Grant Invades Tennessee: The Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson: A Field & Walking Tour ~ May 4-6

On May 4, 2017 - 19:30 - May 6, 2017 - 17:00
  • Activity Level: Easy

For a couple of weeks in February 1862, the attention of the nation was riveted on two isolated Confederate fortifications in west Tennessee. The weakest link of Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston’s defensive line in the west, Forts Henry and Donelson were ripe for invasion if only the Federals could muster the courage to take advantage of them. Enter Ulysses S. Grant.

An almost unknown low level general at the time, Grant found his military soul mate in Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote and together, they pressured their superior in St. Louis, Henry W. Halleck, to turn them loose on the Confederate defensive line. The result was magnificent, including an easy victory at Fort Henry and a much harder operation at Fort Donelson. But win them they did.

The February 1862 campaign for these forts had immense ramifications. Ulysses S. Grant became a national hero. An entire Confederate army was captured and sent north to prison camps. The Tennessee state capital at Nashville fell to Union capture. But most importantly, Fort Henry unlocked the vast Confederate heartland along the Tennessee River, and the Federals did not let up for long. They continued southward along the Tennessee River and into history at Shiloh, Corinth, and ultimately on through Mississippi to Vicksburg.

On the first weekend in May, we will present a tour led by Timothy B. Smith, master tour guide of Western Theater battlefields and the author of the new, highly acclaimed book, Grant Invades Tennessee: The 1862  Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, during which we will examine in detail all of the important sites associated with the campaign, including Fort Heiman on the western bank of the Tennessee River, Camp Halleck and the outer works of Fort Henry on the eastern bank of the river, as well as the national park sites at Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. We will also traverse the most vicious fighting area at Fort Donelson, which is not totally preserved in the national park, when dealing in detail with the February 15 Confederate breakout attempt.

After an orientation on Thursday evening, May 4 at our base at Paris Landing State Park Lodge in Buchanan, Tennessee, we will set forth on Friday morning to cover the Tennessee River operations. We will visit the Fort Heiman site, across the river from Fort Henry (the main work of which is now under water) and the various fortifications to be seen in the area of the Fort Henry site. After lunch, on the east side of the Tennessee River, we’ll visit Camp Halleck, Panther Creek, the various Confederate outer-works, and the roads to Fort Donelson at Standing Rock Creek, Telegraph and Ridge Road. On Saturday, we will cover the Cumberland River operations beginning at the Fort Donelson Visitor Center. We’ll visit the various river batteries, and after lunch take up the breakout attempt and eventual surrender.

 

From start to finish, this tour will be thorough, in-depth, and well-supported with high-quality maps. And we’ll eat well too! Join Tim Smith on this rarely offered and superbly organized tour. 

Timothy B. Smith

Tim Smith is widely regarded as the leading tour guide of the battle of Shiloh and of the siege and battle of Corinth. He is the author of a number of books including Mississippi in the Civil War: The Home Front; The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and Battlefield; Rethinking Shiloh: Myth and Memory; Shiloh: Conquer or Perish; The Golden Age of Battlefield Preservation: The Decade of the 1890s and the Establishment of America’s First Five Military Parks; and Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation.

Registration Fee - $325.

If You Must Cancel we will refund 100% of your fees paid within 30 days of your notice.

What is included in your registration:

·      The services of an expert historian chosen for his knowledge and experience

·      Transportation to all sites as described

·      Friday & Saturday lunches

·      Refreshments and snacks during the tour

Base Location & Lodging: We will be based at the Paris Landing State Park Lodge in Buchanan, Tennessee where we are arranging a block of rooms for our attendees. Lodge information and Instructions as to how to book a room under our block will soon be sent to all registrants and posted on www.cwea.net.

 

Thursday, May 4

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM –   Campaign Overview – Paris Landing State State Park Lodge

Friday, May 5

8:30 AM                   Depart Paris Landing Lodge

5:00 PM                   Arrive Back at Paris Landing Lodge

Saturday, May 6

8:30 AM                   Depart Paris Landing Lodge

5:00 PM                   Arrive Back at Paris Landing Lodge

Ft Donelson 2017

Base Location & Lodging: We will be based at the Paris Landing State Park Lodge in Buchanan, Tennessee where we are arranging a block of rooms for our attendees. Lodge information and Instructions as to how to book a room under our block will soon be sent to all registrants and posted on www.cwea.net.

Location

Paris Landing State Park Lodge
16055 US-79
Buchanan, TN
United States
(731) 641-4465