Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unconditional Surrender

Fort Donelson was surrendered unconditionally to Union General Ulysses S Grant on February 16th 1862.

Following the capture of Fort Henry on February 6th 1862 Union General Ulysses S Grant moved his men overland to Fort Donelson. On February 12th and 13th 1862 they made a few probing attacks. The Union Navy fired on the Fort on February 14th, but were drove away by batteries from the Fort. Confederate Brigadier General John B Floyd finding Fort Donelson surrounded made a surprise attack on Grant’s army trying to find an escape path on February 15th 1862. Grant rallied his men, and Floyd pulled his troops back into their entrenchments.

Floyd and his second in command, Confederate Brigadier General Gideon J Pillow turned over the Fort on the morning of February 16th 1862. Excepting the unconditional surrender terms from Grant. They left command of the Fort to Confederate General Simon B Buckner and made their own escape. Buckner surrendered about 14,000 troop along with 48 guns, equipment and provisions. About 800 men on both sides were killed during the battle, with another 1,500 wounded. Some of the wounded left on the field, froze to death in a snowstorm. The capture of Fort Donelson opened up the Cumberland River to the Union for the invasion into the South.

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