Monday, October 17, 2011

Fort Donelson Celebrates 150th Anniversary

In February and March of 2012, Fort Donelson will present several exciting programs on the historic battle.

Fort Henry
During the weekend of February 4-6th, Park Rangers from Fort Donelson National Battlefield will introduce visitors to the Fort Heiman story and will interpret the Battle of Fort Henry, which happened 150 years ago on February 6th. A unique living history event will commemorate the Confederate evacuation of Fort Henry towards Fort Donelson.

Fort Donelson
The following weekend, a living history encampment will interpret life at Fort Donelson from the Confederate perspective. This event will explore why men chose to join the Confederate States Army, how their lives were changed, and how their decisions affected their families. The encampment, held in much the same weather they experienced 150 years ago, has the potential of exploring the hardships soldiers on both sides faced. On February 11th, Kendall Gott, author of Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, will share his unique insights on the battle.

USS Carondelet
On February 13 and 14, 2012, Park Rangers will offer programs at the River Batteries to share the incredible stories of Confederate guns exchanging fire with US Navy ironclad boats. On February 15, 2012, Park Rangers will offer programs to explain the daring Confederate attempt to escape from Fort Donelson towards Nashville, and Ulysses Grant’s eventual retaking of his demolished line. On February 14th, Myron J. Smith, author of a new history of the USS Carondelet, will mark the 150th anniversary of the gunboat battle on the Cumberland.

On February 16, 2012, the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Fort Donelson, a historian portraying Ulysses Grant will be at the Dover Hotel to share his thoughts on this, one of his great personal triumphs. The Civil War Singers will share their talents with us that day, as the community commemorates this important event.

The weekend of February 18 and 19 will witness a Union living history encampment, interpreting Union life inside Fort Donelson and the town of Dover after the Confederate surrender.

On February 25th, noted author and former park historian, Benjamin F. Cooling, will talk about the campaign and the aftermath. On March 24th, legendary historian, Ed Bearss, will walk the grounds with visitors and share his gift for storytelling.

Please contact the park (931-232-5706) or visit their web site for more information.

To learn more about the battle, see the Battle of Fort Donelson and THE Turning Point in the Civil War.

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