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Battles at Fort Donelson.
Gen. Pillow's report
battle of trenches, February 11th
battle with gunboats, Feb. 13th.
battle of Dover, February 15, 1862

[from the Memphis Apple, Feb. 26th]

Mements Feb, 23, 1862
Editors Appeal:
There is so much anxiety felt by the country, so much misapprehension in the public mind, as to the results of the battles fought at Fort Donelson, and so much excitement among the friends and relatives of those surrendered, I deem it proper to lay before the public my official report of the several conflicts. This, I am aware, is irregular, and in violation of the usages of the Government, but feel that the extraordinary circumstances of the case justify a departure from usage so far as to publish the report, not doubting but that the Government will approve of the motive which indecisive publication.

Gid. J. Pillow,
Brigadier General.

Columbia, Tenn, February, 18, 1862
Capt Clarence Derrick
Assistant Adjutant General.

On the 8th inst., General A. S. Johnston ordered "us to proceed to Fort Donelson and take command of that post, On the I arrived at that place in retailing the operations of the forces under my command as Fort Donelson, it is proper to state he condition of that work and of the forces constituting its garrison. When I arrived I found the work on the river battery unfinished and wholly too weak to resist the force of heavy artillery. I found a tea inch columbiads and 32 pound rifle gun had not been mounted. Deep gloom was hanging over the command, and the troops were greatly depressed and by the circumstances strength the surrender of Fort Henry and the manner of restoring from that place my first attention was given to the necessity of strengthening this work and mounting the two heavy and to the construction of defensive acres to protect the rear of the river battery lamparted to the work all the energy which it was possible I boring and fight with the whole command. The battery was without a competent number of artilleries, and those that were there were not well instructed in the use of their guns. To provide for this want I placed the artillery companies and relative course of instruction in the use of their guns. I detailed Capt. Rose, with his company of artilleries, to the command of one of the river batteries. These heavy guns being mounted, and provision made for working them and a proper supply of ammunition having been procured by my orders from Nashville, I felt myself prepared to lest the effect of the fire of the heavy m against the enemy's gunboats though the work was much in need of more heavy pieces.

The armament of the battalion consisted of eight 32 pounders, three 32-pound corrodes one 10 inch Columbiad, and one rifle gun of 32 pound caliber, he selection of the site for the work was an unfortunate one.--While its command of the river was favorable, the site was commanded by the heights above and below on the river, and by a continuous range of hills all around the works to its rear.

A hard work of very contracted dimensions had been constructed for the garrison to protect the ery: but this field work was commanded by the hills already referred to, and lay open to a fire of artillery from every direction except from the hills below. To guard against the effects of fire of artillery from these heights, a line of defence works, consisting of rifle pits and atus for infantry, detached on our it, but continuous on our left, with defences for our light artillery, were laid off by Majored, (Engineer of Gen. A S Johnston's on duty with me at the post) around the rear of the battery and on the heights from which artillery could reach our battery and inner work, enveloping the inner work and between of Dover, where our principal supplies of quarter and commissary stores were in deposit.

These works, pushed with the utmost possible energy, were not quite completed, nor my troops all in position, though nearly as when Brig. Gen. Floyd, my senior officer, reached that station. The works were laid off with judgment and skill by Major Gunner, were well executed and designed for the defence of the rear of the work, the only objection being to the length of the line which, however, from the surroundings was unavoidable the length of the line, and the inadequacy of the force for its defence, was a source of embarrassment throughout the struggle which subsequently ensued in the defence of the position.

I had placed Brig. Gen Buckner in command of the right wins, and Brig Gen Johnson in command of the left By extraordinary efforts we had barely got the works in a defensible condition when the enemy made an advance in force around and against the entire line of outer works

The battle of the trenches.

The first assault was commenced by the enemy's artillery, against the center of our left wing, which was promptly responded to by Capt. Green's battery of field artillery. After several hours of firing between the artillery of the two armies, the enemy's infantry advanced to the conflict all along the line, which was kept up and increased in volume from one end of the line to the other for several hours, when at lest the enemy made a vigorous assault against, the right of our left wing, the position assaulted being a height commanded by Col. Herman, and defeated by his brigade, consisting of the foth Tennessee, under command of Lieut. Col McGavock, Voorhies's Tennessee, Hughes's Alabama, and Col. Head's Tennessee regiments of volunteers and Capt, Maney's field battery.

This assault was vigorously made, and the position as vigorously defended, and resulted in the repulse of the enemy here and everywhere around the line The result of the day's work pretty well teated the strength of our defensive line, and established, beyond question, the gallantry of the entire command, all of whom fought well at every portion of the line. The lose sustained by our forces in this engagement was not large, our men being mostly under of the rifle pits; but we, nevertheless, had quite a number killed and wounded; but owing to the continued fighting which followed, it was impossible to get any official report of the casualties of the day. On the same day our battery on the river was engaged with one of the enemy gunboats, which occasioned quite a lively ding for more than an hour which the gallant Capt. Dixon, of the Engineer corps, was killed instantly at the battery. This officer had been on duty for some months at the post, and had shown great enemy and professional skill; and by his gallant bearing on that occasion, while directing the operations of the day under my order, had justly earned or himself high distinction. His death was a serious loss to the service, and was a source of no little embarrassment in our after-operations

On the 18th we had quire, but we saw the smoke of a large number of gut boats and steam boats at support distance below. We also received reliable information of the arrival of a large number of fresh troops, greatly increasing the strength of the enemy's forces, already said to be from 20,000 to 30, 000 strong.

The battle with the gunboats.

On the 13th three reinforcements were seen advancing to their position in the line of investment; and, while this was being done, six of the enemy's iron-cased gunboats were seen advancing up the river, five of which were abreast and in line of battle and the sixth some distance to the rear. When the gunboats arrived within a mile and a half of the fort, they opened fire on the batteries. My orders to the officers, Capts Shuster and stankosich who commanded the lower battery, of eight guns, and Capt. Ross, the upper battery, ur guns were to hold their fire until the enemy's gunboats should come within point blank range this they did, though the ordeal of holding their fire while the enemy's shot and shell fell thick around their position, was a severe restraint upon their patriotic impulse, out, nevertheless, our catteries made no re till the gunboats got within range of their guns. Our entire line of batteries then opened fire. The guns of both parties were well served. The enemy constantly advanced delivering direct fire against our batteries from his line of five gunboats; while the sixth boat, moving up in the rear, kept the with shells, which fell thick and close all around the position of our batteries. The fight continued, the enemy steadily advancing slowly on the river, and the shot and shell from fifteen heavy rifled gun, tearing our porspers and plunging deep into the earth around and over our batteries for nearly two hours, and until his boats and reached within the distance of 150 yards of our batteries. Having cousin such close conflict. I could testly see be free of our shot upon We had given two or three wall-directed shots from our heavy guns to one of his boats when she instantly struck back and drifted helpless below the line. General shot struck another boat, tearing her iron case and making her

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