Battle of Fort Donelson

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Battle of Fort Donelson
Began:

February 11, 1862

Ended:

February 16, 1862

Location:

Stewart County, Tennessee

Theater:

Western Theater

Campaign:

Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers

Outcome:

Union victory

33 star flag.png
Combatants
Conf Navy Jack.png

District of Cairo
Western Flotilla

Army of Central Kentucky
Fort Donelson garrison

Commanders

Ulysses S. Grant
Brigadier General, USA
Andrew H. Foote
Commodore, USN

John B. Floyd
Brigadier General, CSA
Gideon Pillow
Brigadier General, CSA
Simon B. Buckner
Brigadier General, CSA

Strength

24,531 soldiers

16,171 soldiers

Casualties

2,331

15,067

  

After capturing Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant advanced cross-country to invest Fort Donelson. On February 16, 1862, after the failure of their all-out attack aimed at breaking through Grant’s investment lines, the fort’s 12,000-man garrison surrendered unconditionally. This was a major victory for Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and a catastrophe for the South. It ensured that Kentucky would stay in the Union and opened up Tennessee for a Northern advance along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Grant received a promotion to major general for his victory and attained stature in the Western Theater, earning the nom de guerre “Unconditional Surrender.” (NPS summary)

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