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Fort Donelson, Tennessee (Confederate Breakout)
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After the fall of Fort Henry, Grant marched on Fort Donelson and had almost completed encircling the Fort when the Confederate commanders realized, if they didn't move quickly, they would be cut off. During the night, they massed their troops against the Union right, and on the morning of February 15, the Confederates launched a surprise attack. The battle raged all morning. Grant attempted to relieve pressure on his right and ordered Smith's division on his left to attack the Confederate fieldworks in front of Fort Donelson, but by midday the Union's right flank was shattered.
The way seemed clear to Nashville and safety, but the indecision of the Confederate commanders allowed Grant to counterattack, and the Confederate troops were ordered to return to their entrenchments. Floyd and Pillow turned over command to Buckner and then slipped away to Nashville while many of the troops escaped with Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest across Lick Creek. On the morning of February 16, Buckner asked Grant for terms. Grant's answer was short and direct: "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender."
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
February 15, 1862
Fort Donelson, Tennessee
Battle of Fort Donelson
The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought from February 11–16, 1862, in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. The Union capture of the Confederate fort near the Tennessee–Kentucky border opened the Cumberland River, an important avenue for the invasion of the South. The Union's success also elevated Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant from an obscure and largely unproven leader to the rank of major general, and earned him the nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.
Introduction to Wikipedia Article
Wikipedia: Battle of Fort Donelson