A Northwestern Victory.
One-half, or more, of the troops engaged in the reduction of Fort Donelson were from Illinois. The remainder were from Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky. Except the regiments from Kentucky, therefore, the troops were northwestern, for Missouri is practically northwestern. The Illinois forces consisted of some twenty-five regiments of infantry, four of cavalry and seven batteries of artillery.
The telegraphic accounts of the battle have made us acquainted with something of the valor of these northwestern troops. Their fighting was as good as has ever been done anywhere. They performed every act that was required of them with a coolness, daring and impetuosity worthy of the best veterans, and it is apparent enough that they would have performed greater deeds if the course of events had furnished opportunities. We do not perceive that there was the slightest faltering in any of the regiments. The comparatively large number of officers killed and wounded shows what the leadership was, and that it was not of the Bull Run sort. Where have western troops faltered under good leadership?
A large number of the Illinois regiments were from the southern half of the state. "Egypt" was well represented. It is of record that "the main battle was fought on Saturday at daylight; the rebels made an attempt to cut their way through the right of our line; one regiment, the Kentucky 25th, fell back, but the southern Illinois troops threw themselves into the breach and drove the enemy back into their entrenchments." It is also of record that the southern Illinois troops "suffered terribly." It is thus seen that these men whom Chicago abolitionism tauntingly calls "Egyptians," and whose officers it has denounced as "secessionists," were among the truest of the true and bravest of the brave. We give prominence to these facts not invidiously, but for an obvious reason. Equally true and equally brave were all the Illinois regiments which had opportunities to throw themselves into the breach.
Our correspondence from the field, when we shall receive it, will do justice to all the northwestern regiments which helped to win the splendid victory of Fort Donelson, when all the world will see that the northwest in this war is capable of taking care of its laurels. The backbone of the rebellion runs through the country which has been assigned as the field of operations of the northwestern army, and if this backbone has not been broken, it soon will be. — Chicago Times.