Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fort Henry and Fort Donelson

A week or so ago we went to see Ed Bearss give a talk about "Grant at Fort Donelson" in Dover, Tn. While we were there, we also toured a few of the sites of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. I should have written this entry up earlier, but we have been so busy. We just got back from our first major reenactment event, which commemorated the 150 anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. Check back soon for an entry or two on that adventure.

Dr. J and Dudeboy are pictured at the site of French's Battery. This position was also near the failed breakout attempt.

Dover Hotel . . . the site where Buckner accepted Grant's now famous terms of surrender.

General S. B. BUCKNER,
Confederate Army.

SIR: Yours of this date, proposing armistice and appointment of commissioners to settle terms of capitulation, is just received. No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

To which Buckner replied . . .

Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,

U.S. A.

SIR: The distribution of the forces under my command incident to an unexpected change of commanders and the overwhelming force under your command compel me, notwithstanding the brilliant success of the Confederate arms yesterday, to accept the ungenerous and unchivalrous terms which you propose.

I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
Brigadier. General, C. S. Army.

The visitor center at Fort Donelson had a special exhibit brought in by two collectors from Cincinnati. We were able to talk with them a bit, and they let Dudeboy pose with an original gun and sword.

One of the collectors also builds working scale models of Civil War ships. Here is the USS Cairo. The original, or what is left of it, can be seen at the Vicksburg National Battlefield.

Dudeboy is standing in front of what little is left of Fort Henry. The main fortifications are now under the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), but there are still a few of the earthworks that made up the outer defenses.


Adonis Gorr said...

Grant should have responded "Why is a traitorous oath-breaker lecturing me on chivalry and generosity?"

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

You got to cut Buckner some slack. At least he was man enough to face the music . . . unlike Pillow and Floyd who ran away.