Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/521

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CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

confusion, I am proud to state that the Twentieth Mississippi stood like a stone wall to protect General Floyd and his Virginia regiment while embarking; and when the last hope had vanished of getting aboard according to the orders and promises of General Floyd, and we realized the sad fate that we had been surrendered, the regiment stacked arms, without the least intimidation, but full of regret. While this excitement was going on, General Buckner sent for me and informed me that unless the steamboat left the landing immediately he would have a bomb-shell thrown into it—that his honor as an officer and the honor and good faith of the Confederacy required that at daylight he should turn over everything under his command agreeably to the terms of capitulation with General Grant. I returned to the boat to make every effort to get aboard, but it had shoved off and was making up the river, with very few persons aboard."

It has been estimated that there were 3,364 Mississippians at Fort Donelson, of whom 115 were killed and 434 wounded, the survivors mainly being surrendered by their superior officers as stated. These casualties were about half of the total for the army of 13,000 or 14,000 men.

The surrender of Fort Donelson was an event which marks an epoch in the war history of the State. Soon afterward, the Confederate forces were gathered within her own boundaries to meet the Federal advance through Tennessee. After the fall of Fort Henry, which opened the Tennessee river to the Federal gunboats, the Ninth and Tenth regiments were ordered on duty to guard the river in Alabama.

General Beauregard was assigned to command in West Tennessee and of the army of the Mississippi, after Johnston's line had been cut in two on the Tennessee river. Under his orders Columbus was evacuated March 2d, and the Confederate defense of the upper Mississippi was to be made at Island No. 10 and New Madrid. General Daniel Ruggles was called to Corinth, and General Bragg