Donelson, Fort, Capture of

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DONELSON, FORT, CAPTURE OF. In January 1862, the Confederate line of defense in the West extended from the Cumberland Gap westward to Columbus, Ohio. After the capture of Fort Henry, in February 1862, Fort Donelson, twenty miles west on the Cumberland River, was the only remaining obstacle to a Union advance. On 13 February, Grant's troops assaulted Fort Donelson unsuccessfully. The following day the river gunboats bombarded the fort but were driven off. The next morning the Confederates counterattacked without success. During the night of 15 February the fort and more than 14,000 men were surrendered.


Ambrose, Stephen. "The Union Command System and the Do-nelson Campaign." Military Affairs 24, no. 2 (Summer 1960): 78–86.

Cooling, Benjamin F. Forts Henry and Donelson—The Key to the Confederate Heatland. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987.

Hamilton, James J. The Battle of Fort Donelson. South Brunswick, N.J.: T. Yoseloff, 1968.

Thomas RobsonHay/a. r.

See alsoCivil War ; Henry, Fort ; Unconditional Surrender .