Crittenden, and the rear operations of Commodore Foote and General Grant, rendered the place untenable. A few days more, and the rebels would have been taken in their stronghold.--It is unfortunate that they have been allowed to escape. But from General Buell's reticence, and his interdiction upon the telegraph, it looks as though he was carrying out some plan to prevent their rallying again at any other point, if not of overtaking them. This evacuation is certainly a very lame and impotent conclusion to the rebel boasts about the impregnability of their position at Bowling Green. In all Kentucky, and we may say in all the Southwest, the rebels now hold but one position of importance — Columbus; and that is isolated and untenable. The rebels will soon fly from there, as they have fled from Bowling Green, if our Generals will only permit them to do so.
Highly important from Missouri--Price's rear guard defeated and Scouted.
St. Louis. Feb. 16.--General Halleck has received dispatches from General Curtis stating that Price's rear guard was overtaken in pursuit from Springfield, and, after a brief resistance, the rebels fled, leaving the road strewn with their wagons and baggage. Gen. Curtis reports having taken more prisoners than he knows what to do with.
Particulars of the Retaking of Springfield.
St. Louis, Feb. 16.--A special dispatch to the Democrat, dated Springfield, 15th, says:‘--Our army under Gen. Curtis marched from Lebanon on the 10th and formed in three divisions, the right under Colonel Jeff. C. Davis, the left under Colonel Carr, and the centre under General Siegel.’ Six miles from Springfield, on the 12th, a skirmish took place between our advance and a party of rebels, in which nine of the latter were killed, and one or our men was slightly wounded. At sunset on the same day 300 of the enemy attacked our pickets, but were driven back with a loss of three. This was regarded as the commencement of the battle, and two hundred cavalry and infantry, with a battery of artillery, were sent forward. The battery was placed on an eminence commanding the supposed approach of the rebels, and three shells were thrown, to which no response was made and our force retired, leaving a strong picket guard. During the night continuous firing was kept up by the pickets, and at three o'clock on the morning of the 13th our army advanced in line of battle, and at daybreak the 3d division, headed by the 4th lowa, entered and took peaceable possession of the town. Gen. Price had left at 2 o'clock on the same morning, leaving behind over 600 of his sick with large quantities of forage and wagons. He had twelve thousand effective troops and fifty pieces of artillery. Yesterday evening a battalion of our cavalry captured ten wagons of his train, and last night firing by our pickets was heard in the direction of the retreating foe. This morning, at 6 o'clock, our whole force followed the enemy. It is reported that Price is merely falling back to meet McIntosh, who is coming up with reinforcements, and on his joining him he would return and give us battle. The probabilities are, however, that he is in full retreat. The people in and around Springfield express undoubted satisfaction at the arrival of our troops, and general rejoicing is manifested throughout the Southwest at the retreat of the rebels. This expedition will doubtless end the campaign in Missouri.
Union victory in upper Virginia.
Pawpaw, Va., Feb. 14--8 P. M.--Major-General G. B. McClellan: The railroad was opened to Hancock this morning; also, the telegraph. We had an important forced reconnaissance last night, which was completed to-day. We broke up the rebel nest at Blooming Gap.--We ran down and captured seventeen (17) commissioned officers — among them Colonels, Lieutenant-Colonels, Captains, &c. I will forward a description list. We engaged them with four hundred cavalry. Our infantry were not near enough to support the cavalry, and the enemy were retiring. We have in all seventy-five prisoners, and killed thirteen of the enemy. We lost two men and six horses at their first fire. I led the charge in person. It was a complete surprise. Col. Carroll, commanding the 5th or 8th Ohio, made a very daring and successful reconnaissance immediately afterwards, to Unger's store. Major Frothingham is entitled to great credit for building, under my direction, in four hours in the dead of night, a complete bridge across the Great Cacapon, at an unfrequented mountain road. Two columns of 2,000 men each, marched thirty-two miles--one column forty-three miles--since 4 P. M. yesterday, besides bridging the river. We made a move and occupied the Bloomery Gap and Point Mills east, on the belief (by information obtained from deserters) that General Casson's brigade was there. Gen. Dunning has just arrived at New creek from Moorefield, forty miles south of Romney. He has captured 225 beef battle, and broke up the guerilla haunt there. Two of his men were badly wounded. He killed several of the rebels. The enemy have thus been driven out of this department. F. W. Lander, Brig.-Gen.
Skirmish in Western Virginia.The Cincinnati Times says that a skirmish occurred last Saturday on Linn creek, Logan county, Va. A detachment of the 5th Virginia regiment, under Capt. Smith, twenty-one in number, pursued and attacked thirty-two of Jenkins's cavalry. The result was a loss on the rebel side of eight killed and seven wounded, and the remainder captured, with upward of thirty horses. Of the Federals, one was killed and one wounded. The captured and their captors arrived at Guyandotte on Wednesday evening. Mr. Reader, our informant, is a private in Captain Smith's company, and was engaged in the affair. He gives an interesting account of the skirmish. The rebels were surprised, being employed, when attacked, in feeding their horses from the crib of a Union man, now a refugee. Among the rebels killed was Stevens, who participated in the butchery of a small party of Platt's Zouaves, sometime since. All were engaged in the raid on Guyandotte.
A Circular from Gen. Halleck.
St. Louis, Feb. 16.--The following circular has been issued from headquarters: ‘ "All persons who are known to have been in arms against the United States, or to have actively aided the rebellion by word or deed, are to be arrested. Those who are accused of acts in violation of the laws of war, such as the destruction of railroads and bridges, and private property, firing into trains, assassinations, &c., will not be released on any terms, but will be held for trial before military commissioners. Notoriously bad and dangerous men, though no specific act of disloyalty can be proven against them, will be kept in custody, and their cases referred to the commanding General. Prisoners not included in either of the above classes may be released upon subscribing to the usual oath, and giving sufficient bond, with good security, for their future good conduct. The amount of bond should in no case be less than $1,000, and in some cases should be much larger, varying according to wealth, influence, and previous conduct of the party.--The security should, in preference, be a Secessionist. Persons now engaged recruiting for the rebel army, and also those enrolled for the rebel service, will be arrested and held as prisoners of war. In addition to this all property belonging to such persons, and which can be used for military purposes — such as horses, mules, harness, wagons, beef cattle, forage, &c.--will be secured and turned over to the Provost Marshal, to be disposed of according to orders of the commanding General of the Department. Where persons who have been in the rebel service voluntarily come forward and take and subscribe to the oath of allegiance and parole, and are released from bonds, all property not of military character taken from them will be restored. By order of Maj. Gen. Halleck. ’