Thanks, Shotgun, he does say "the generals" had the opinion it should
not be tried. I'm guessing if it was up to Forrest he would have tried
to pull it off. Perhaps it should have been tried.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Dick Weeks" <shotgun@...> wrote:
> As most of you know I do not get involved in as many of these
discussions as I would like to simply because of time constraints.
However, when time allows I do enjoy researching some of the questions
that come up. The question about whether or not the entire command at
Fort Donelson could have escaped as Forrest did with his command I
found to be very interesting and wanted to look into it further. In
doing a little research I found the following in Forrest's report on
the action. The OR is dated February, 1862:
> ". . . .The enemy could not have reinvested their former position
without traveling a considerable distance and camped upon the dead and
dying, as there had been great slaughter upon that portion of the
field, and I am clearly of the opinion that two-thirds of our army
could have marched out without loss, and that, had we continued the
fight the next day, we should have gained a glorious victory, as our
troops were in fine spirits: believing we had whipped them, and the
roads through which we came were open as late as 8 o'clock Sunday
morning, as many of my men, who came out afterwards, report. . . ."
> However, in Pillow's OR there was an inclosure of a statement by
Forrest dated March 15, 1862 where he said:
> ". . . .I marched out the remainder of my command, with Captain
Porter's artillery horses, and about 200 men of different commands up
the river road and across the overflow, which I found to be about
saddle-skirt deep. The weather was intensely cold; a great many of the
men were already frost-bitten, and it was the opinion of the generals
that the infantry could not have passed through the water and have
survived it. . . ."
> This statement does not seem to infer that Forrest had changed his
mind but seemed to be a way of providing cover for the commanders for
not evacuating the entire command. For my own opinion, I tend to
agree that infantry could not have made that march without losing a
lot of men to the severe cold.
> I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
> Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)