Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fort Donelson, Feb 16, 1862

"I awoke this morning bright and early half frozen having slept on the cold ground without cover...and I was almost sorry that I was not wounded on Saturday for I was confident that it was my last day."
-Samuel Cox, 17th Kentucky*

The 17th and other Union troops under Gen. Wallace were unaware of the Confederates' surrender during the night as they formed for an attack on the enemy lines near Dover, TN.  Forrest and his cavalry had quietly escaped toward Nashville, leaving nearly 13,000 troops to be surrendered by Gen. Buckner (CS).  Among them were many acquaintances of the Union troops.  Some prisoners handed letters to their friends, asking that they be delivered "back home" as their fate was uncertain.

For a better appreciation of this battle visit the Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

*  Eyewitnesses at the Battle of Fort Donelson, 1998
Compiled and edited by David  R Logsdon

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