Fort Donelson National Battlefield - Tennessee

Fort Donelson National Battlefield is located in North Central Tennessee about 80 miles northwest of Nashville.Fort Donelson National Battlefield The 1,063-acre park is

the site of the first significant Union victory of the Civil War. Open year-round you can take a driving tour of the battlefield, Fort Donelson National Cemetery and the

Dover House. About Fort Donelson National Battlefield From the beginning of the Civil War both the Union and Confederate forces knew the importance of the Tennessee and

Cumberland Rivers. If the North controlled the waterways they could use them to strike into the heart of the Confederate strongholds. The Confederates built Fort Henry

on the Tennesee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River to try and prevent a Union invasion into Tennesee. On February 6, 1862, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant

captured Fort Henry with little difficulty with the help of Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote. Fort Henry can not be visited since it is now beneath the waters of Lake

Kentucky. After this battle Grant and Foote moved east to attack Fort Donelson. At Fort Donelson, the Union forces met greater resistance due to the fort being better

situated that Fort Henry. The Confederate forces decided to try and escape to the Southeast knowing more Union forces were on their way. Confusion and indecision led to an

order to withdraw behind previous battle lines.  Confederate Brigadier General Simon Buckner realized that their troop's position was hopeful and asked for terms of

surrender from General Grant.