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  1. The Project Gutenberg eBook of With Fire And Sword, by S.H.M. Byers.
  2. Ulysses S. Grant: The Myth of 'Unconditional Surrender' Begins at Fort Donelson
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Instead of a simple breastwork along the river, it is a regular fort of immense strength, both in build and armament. The latter is made up as follows:. One pound Dahlgren gun, one pound rifled gun, two pound round guns, ten pound round guns, one pound siege gun, two pound siege guns. Eleven of these guns, including the rifled pounder and the Dahlgren, are posted along the north wall of the fort, so as to sweep down the Tennessee River, and it was against this tremendous mass of power that the gunboats had to contend. In starting, Officer FOOTE told the pilots that when the firing once commenced to hold straight for the fort, and never deviate an inch till they struck the shore.

This operation, although in all respects one of infinite daring, in reality compliance with the order was of great use to the National forces. Had the boats taken position and remained there the Confederate gunners would speedily have obtained the range and kept it; but every time they fired they found the boats a little nearer than they were before, consequently their shots were generally too high. It is, perhaps, owing much to this that our boats received so little damage. Three of the guns look to the east and command the land approaches, three perform the same office toward the south, thus rendering the whole nearly impregnable.

To the north and east are rifle-pits, from which a destructive fire can be poured on a belligerent force. On the land side, to the east, is a deep pond of water, some twenty yards in width, and which, commencing under cover of the guns on the north, bends around on the east side till it ends near the river. This alone is a formidable defence against a storming party, as it is too deep to be crossed without bridging, and being within easy musket range, the operation of bridging it would be next to impossible.

The walls of the fort are of earth, and are probably not less than twenty feet high from the bottom of the ditch. The latter is about fifteen feet in width, contains eight feet of water, and is filled from the river, into which it directly opens. The embrasures are formed by piling up on the parapet coffee bags filled with sand, leaving intervals for the guns, and which are generally from six to ten sacks in thickness.

There are two substantial magazines, deeply covered with earth, and containing an ample supply of ammunition. Indeed, the fort was provisioned and supplied with war material to an extent that would have enabled its defenders to have stood a siege of six months. In the centre of the fort is a well of excellent water; in fact, they seemed to have material to do just what they bragged through their papers of being able to do -- that is, hold the fort against all the Yankees and Yankee fleets in existence.

The supply of powder, shells, round-shot, cannister, cannon-primers, percussion caps, and, in short, all the appurtenances of offence and defence, is in inexhaustible quantities. There was, also, an ample supply or clothing. All the men had good boots, warm overcoats and blankets -- in fact they were quite as comfortably, though possibly less elegantly clad than our own troops. The names of the killed and wounded of the rebels daring the siege, as near as I could get them are as follows:.

Wounded -- Corporals Renfrew, McEvoy, Selkirk, Centre, and five others -- all being members of regiments or companies enlisted in Tennessee. It is believed that others were killed at the time the Essex woke them up a day or two before the fight, but it is denied by the officers. The rebels seemed to have evacuated in great haste, so much so that they forgot or had not time to take away many of their personal effects. The quantity of daguerreotypes and love epistles that were captured, exceeds in quantity all belief.

Could some of the haughty "chivalry" see a lot of Yankee privates gathered around some individual who had made a capture of some amiable Southern dulcinea, encased in papier mache, and hear the remarks passed -- generally not as elegant as expressive -- their aristocratic noses would curl to the very roots of the eyebows in utter scorn -- nor would they be less powerfully affected, could they see some Yankee pull a billet-doux from his greasy pocket, and proceed to read it aloud to a crowd of jeering comrades.

Every Southern soldier seems to have fanned into a flame the affections of some Patsy or Jemima at home. Southern skies must be conducive to a flourishing growth of love. Judging by their letters, the power of an horse power steam-engine, or that of a comet off at a tangent, drunk with nectar, is the very essence of weakness when compared to the strength of their love for some young brave, who, clad in butternut homespun, and armed with a flint-lock rifle, is away fighting for JEFF.

In fact, the magninitude of their love is only equaled by one single thing, and that is their contempt -- yea their utter loathing -- for the Yankees. In these letters the Northerners are all Yankees, they are nasty Yankees, they are dirty Yankees, cowardly Yankees, infernal Yankees, d -- d Yankees, in short every kind of Yankees that the dictionary of abuse and Billingsgate affords a cognomen for. How many of those letters chuckle over the approach of these hated Yankees to Fort Henry, and how confidently do they anticipate their speedy and utter annihilation when they come, unless it be that in their cowardice they run away before Southern valor consummates that desirable, and to the Yankees, deserved result.

Yesterday, amid the thunders and smoke of Yankee cannon, and the tremendous storm of Yankee grape, shell and cannister, their star went down, never more to rise over the to them distant horizon of Fort Henry. Their butternut hero is on his way to Cairo, escorted by Yankees; his shot-gun is the prize of a Yankee sportsman; his uncouth, home-made bowie-knife, of fearful size, is strapped to a Yankee's side as a trophy, or jeeringly handed about from one to another as a specimen of Southern skill.

Even your pacific correspondent has girded on a machine nameless in the nomenclature of things offensive and defensive. It is heavy and broad enough for a butcher's cleaver, long enough for a broadsword, jagged enough for a handsaw, with a handle like a claymore, but whether it is intended for shooting, stabbing, chopping sausage-meat, digging ditches, or scalping Yankees, I cannot tell.

There are hundreds of such institutions here, all evidently modeled as the genius, fancy and ferocity of the maker might suggest. It is with such weapons, backed only by Southern valor, that Southern soldiers and Southern letter-writers expect to defeat the cowardly "Lincolnites," and achieve their so-called freedom. A large number of the letters found were written from various portions of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, from which States the force at Fort Henry seems to have been made up. The number which made their escape was not less than from three to five thousand.

Had they been less cowardly, the attack of the gunboats less terrible, or the roads less muddy, so that our forces could have come up in time, the entire force could have been secured. The troops might have been started earlier, but no one supposed that the valorous Southerners would run within an hour, and consequently the land forces were a little too late.

However, as it is, scores of the fugitives are being brought in hourly, and to-day a battery of field artillery, consisting of eight pieces, was also overhauled and brought into the fort. The country is being thoroughly examined in every direction, and probably many yet will be caught before they secure a place of safety.

The Confederates had arranged everything with a view to comfort. Besides the large number of tents in their possession, they had built warm log-houses, sufficient in number to accommodate 5, troops. Of course our men are making themselves as comfortable as circumstances will permit in the wigwams of the fugitive braves from Dixie.

There are several comfortable log and temporary board houses in the fort and these are now occupied by Gen. Writers from several points state to their friends at the fort that companies, and in one or two cases regiments, were cut completely to pieces; but in almost every instance they lay the blame on Gen. A very desponding tone prevails in regard to the future, while business in every place is completely prostrated. Dixie, in some quarters, is evidently getting somewhat tired of the job of whipping the Yankees. A letter dated Pittsboro', Miss.

DRAKE's regiment," has the following important items of information:. He says Col. POLK to inform the Legislature of the condition they were in, and their danger at Columbus, in order that the Legislature might inform the people of Mississippi. Generally they [rebels at Columbus] could not give the people information of their condition through the papers, because they would give it to the is North. They have only 12, men at Columbus, and they have a force of about , to contend against. In a few days there will be a call for 20, troops in this State, the time of the day troops having nearly expired.

He sent the eight men and staid home with the sick, J. Another letter, dated at Londerdale, Alabama, Jan. Several other letters from Alabama speak of drafting, and complain in no measured terms of such an operation. We lost over men, 1, mules, wagons, and all our provisions and baggage. Late intelligence confirms the report that the enemy are within a few miles, and intend attacking your fort. It is said that your General thinks the fort cannot be taken, but I fear that he may be mistaken.

I I have not confidence in the shot-gun as an infantry arm, which, though it will do good service at a short distance, would be worthless at a long range. The writer, although probably not the son of a prophet, is not distantly related to one of the fraternity. The Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment suffered severely at Fishing Creek -- how severely I cannot tell you, for, to tell you the truth, they withhold from us the particulars of the battle.

The water is rising rapidly here, and is now over the ground in front of the fort, on the north side, and it has also begun to overflow the ground within the line of fortifications. If it keeps on rising much longer, it will drive us out of the fort in infinitely less time than all the shot and shell in Dixie. The wooden gunboats which went up yesterday morning have not yet returned, but they have possession of the Memphis and Nashville Railroad Bridge, and have also captured an Ohio river steamer that was stolen a short time since by the rebels from Paducah.

The iron gunboats have returned to Cairo. To-morrow an expedition leaves across the country to make a dash at Fort Donelson, and capture it if possible without a regular siege. The expedition from this point, which was to have left here yesterday, and make a dash upon Fort Donelson, did not go, being deterred principally by high water, and possibly by a suspicion that cavalry and infantry might fail in attacking successfully a strong earthwork defended by heavy guns. If it be true, as reported, that there are from ten to fifteen thousand men at Fort Donelson, it will need something besides cavalry and infantry to take it -- something, even, beside field artillery; that something can only be found in the iron-clad gunboats.

It was they that took Fort Henry -- the balance of our force might have thundered at its walls for admittance, for the space of three months, and hardly been allowed to enter there. In fact, Fort Henry is next to impregnable to a land attack; for, apart from the deep ditches and impassable swamps, it possesses formidable lines of fortifications, which extend into the country in every direction for a distance of three miles. At every one of these there would have been a battle, and months probably would have elapsed before the citadel could have been reached, and then the work would have been but fairly begun.

In an hour the iron-mailed boats did all this, and did it with a loss of but two men killed directly by the rebel shot. A land force would have lost hundreds. Secure behind their thick breastworks, the Secessionists would have laughed at the puny missiles from our field-pieces, but they could not stand the heavy shells hurled among them from the nine and inch guns of the boats. One of the officers told me that the men became perfectly demoralized under the combined influence of the audacity of the gunboats and the effect of the heavy bombs -- they would have held the fort a month, had we fired nothing but round shot.

The latter can be dodged; there is nowhere any safety from the former. Yesterday, Gen. At Paducah they were turned over to the Commandant of the place, Col. The officers were allowed the limits of the city upon giving their parole; the privates were put under guard. Nearly all of the officers expressed themselves satisfied with the war, especially that portion of it which makes them the recipients of shells fired from inch guns; and they expressed a determination, when released, to quit the service. Young JONES -- the son of Ex-Senator -- says that he has had all the fight he wants, and if he can get released, will go to Europe -- doubtless his departure on a continental tour would exercise no very deleterious influence upon either North or South.

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Neither has need for traitors or renegades. The rebel officers expressed themselves as being pleased in the highest degree with the universal courtesy of the treatment extended to them by the National authorities, and promised to reciprocate on any and all occasions. It is believed by many that Gen. TILGHMAN and his officers desired to fall into the hands of the Nationals for had they desired to, they could have made their escape when the balance did.

The following is a complete list of all the prisoners captured in the fort, and it also includes those, or a portion of those, since captured:. Privates W. Cubine, H. Hallow, W. Byard, J. Boswell, Patrick McEvoy, L. Brooks, C. Whitford, John Elliot, O. Sallsgiver, Alex. Garin, A. Gibson, L. Statin, James M. Hugh, W. Rutherford, L. Thomason, E. Lyle, John Wyatt, E. Bailey, W. Ray, S. Miles, B. Sharp, H.

Carter, W.

Mills, C. Jones, S. Carey, Jas. Moseling, G. Cottrell, Fred. Walter, O. Wilkinson, Jno. Hickey, John Long, R. Gainer, T. Merritt, J. Marshall, T. Dougherty, G. Carrin, James Green, Alfred Renfrew. This does not include either the killed or wounded in the late battle. Yesterday, some men were set to digging in a corner of the fort, where fresh earth gave rise to suspicions that something was buried; their labor was soon after rewarded by finding the bodies of nineteen soldiers, who, from all appearances, had been lately killed by wounds, and but lately interred.

The circumstance shows how morbidly sensitive the rebels are, in a case where their own loss and National skill are involved -- although what good such wholesale lying does, unless it be to still further delude the already greatly deluded South, it is difficult to imagine. Yesterday afternoon, I went up the river to Danville, the point where the Memphis, Clarksville and Louisville Railroad crosses the Tennessee. It is distant 23 miles from the fort, and is every fine bridge of some five or six piers, with one draw on the west side for the use of steamers. The gunboats went up Thursday night and rendered the bridge useless by cutting off a few piles at a point a short distance from the shore, and taking up a few rails.

They then opened the draw, carried away means for reaching and opening it, and then pushed on up the river for Florence, a point near the railroad that runs from Memphis to Charleston. The bridge at Danville has been for sometime guarded by a company of infantry and a body of cavalry numbering some 40 or 50 members. The Dunbar, a rebel transport, was lying at Danville, but started off as the gunboats came within sight below.

The cavalry drew up in line on the shore to oppose the passage of the gunboats, and by direction of their officer made ready their pieces. About then the gunboats were a hundred yards or so below the cavalry, and just about as the captain of the horsemen had got as far as "Ready, Aim! The heavy missile, with a shriek like a fiend, passed close in front of the valorous soldiers as they were on the point of pulling trigger; the next instant every man of them was flying through the woods as though chased by the devil, the brave Captain himself gallantly leading far in the advance.

The infantry never stopped to pack up, but followed pell-mell after the cavalry, and not a solitary specimen of either has been seen within long miles of that vicinity since. This circumstance was related to me by some of the inhabitants of the place, and all assert its being a fact. Evidently the officer is not an old soldier, or he would neither have attempted to oppose cavalry to gunboats, nor incontinently run away upon hearing the peculiar although not pleasant music of a shell. As we approached the bridge last evening, the railroad track west of the river seemed to be crowded with a flock of sheep, but upon getting nearer, we found that it was caused by country people, each of whom had on his or her back a sheet filled with plunder from the barracks of the Bridge guards.

The moment the decks of the steamer revealed a crowd of blue-coats, there was terrible confusion among the fugitives -- some dropped their bundles and ran for dear life, others struck a trot, and sticking to their huge loads, wabbled off like drunken elephants. No pursuit, however, was made, and they by this time are probably safe, if they have continued running ever since, which, from indications at starting, is more than probable.

Gregg's Brigade was pushed back by a much larger Union force led by Maj. John A. Logan's Division. The Seventh Texas held its position for over an hour. The regiment sustained casualties, including 22 men killed. The brigade fell back to Jackson, MS. Granbury and the seventh Texas spent the next two months bivouacked at Enterprise, MS. There they recuperated from their losses at Raymond, MS. The brigade, including Granbury and the Seventh Texas, was part of Maj. Bushrod R.

Stereoviews, CDVs, Daguerreotypes, Etc.

In the fighting on that afternoon Granbury was wounded by a bullet that struck his lower abdomen. The velocity of the bullet was not fast enough to break the skin but did cause a painful bruise that forced Granbury out of the battle. The command going to Maj. Van Zandt. James A. Smith's Brigade in Patrick Cleburne's Division. The brigade remained with Bragg's army which lay siege to Chattanooga, TN. Smith's Brigade was posted on Tunnel Hill, in the fighting Brig. Smith was wounded. As senior Colonel Granbury assumed command of the brigade. Union forces broke through, necessitating a Confederate withdrawal back to GA.

Under Granbury's command the brigade played a significant role in preventing the capture of Confederate wagons and artillery at Ringgold, GA. For his performance, Granbury received the thanks of Pat Cleburne and promotion to Brigadier General commanding the brigade. Granbury was not present in early January when Pat Cleburne presented a proposal that slaves be enlisted in the Confederate Army, in return for which they would be granted their freedom.

Before the proposal went to Joseph E. Johnston, Cleburne invited his officers to sign the plan. Granbury and Lucius Polk were not on hand when the copy was ready to sign. Cleburne's biographer, Craig L. Symonds, stated that both would have signed had they been present and both gave Cleburne permission to express their support.

The proposal was so controversial, Johnson refused to forward Cleburne's plan to Richmond authorities. A copy did reach the desk of President Davis, but the chief executive ordered suppression of the proposal. Before the end of the month the division was back in GA.

Granbury's Brigade remained in GA. Hood attempted to halt the southward movement of Wm. Sherman's army. Three weeks later as the armies drew closed to Atlanta, Granbury and his Texans were ordered to carry out a night attack near Pickett's Mill. Granbury's Brigade was involved in fighting east of Atlanta July 21st and 22nd, Granbury was ill at the time and James A.

Smith commanded the brigade until he was wounded. Many of the Texans in the brigade's 17th, 18th Consolidated Regiment were captured in a Federal counterattack July 22, The brigade sustained casualties. Granbury returned from sick leave as the fighting was coming to an end. As planned Granbury's Brigade led the attack, but instead of swinging to the right, the Texans moved directly ahead against Judson Kilpatrick's Union cavalry. Granbury forced Kilpatrick back but failed to attack the entrenched Union troops. Mark Lowrey, temporarily commanding the division, later criticized Granbury's troops, as being "too full of impetuosity: and pursuing the Federal cavalry "contrary to instructions".

Granbury defended the actions of his brigade stating his orders"were to drive all opposing forces beyond the Flint River". Two days later Hood evacuated Atlanta. Granbury's Brigade marched with Hood's army in the TN. The division commander Pat Cleburne was hit in the chest and killed instantly. Granbury leading his brigade was hit in the eye about the same time.

The bullet passed through his brain and exploded at the back of his head. He threw his hands up to his face and fell dead instantly. The closing thoughts of Ed W. Smith, Jr.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook of With Fire And Sword, by S.H.M. Byers.

Granbury and Patrick R. Cleburne lay stark and cold on or near the enemy's works". The bodies of Granbury, Cleburne, and Confederate Brigadiers John Adams and Otto French Strahl were taken to Carnton, the McGavock plantation house, just a mile away and lay there on the porch until taken away for burial. Granbury was first buried near Franklin, TN.

Twenty-nine years later, on November 30, , his remains were moved to Granbury, TX. This is a portion of a battle report which was written after the release of prisoners taken at Fort Donelson. Siege, capture Ft. Donelson, TN. I have been prevented from doing so sooner from the discourtesy of the Federal authorities, either to allow me to make it to a superior officer in captivity with me but in a different prison or in any other way; and I now make this report to you direct, because I do not know the whereabouts of the proper division commanders, and from a desire to do justice to the gallant officers and men under my command upon the bloody field; also that the Government may know who not only met the invading foe, but shed their blood in defense of the most holy cause for which freemen ever fought, and that the families, in after times, may reap the benefits of their noble deeds and costly sacrifices.

I cannot call especial attention to one of the field officers under my command without doing injustice to the others.

Ulysses S. Grant: The Myth of 'Unconditional Surrender' Begins at Fort Donelson

Ryan and Sergt. Wilson acted as my aides, and discharged their duty gallantly. It would give me much pleasure to mention the names of company officers who distinguished themselves for efficiency and gallantry, but their conduct will be made known by their respective regimental commanders. I am, sir, your obedient servant,. JOHN M. First Miss. General S. Adjutant and Inspector General, C. MAJOR: In the absence of any one who was in command of the brigade or division of which my regiment was a part at the time of the battle of Fort Donelson, I make my report of the action of the regiment to General S.

I hope this will be considered proper, as it is the only method by which I can give to the brave men under my command the tribute which I think due to their behavior in that battle. I must acknowledge the very efficient assistance of Major Granbury in the management of the regiment throughout the entire day. Respectfully submitted. Colonel Seventh Regiment Texas Infantry. Port Hudson, La. Granbury, with his regiment, the Seventh Texas leaving a small camp guard in his camp , will proceed to Woodville, Miss. He will also assume command of what cavalry there may be there. Assistant Adjutant-General.

Gregg's Brigade. Calvin H. William Grace. James J. Charles S. James D. Cyrus A. Thomas W.

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Christopher W. Stephen H. Bledsoe's Missouri Battery, Lieut. Johnson, C. Army, commanding Provisional Division. Chattanooga, October 24, SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the division under my command in the action of the Chickamauga:. Granbury, of the Seventh Texas;Maj. Granbury, Seventh Texas Infantry, commanding Smith's brigade. Near Tunnel Hill, Ga. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very severe, their bodies being strewn from near our lines to the middle of the village.

The Sixth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Regiments lost 9 wounded and 3 missing. The Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Regiments lost 5 killed, 20 wounded, 20 missing. The Seventh Texas lost 5 wounded. Total loss of the brigade, 5 killed, 34 wounded, 23 missing. I received orders from the major-general to retire, which was done promptly and in good order, the skirmishers covering the retreat. I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,. Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Robert Farquharson. Granbury's Brigade. Rhoads Fisher. Roger Q. George D. May 1-September 8, Granbury, C. Army, commanding brigade, of operations August 31 and September 1. In the Field, September 5, I have the honor to be, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,. Patrick R. Cleburne, C. Army, commanding division, of operations May Paulding County, Ga. About 4 p. He had but just gotten into position, and a dismounted cavalry force, in line behind a few disconnected heaps of stones loosely piled together, had passed behind him when the enemy advanced.

His men displayed a courage worthy of an honorable cause, pressing in steady throngs within a few paces of our men, frequently exclaiming, "Ah! The piles of his dead on this front, pronounced by the officers in this army who have seen most service to be greater than they had ever seen before, were a silent but sufficient eulogy upon Granbury and his noble Texans.

About 10 p. I ordered Granbury and Lowrey to push forward skirmishers and scouts to learn the state of things in their respective fronts. The Texans, their bayonets fixed, plunged into the darkness with a terrific yell, and with one bound were upon the enemy, but they met with no resistance. Surprised and panic-stricken many fled, escaping in the darkness, others surrendered and were brought into our lines. This battle was fought at a place known as the "Pickett Settlement," and about two miles northeast of New Hope Church.

Very respectfully,. Lovell H. Rousseau, U.

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Army, commanding District of Tennessee, of operations December , It is reported by citizens here that Bate was killed on yesterday, and I think the report very probably true. I shall ask leave to make a more detailed report, calling attention, amongst other matters, to the deportment of individual officers and men. Hood, C.

Army, commanding Army of Tennessee.

Forrest's cavalry joined me on the 21st of November and the movement began,. We captured about 1, prisoners and several stand of colors. Our loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners was 4, Among the killed was Maj. The number of dead left by the enemy on the field indicated that his loss was equal or near our own.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,. General Hood's official report of the battle of Franklin has at last been received. It will be seen that our reported extraordinary loss of general officers is but too true. The following is General Hood's dispatch:. November 30 we attacked the enemy at Franklin, and drove them from their center line of temporary works into the inner lines, which they evacuated during the night, leaving their dead and wounded in our possession, and retired to Nashville, closely followed by our cavalry.

Our troops fought with great gallantry. We have to lament the loss of many gallant officers and brave men. John C. A subsequent telegram from General Hood says that our loss of officers was excessively large in proportion to the loss of men.

Brigadier-General Oscar F. Brigadier-General S. Brigadier-General H. While imprisoned at Ft. July Texas Volunteers. Waco, Texas. Richmond, VA. Chaplain 11th Reg. Wounded and taken prisoner in battle near Richmond June 30, About his parole from prison. Washington, July 29, Army, Fort Warren, Boston:.