Unionist prepared and came with massive forces. Confederates learnt of this impending attack and requested for reinforcement, which was not forth coming. Three Union gunboats did a trial to test the confederates who repelled them. When he was ready to attack, General Grant ordered a massive attack. He assessed the confederates and understood that they were grossly under equipped and undermanned and that was why he exploited that situation to the fullest. He used two brigades to launch that attack. Confederates have no way of dealing with that situation and they have no other choice than to withdraw their forces.
Fort DonelsonA week after the federal forces have captured the most significant fort of Henry Tennessee, their attention now shifted to fort Donelson. General Grant did not waste time in negotiating for the capture of fort Donelson. A week later, he initiated the battle starting the battle at the Cumberland River. This Cumberland is the major gateway to the confederacy. Confederates know what it would mean for them to lose that war. Confederates responded through General Floyd whose attempts to break through the Unionist line failed woefully.
When fort Henry failed, confederates mobilize thousands of soldiers to reinforce the forces around Donelson. This fort was about 10 miles away from Cumberland River. The first attempt to capture the fort failed woefully when General Mc Bernard made the initial attempt to capture it. However, to ensure that they did not fail General Grant moved flotilla to shell the fort from the east of the Cumberland River. Confederates responded by attempting to break the Unionist position, although the Unionists retreated as a result of the attack, the man behind the confederates attack made a fatal miscalculation. Grant followed by launching a severe counter attack and regained most of the positions, which he had earlier lost to the enemy.
Confederates found themselves in difficult positions as they were surrounded by the federal forces. However, thousands of them were able to escape before fort Donelson was finally surrounded. More than 16000 confederates soldiers were killed in action or were captured. General Grant fought that battle with about 24000 soldiers; about 2700 of them were casualties of the war.
The capture of fort Donelson meant the tactical end of the war, because the rebels had to talk of surrendering. When the confederates demanded for the terms of their surrender, General Grant told them that there is no term for an unconditional surrender would be the only thing that would be acceptable to the federal forces. Until his lifetime, Grant was called by the nickname Unconditional Surrender. At the end of the war, Brig General Grant was promoted to the rank of Major General by President Abraham Lincoln.
The loss of two important fortes of Donelson and Henry was a big blow to the rebels, because it led to the capture of Kentucky and this made Tennessee open for quick capture.
In conclusion, you would observe that the American civil war was fought mainly in the Tennessee. The state went into the war divided as you can see that significant portion of their population was against the state separating from the union. The battle of the various forts, especially the last two ports of Henry and Donelson led to the defeat of the Tennessee state by the federal forces under the control of General Grant.
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The confederate army under Gen Bragg besieged its opponents at Chattanooga. A detachment of soldiers under the control of Gen Longstreet was sent to Knoxville with the aim of stopping Burnside troops from supporting Chattanooga. Burnside took up a position in Knoxville after they have escaped from the Campbell station battle. The war of Knoxville started in November 17 1863. Gen Longstreet was determined to attack the confederate forces from Fort Sanders. After delaying the attack, he decided to use three generals each commanding different segments.
When Longstreet finally decided to launch his attack, it was poorly planned and executed when it was finally launched on 29 November. The Union inflicted heavy casualties on the confederates. The attack was such severe that it was described as the deadliest of the attacks. The casualty was lopsided.
Fort Negley Fort Negley is perhaps the most significant fort built during the American civil war. It was regarded as the largest inland stone fortification. It was indeed the centerpiece of the Union occupation of the Nashville. The battle of Nashville was significant during that war.
Nashville was strategic during the war. It was strategic because of its location to the Cumberland River, as well as turnpikes networks and railroad all connected to the city. These made it very significant during the war. It was very important for both the Union and the confederate army. After the surrender of the confederate, the fort became the most fortified in the country after the Washington D C fort.
The fort was constructed in December 1862 by combination of 2700 conscript laborers, who consisted mainly of runaway slaves, and free slaves helped in the construction of fort Negley. The fort was located atop of St Cloud Hill. This fort was part of the massive fortification system embarked upon by the Union forces. Because of its massive equipment and construction, the confederate never attempted to attack it throughout the war. The fort also played a very important role in 1864 December in driving away General Hood’s army during the war. Tennessee rejoined the federation in July 1867. The Union forces maintained their occupation of that fort until September of the same year until the military dismantled the majority of what remained of that defensive position. This fort played a significant role in the conclusion of that war.
Fort Defiance, Tennessee Fort Defiance was a fort constructed by the confederate troops. They built that fort to defend Clarksville Tennessee. Three guns were mounted on that fort. However, in 1862 February 19 federal troops reported that the port was deserted and white flags were hanging there. Federal forces then took it and increased the size such that it controls traffic up to the Hopkinsville Pike. Small garrison was commissioned to guard Clarksville. Troops in the fort were later increased and it includes the 71st Ohio soldier volunteers and Col Mason commanded this.
Around July and August of 1862, confederates increased their activities in Clarksville and this led to its recapture in 1862. The commander of the federal forces in that area Col Mason was punished for surrendering so easily to the confederate forces. Federal troops were dispatched from fort Donelson to recapture Clarksville from the confederates. After severe battle at different locations around New Providence at Riggins Hill, the town was taken again by the Union army, and until the war ended, they occupied that fort. To ensure that they retained the fort, Col Bruce took control to ensure that it never falls to the confederate, and it was renamed Fort Bruce. There was even a time it was regarded as Fort Sevier.
Fort Henry was very significant during the civil war. The fort was the first place the Union forces recorded their most significant victory. Gen Ulysses Grant commanded federal forces. He was also the officer who led the Unionist to victory in Fort Donelson. This was why the federal forces were able to capture Nashville. Fighting here was also significant, because it marked the first involvement of ironclad gunboats during the war.
General Johnston was in charge of the confederate forces located at the Western Theater, and he was supported by General Halleck and General Buell. Lincoln administration put pressure on General Ulysses Grant as well as the Western Naval commander Flag Officer Foot to stop Buell who was making his way through Kentucky to the capital of Tennessee Nashville. Halleck one of the confederate commanders ordered fort Henry’s capture.
Fort Henry was very significant for both the confederate forces and the Unionists. Both forts Henry and Donelson were separated by a strip of land. Capturing the two ports was of significant to the confederate and losing them would be disastrous for the Unionists. Capturing the two forts would pave the way for the confederate to meet with other garrisons separated from the rest of the soldiers.
Federal forces need to consolidate their hold of that territory and that was why they deployed slaves to construct yet another fort called Heiman, this was constructed on Calloway Kentucky and that was in 1862.
Unfortunately, the confederates appear not to have enough equipment on the ground to deal with the Unionists when they attacked. Fort Henry has well over three acres of land, and has riffles pits that extended towards the river. Moreover, they have 17 heavy guns deployed to man the area, 12 of such were facing the river, and the remaining five were securing the land. Eight guns do not have any ammunition; this means that what was left over was not sufficient to defend the river. Above all, that fort was grossly undermanned, because there are fewer than three thousand soldiers on the ground. Even those on grounds were recently recruited.
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In the year 1864 the month October precisely, Colonel Forrest, one of the General Forrest brothers commanded a company called the 16th Tennessee Regiment at that fort. As a result of the war, troops stationed at the fort lost heavily and this led to their fragmentation during the war until they were later re-organized under Col Forrest who later attacked the Steamboat Belle at St Louis Missouri. This attack was carried out at Fort Randolph.
When the Belle was attacked, it was on its way to the upstream from Memphis. It was loaded with lots of cotton bales, and it was on its way to the North of St Louis. The boat landed in Randolph to carry more payloads before the confederate rebels launched an attack. As a result of that attack, a Major of the Union army was killed, while 26 members of the crew were captured. When the ship captain got the message of the attack, it pushed the boat into the water, and that was to prevent total destruction of the boat. Both sides lost heavily as a result of this attack and the confederate soldiers lost two of their soldiers as a result of the battle. This was one of the most important forts used during the civil war.
Fort SandersFort Sanders was another important fortification built in the course of the civil war. This fort was very significant because it played major roles during the war. This was where the military engagement or the famous Knoxville battle took place. The battery was brutally fought on November 29 1863. A strong fight put up by Gen James Longstreet to break through the enemy defensive lines failed as the Union army under Gen Burnside rebuffed the attack. The casualty was lopsided and this led to the siege of Knoxville.
As the war lasts, the confederacy has never controlled any large area in the east Tennessee. In the east unlike the other parts of the state, slavery was not allowed this is principally for moral reason and the fact that there is not enough land for a plantation. Because of this, the people here have an affiliation with the unionist, and were never in favor of secession and had no course to support the war. The people there had more sentiments that are republican. This was good for the Union forces because they easily find support with the local population who provided all the supports they needed during the war. However, the army has difficulty here and that is because of the rough terrain.
Unlike the other forts we have discussed before, Fort Sanders was built by the Union forces. It was built under the supervision of Captain Poe who was the army engineer. The fort got its name from Gen Sanders who was wounded at the outskirt of Knoxville. The fort had inside it 440 men, as well as 12 cannons and all these belonged to the 79th infantry from New York, fighting for the Union army.
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Prominent confederate soldiers like Nathan Bedford Forrest and Alexander Stewart were trained at this fort. Rather Stewart was promoted to the rank of Major in the Militia on the order of the governor. He was given the great responsibility of commanding that great heavy artillery, as well as the Water Batteries situated at Fort Randolph. Two of them who trained at Fort Wright, later performed roles in the confederate army as they two later made it to the rank of Lt General during the war. Fort Wright was very significant for the confederate, because it was the camp where elite soldiers were trained. This also served as the major ground for the soldiers and civilians to gain experience about fortification construction, as well as artillery setups, which helped the confederate to defend themselves against naval attacks.
Trainees here obtained training on different aspects of war such as military skills, drills, as well as discipline. Soldiers who trained here were prominent in the war, because they fought at different fronts. Here were some of the battlegrounds soldiers trained at Fort Wright; they include the Battle of Belmont, Battle of Shiloh, Battle of Chickamauga, the Battle of Murfreesboro, Battle of Bentonville, as well as the Battle of Franklin. This fort served as the greatest stronghold for the confederate along the River Mississippi until 1861 July when it was abandoned by the infantry. Southern forces occasionally occupied it during the war.
Fort Randolph (Tennessee)Fort Randolph was another important fort built during the civil war. This fort was built by the confederate army to get more fortification. This was the second fortification by the confederate army. The first fortification was the Fort Wright. This was the second confederate and it was constructed some months of the completion of the first one at Wright. It was constructed in the fall of 1861. This fortification was positioned on the Mississippi River, and it was about 1.6 Km southwest of Fort Wright. The fort stood at about 10 KM above the river. If you stay here, you can have extended view of the Mississippi River. This means that boats approaching through the river could be easily detected very early. This would afford the confederate army the opportunity to reprise any Union military boat attacks. Because of the positioning of the fort, it means that the Union army can be easily targeted by the confederate soldiers at an elevated position.
Report had it that in March 1862, confederate forces burnt down the town of Columbus located in Kentucky. Everything in that town was destroyed, especially those things that cannot be carted away. The rebels who committed that act had to hide themselves on that fort so that they cannot be easily captured by the Unionists forces.
Introduction The American civil war was fought in many forts in the southern states, but the last battles were fought in the farms and cities of Tennessee. Greater parts of those wars were fought in Virginia and Tennessee. It is worthy to note that Tennessee was the last of the southern states that would join confederates to secede from the rest of the country. The state was the last, because a significant segment of their population was against secession. Those who were against that move never supported. They offered help for the federal forces. This was prominent in the eastern part of the state. Many who supported the confederates saw warring armies that damaged greater parts of their states as worrisome. Such people believed that seceding would be the way out of their problem. Its rivers were the major route towards the south. It is not surprising that the war was concentrated on Tennessee, because of the need to secure the transportation routes. Capturing the Tennessee would mean an easy entry to the rest of the confederates.
One of the deadliest battles ever fought in the country was centered in Tennessee. Americans would always recall the Battle of Shiloh. The great battle in the state was fought around the various forts constructed in the state to fortify different fighting positions. The history of the war would never end without mentioning the various battles in such forts like Henry, Donelson, and several others, which you will see in the course of this work.
Fort Wright One of the prominent forts used in the American civil war is Fort Wright. This fort was constructed in the year 1861. The fort was located at Chickasaw Bluff. This fort was a fortification of the civil war and it served as the first military training camp for the Confederate Army in the Tennessee. The history of this fort started in the year 1861 precisely January 20. This was the day the Memphis proposed to build fort for the secessionist army at Randolph. The aim of the fort was primarily to defend Memphis against possible attack by the enemies. A communiqué was sent directly to the first Secretary of the Confederate states, General Gideon Pillow. The communiqué endorsed Randolph as the best position to defend Memphis. In the same year, that was April the governor of Tennessee Isham G Harris instructed that Col Marcus Joseph Wright should establish a military camp at Randolph and this would help their fortification. Five thousands soldiers from Arkansas, Tennessee, as well as troops from the confederate army were positioned there to defend the territory. However, the fortification was completed within four months and this provides fortification. This is in addition to the eastern defenses already in place, as well as the artillery batteries. This was to ensure a complete protection from attack from the enemy’s land and naval forces.
In June of 1861, report had it that the fortification construction could not be accomplished, through 50 cannons were already deployed. The cannons were estimated to be about thirty-two pounds. The larger ones were estimated to be 42s and 64s. However, at that time, the eastern flank was overgrown with grasses, which were said to be about 20 to 30 feet thick. Only one wing was heavily defended at that time with heavy guns. However, before Fort Wright was constructed Fort Randolph was already in existence, this was the second strongest hold of the confederate army.
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