Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

March 24, 2013

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

Letter from Colonel Lyon.

Fort Donelson, March 24, 1863.—I suppose you have heard lots of rumors about the 13th having surrendered Fort Donelson. The rebels have not been here in force since they were so awfully whipped. There are guerilla parties, but they dare not attack a place so well fortified.

We are getting to be quite aristocratic, we live in a large house with Brigadier-General Harding, formerly Colonel of the 83d Illinois, the regiment that fought the late battle here.

Yours of the 1st of March came to hand in due time. We were a little curious to know how you knew at that time that we were coming here, when we did not know it ourselves. The first intimation we had of it was a telegram from General Rosecrans to me, March 4th, ordering the force at Fort Henry over here. We had, however, expected orders to go to some other point, for some time, as Fort Henry was all under water and there was no earthly use in keeping troops there any longer.

Fort Heiman, opposite Fort Henry across the Tennessee river, is a commanding point. That fort was also evacuated, but has since been occupied by troops from General Grant’s department. There is no prospect of an immediate fight here, but this is a sort of key position and any little change of program on either side may make it the scene of heavy conflict. This post will doubtless be occupied by considerable of a force for some time, or at least until there is some decisive change of affairs in this region.

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