Forts Henry and Donelson: U.S. Grant Takes the Stage

On February 4th and sixteenth, the Accomplice forts Henry and Donelson, respectively, surrendered to Union forces beneath the command of Brigadier Basic Ulysses S. Grant, marking each clear, essential Union victories in early 1862 and the start of Grant’s rise to prominence.
Early within the battle, Union leaders acknowledged the significance of controlling rivers all through the Western Theater, and centered on Accomplice installations across the Tennessee River, in western Tennessee. Grant’s forces marched on Fort Henry along with Union Navy gunboats, which precisely shelled the publish, forcing its give up on February 6. This acted as a domino, offering entry by Union forces to Fort Donelson, 12 miles to the east and alongside the Cumberland River. As Grant’s forces marched on Fort Donelson, Union ironclads destroyed bridges alongside the rivers, disrupting already-limited Southern rail capability and common transportation.
The Accomplice garrison at Fort Donelson surrendered on February sixteenth, opening the Cumberland River to the Union, which supplied entry deep into Tennessee, main later to the Battle of Shiloh, and enabling Union forces management of important rivers all through the Accomplice West.
Grant, heretofore an unknown outdoors of the Military, started his rise to prominence within the eyes of Union Military leaders, political leaders, and ultimately the American individuals. Accomplice Brigadier Basic Simon Bolivar Buckner, an previous pal of Grant’s from West Level, initially sought beneficiant phrases for give up, falling again on the custom of opposing commanders usually negotiating an finish to hostilities. Grant’s response that “[n]o phrases besides unconditional and rapid give up will be accepted. I suggest to maneuver instantly upon your works,” was not obtained fortunately by Buckner, however the Accomplice chief, given his state of affairs, had no possibility however to simply accept.
Ulysses S. Grant, thereby, was dubbed “Unconditional Give up” Grant – and very similar to as we speak, the American press and Individuals have been impressed by the nickname, which remains to be related to him in lots of tales.
Entry a map of the battle websites in context from West Level’s assets assortment. Forts Donelson and Henry are circled, simply left of middle on the map.
Learn extra about U.S. Grant as a battle commander on this essay from our Civil Conflict Sesquicentennial Exhibit.

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