Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daniel S. Donelson

In 1821 Daniel S. Donelson entered West Point and graduated 5th in his class in 1825. His military career was short-lived and he resigned his commission after six months to become a planter in Sumner County, TN. He did serve in the Tennessee militia as a brigade major (1827) and later a brigadier general (1829).

When the Civil War broke out, Donelson volunteered for the Tennessee militia and was returned to duty as a brigadier general. In May 1861 he approved the location of Fort Donelson which was named in his honor. After Tennessee joined the Confederacy he became a brigadier general in the army and fought at Perryville and Stones River. He rose to command the Department of East Tennessee. He died in April 1863 of chronic diarrhea before his promotion to major general was approved by the Confederate Congress.

In February 1862 U. S. Grant's Union forces captured Fort Donelson after a brilliant attack led by Brigadier General Charles Ferguson Smith. The irony was that Smith and Donelson were classmates in the 1825 graduating class with Smith ranking 19th out of 37

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