Only the Cumberland River toward Nashville was still open for possible Confederate reinforcements. Uh Oh.
The St. McClernand realized he was in trouble and sent word to the other division commanders and to Grant requesting help.
Fort Donelson was built on much higher ground than Fort Henry. In short, controlling the rivers and railroads would be vital for the success of the Union and the Confederacy. The Union Army faced the daunting task of occupying and controlling this vast area.
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He found confusion among some of the Union forces; men wandering around with empty cartridge boxes while wagons of ammunition stood nearby.
Many civilians came in search of loved ones or to offer support. Abraham Lincoln. Floyd declared that, due to personal reasons, he would not be part of the surrender.
Upon receiving orders to attack the works in front of his division, General Smith moved his forces down the ridge and formed for battle at the bottom of the Confederate-occupied hill.
Fort Henry answered with its eleven heavy guns, but the bow guns of the gunboats had more firepower than the fort could match.
They did receive one accurate report that River Road was open, but the mud was knee-deep and the water was up to the saddle skirts. With the capture of Fort Donelson and its sister fort, Henry, the North had not only won its first great victory, it had also gained a new hero-"Unconditional Surrender" Grant, who was promoted to major general.
A War Anything but Civil.
He did not see the reason to simply give up all the area they had fought for and won that day. He sent about 12,000 men, including Generals John B. Lee's surrender at Appomattox would send Grant to the White House. Civil War Topic Abraham Lincoln. The Official Records provide tremendous documentation and are essential reading. The Confederate attack seemed to stall and there was a lull on the battlefield.
Soldier Life. Supply lines had to be developed and maintained. This allowed the gunboats to get closer to the fort without being fired upon by the Confederate gunners. Photography in the Civil War.