1862

General Grant accepts the “unconditional and immediate surrender” of  Fort Donelson, with 15,000 prisoners, from its present commander, Gen. Simon Buckner. [Floyd and Pillow, realizing the Fort was lost, have managed to sneak out of the Fort and escape.] Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest leads his command and numerous stragglers from the fort as the other generals flee. This victory opens up the state of Tennessee for Union advancement. Union forces will quickly breach Southern defenses and open a corridor to Nashville.

“Sunday – Johnston’s army passing by the University from 10 A.M. until after dark – camped out near Mill Creek. Light of campfires very bright at night. The army was in rapid retreat – the men disliked bitterly giving up Nashville without a struggle. The Southern army however was too small to make a stand against the overwhelmingly superior numbers of Union troops . . . . During all Sunday from about 10 A.M., when the news of the fall of Fort Donelson reached here, the wildest excitement prevailed in the city. Very many persons left the city in vehicles – many on the cars – the Gov. & Legislature decamped – Nashville was a panic stricken city.” [Lindsley]

We are all amused at Ting [her young daughter] yesterday – she was reading us the ‘nuse’ as she calls it in the paper. Seeing the Eagle on the Banner’sheading she pointed to it with such rogueishness … “See here, Cousin Mollie, this is the thing the Yankees are bringing to peck us!” Her readings about “our men” and the Yankees kept us in a roar of laughter. . . . Dear little children! They are so full of fun and frolic as ever – they know nothing of this [illegible] Yankee war! And God be praised they do not – they are all the sunshine we have in our darkened homes now!” [Lucy Virginia French diary]

> Read a letter from a 17th Illinois soldier about the capture of Fort Donelson.

> See the Tennessee Historical Marker for Nathan Bedford Forrest

1863

Skirmish at Bradyville (Cannon County) – Union forces under Gen. Stanley defeat a portion of John Morgan’s division, taking 70 prisoners, including 8 officers, their camp equipage, tents, 300 new saddles, 70 horses, and Basil Duke’s regimental papers.

A report from Nashville mentions that 26 buildings are used throughout the city as hospitals for sick and wounded soldiers.

> Letter, 36th Illinois soldier writes post-Murfreesboro action

1865

Attacks on garrisons at Sweetwater and Athens.

The Nashville suburbs are under attack by small bands of Confederate cavalry, raiding homes on the Murfreesboro and Nolensville Pikes, robbing residents, and taking prisoners.

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