Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant

Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant’s terms for the surrender of Fort Donelson earned him the nickname, “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. [Wikimedia Commons]

Battle of Fort Donelson Facts

February 12–16, 1862

Key facts about the Battle of Fort Donelson.

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Date and Location

  • February 12-16, 1862

Location:

  • Stewart County, Tennessee
  • Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers

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

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)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 13,846 casualties (killed, wounded and missing/captured)

Result

  • Union victory

Significance

  • 507 Union soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson.
  • 327 Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Fort Donelson Facts
  • Coverage February 12–16, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords battle of fort donelson
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 30, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 8, 2021
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