Decisive Battles (Tactical Level) Fort Henry/Donelson

DecisiveBattles (Tactical Level) Fort Henry/Donelson

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DecisiveBattles (Tactical Level) Fort Henry/Donelson

Thedefeat of the Confederacy was because of their various unfortunatewar strategies coupled with the useful tactics by the union. The armycaptains of both camps were highly focused on creating andimplementing viable schemes that would aid in overcoming the rivals.They had opted to gain new allies who could support them and assistthem in gaining victories. However, the leaders of the southernmilitary who had tried to seek the assistance of Kentucky were laterforced into creating new key defensive positions along the Cumberlandand Tennessee rivers after the decision by Kentucky not to join themin the Confederacy movement. They came up with a strategy to protectwestern Tennessee by using the forts of Henry, Donelson, and Heiman1.Unfortunately, along with the two rivers, there were only a fewlocations available for selection for the Confederacy and thestrategy turned out to be poor, and it was among the reasons fortheir defeat by the Union.

Theunion movement was also better in control, and they had the advantageof implementing their decisions immediately to get their rivals on aflat foot. Brig. Gen. Ulysses S can show this2.Grant who was allowed by his superior Henry Halleck to exercise hisplan by attacking Fort Henry swiftly before the Confederate couldsend the necessary reinforcement. The plan was successful as gunboatswere sent down the river with the goal off attacking the forts usedby the Confederate. The success was achieved since the forts of Henryand Heiman fell. The union as such was able to add the two forts asthe base for launching further attacks on Fort Donelson.

However,despite the loss of its two support forts, the Confederate was stillwell motivated that it could win the war by using Fort Donelsonalone. Further reinforcements were given to the original Fortregarding military personnel, earthworks, and artillery positions. Itwas already evident that the Union forces were in a better positionof winning and as such, it would be better for the Confederate tofall back and come up with better strategies. However, theConfederate thought it as unnecessary to retreat.

TheUnion in 14th February 1862, decided to move upriver with an aim toattack the Fort of Donelson. The duel at Fort Donelson resulted tothe Union defeat on Cumberland, and the union had their first tasteof victory. Most of the Confederate soldiers including their leaderFoote were wounded during the battle while their fort was greatlydamaged3.Despite the injuries, the Confederate soldiers were heard cheeringtheir win for the day as the Union retreated in their gunboats. TheUnion had no option but to retreat and decide on the option to carryout more attacks on their rivals.

Duringthe next day, the Union soldiers were surprised by a move by theConfederate who waved white flags which aimed at showing surrenderand their goal was to get a way out of the war to avoid the foreseendefeat4.The Union had an overwhelming force that could not be matched and assuch surrender by the Confederate who had one Fort for its defensehad the best option which was surrender. The terms agreed wereimmediate and unconditional surrender and this created “The greatUnion victory at Fort Donelson.”

Bibliography

Civil War Trust. www.civilwar.org. n.d. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/fort-donelson.html?tab=facts (accessed October 26, 2016).

Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union. A detailed examination of the Civil War experience. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2011.

Thomas, Dean S. Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery. Gettysburg: Thomas Publications., 2011.

Vaughan, Jim. Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Fort Donelson. 2011.

1 Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union. A detailed examination of the Civil War experience. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2011.

2 Civil War Trust. www.civilwar.org. n.d. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/fort-donelson.html?tab=facts (accessed October 26, 2016).

3 Vaughan, Jim. Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Fort Donelson. 2011.

4 Thomas, Dean S. Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery. Gettysburg: Thomas Publications., 2011.