Today in History:

20 Series I Volume VII- Serial 7 - Ft. Henry-Ft. Donelson


upon the extreme right. Here a company of Rangers was detached to observe the enemy from Rowlett's Knob, which was to my right, across the railroad. A strip of timer bordered the river parallel to the line held by my cavalry. Fields were between. A body of the enemy's infantry, as skirmishes, moved through the timber by their right on my left. They were fired upon by a small body of my cavalry and retired.

The firing ceased for about half an hour, and I went in person to select a suitable place for camp, leaving Colonel Terry in command, with instructions to decoy the enemy up the hill, where I could use my infantry and artillery with effect and be out of range of the enemy's batteries. Before returning to the column the fire from the skirmishers recommenced. The enemy appeared in force upon my right and center. Colonel Terry, at the head of 75 Rangers, changed about 300, routed and drove them back, but fell mortally wounded. A body of the enemy of about the same size attacked the Rangers, under Captain Ferrill, upon the right of the turnpike, and were repulsed with heavy loss. The enemy began crossing by regiments and moving around on my right and left flanks. three companies of Colonel Marmaduke's (First Arkansas) battalion were thrown out as skirmishers on my left, engaged the enemy's right, and drove them to the river. I now ordered forward Captain Swett's battery and the Second Arkansas Regiment to support it, holding the Sixth Arkansas Regiment to support it, holding the Sixth Arkansas Regiment in reserve. The artillery opened fire upon the enemy in the field adjacent to the railroad and drove them to the banks of the river. Firing now ceased on both sides. The enemy made no further attempt to advance, but knowing that he had already crossed in force, more than double my own, and had the means of crossing additional forces, I withdrew my command by way of the turnpike two miles and a half, and took position to meet the enemy if disposed to advance, There being no indications of any such intention, I returned to my camp here, reaching this place at 8 p. m.

My loss in this affair was as following: Killed - Colonel Terry and 3 men of his regiment; dangerously wounded - Lieutenant Morris and 3 men of Texas Rangers; slightly wounded - Captain Walker and 3 men of Texas Rangers and 2 men of First Arkansas Battalion.

I estimate the enemy's loss at 75 killed and left on the ground; wounded unknown. I have 7 prisoners; other prisoners were too badly wounded to be moved, and were left at citizens' houses.

The troops under my command who were engaged displayed courage in excess. The others were as steady as veterans.

Very respectfully,



Lieutenant D. G. WHITE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division, &c.

HDQRS. CENTRAL ARMY OF KENTUCKY, No. 46. December 21, 1861.

On the 17th instant our forces, under Brigadier-General Hindman, partially engaged a superior force of the enemy at Woodsonville.

In the action we sustained a loss of 4 killed and 9 wounded.

The conduct of our troops was marked by impetuous valor. In charging the enemy Colonel Terry, of the Texas Rangers, was killed in the moment of victory. His regiment deplores the loss of a brave and beloved commander; the Army one of its ablest officers.