Storming of Fort Donelson

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“Storming of Fort Donelson- decisive bayonet charge of the Iowa Second Regiment on the Confederate intrenchments at Fort Donelson, February 15th, 1862, resulting in the capture of the works on the following morning. The Iowa Second Regiment led the charge, followed by the rest in their order. The sight was sublime. Onward they sped, heedless of the bullets and balls of the enemy above. The hill was so steep, the timber cleared, that the Confederates left a gap in their lines of rifle pits on this crest of hill. Through this gap they were bound to go. Right up they went, climbing upon all fours, their line of dark-blue clothing advancing regularly forward, the white line of smoke from the top of the works opposed by a line of the Federal troops. “They reach the top. Numbers fall. The surprise was breathless. See, they climb over the works- they fall- they are lost! Another group, and still another and another, close up the gap. All is covered in smoke. The lodgment is made; the troops swarm up the hillside, their bright bayonets glittering in the sun. The firing slackens. Close behind the brigade Captain Stone’s batery of rifled 10-pounders was tugging up the hill, the horses plunging, the riders whipping. Upward they go, where never vehicle went before- up the precipitous and clogged sides of the hill. No sooner on the crest than the guns were unlimbered, the men at their posts. Percussion shells and canister were shot spitefully from the Parrott guns at the flying enemy. The day was gained, cheers upon cheers rent the air, and in a few minutes all was hushed."” — Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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