The morning of February 14, 1862 dawned cold and quiet. Early in the afternoon the stillness was broken by a furious roar, and the earth began to shake. The Union gunboats were exchanging "iron valentines" with the 11 big guns in the southern water batteries. During this one and one-half hour duel the Confederate guns inflicted such extensive damage upon the gunboats that they were forced to retreat. The hills and hollows echoed with cheers from the Southern soldiers. (From the Fort Donelson brochure.)
Ft. Donelson National Cemetery was established in 1867 and 655 Union soldiers were reinterred here. These soldiers, 504 of which are unknown, had been buried in other various locations, such as local and hospital cemeteries. The high percentage of unknown soldiers is attributed to the haste in cleaning up the battlefield and that Civil War soldiers did not carry government-issued identification.
The Dover Hotel, also known as Surrender House, is where Simon B. Buckner, Brigadier General, surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
For additional information:
"Fort Donelson National Battlefield" brochure
Audio cassette driving tour tape (available at park)