Battle of Fort Donelson Facts, Details, and Timeline

February 12–16, 1862

Facts about the Battle of Fort Donelson, including dates, casualties, participants, who won, and more interesting details you might not know. This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the battle and is for kids doing research and students preparing for the AP U.S. History (APUSH) exam.

Ulysses S Grant, at Cold Harbor, Portrait

Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant’s terms for the surrender of Fort Donelson earned him the nickname, “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. Image Source: Wikipedia.

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Definition

The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America from February 12 to February 16, 1862, during the American Civil War.

Quick Facts

  • Date Started: The Battle of Fort Donelson started on Wednesday, February 12, 1862.
  • Date Ended: The fighting ended on Sunday, February 16, 1862.
  • Location: The battle took place in Stewart County, Tennessee around Fort Donelson.
  • Who Won: The United States of America won the Battle of Fort Donelson.
  • Civil War Campaign: The Battle of Fort Donelson was part of the Federal Penetration Up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

Battle of Fort Donelson, Painting

This illustration depicts fighting at the Battle of Fort Donelson. Image Source: Library of Congress.

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Interesting Facts

  • Ulysses S. Grant’s terms for the surrender of Fort Donelson earned him the nickname, “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.
  • Ulysses S. Grant’s capture of Fort Donelson, along with the previous capture of Fort Henry, were the first significant Union victories in the war.

Commanders and Forces Involved

Principal Union Commanders

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • Army of the Tennessee
  • Western Flotilla

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Army of Central Kentucky
  • Fort Henry Garrison

Casualties and Statistics

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 25,000

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 16,000

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 2,691 (killed, wounded, and missing/captured).
  • 507 Union soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson.

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 13,846 casualties (killed, wounded, and missing/captured).
  • 327 Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson.

Results of the Battle of Fort Donelson

  • The outcome of the battle was a Union victory.
  • Ulysses S. Grant’s capture of Fort Donelson, along with the previous capture of Fort Henry, opened two great rivers as avenues of invasion to the heartland of the South.
  • After the capture of Fort Donelson, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to major general of volunteers, second in seniority only to Henry W. Halleck in the West.

Timeline of the Battle of Fort Donelson

This list shows the main battles and events that took place before and after the Battle of Fort Donelson, and how it fits into the chronological order of the Federal Penetration Up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Fort Donelson Facts, Details, and Timeline
  • Coverage February 12–16, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords Battle of Fort Donelson, Civil War Facts for Kids, Social Studies Resources, APUSH Study Material
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date October 5, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 25, 2022

Battle of Fort Donelson Facts, Details, and Timeline is Part of the Following on AHC

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