Three Hours Later

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February 15, 1862 – 9:30am the right flank of the Union army had been driven back to this position, two miles from where the Confederate breakout attempt began.

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By 9:30 a.m. the right flank of the Union army had been driven back to this position, two miles from where the Confederate breakout attempt began. McClernands withdrawal was not yet a rout, but ammunition was running low and the Union forces continued to fall back. One regiment, however, the 11th Illinois, found itself isolated from the rest of its brigade and virtually surrounded by thousands of Confederate infantrymen and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry.

Exposed to a galling fire in front and on both flanks, the regiments commander ordered his men to Face to the rear and charge cavalry. What was left of the 11th Illinois bravely shot, slashed, and clubbed its way through Forrests troopers to safety. Most of the regiments casualties that day (330 out of 500 engaged) occurred here. Sixty-two enlisted men of the regiment killed resisting the Confederate onslaught are buried in a special section of Fort Donelson National Cemetery

February 15th, 1862 mid-morning

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