Location: Stewart County, Tennessee
Campaign: Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers (1862)
Date: February 11-16, 1862
Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant [US]
Flag-Officer A.H. Foote [US];
Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd [CS]
Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow [CS]
Brig. Gen. Simon B. Buckner [CS]
Forces Engaged: Army in the Field [US]; Fort Donelson Garrison [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 17,398 total (US 2,331; CS 15,067)
After capturing Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant advanced cross-country to invest Fort Donelson.
On February 16, 1862, after the failure of their all-out attack aimed at breaking through Grant’s investment lines, the fort’s 12,000-man garrison surrendered unconditionally. This was a major victory for Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and a catastrophe for the South. It ensured that Kentucky would stay in the Union and opened up Tennessee for a Northern advance along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.
Grant received a promotion to major general for his victory and attained stature in the Western Theater, earning the nom de guerre “Unconditional Surrender.”
Result: Union victory