Fort Donelson National Battlefield

 

The Confederate Batteries on the Tennessee River at Fort Donelson.


 

Battlefield statistics

Type

National Battlefield

Markers

Nearly 50

Monuments

2

Cannon

20

 


The Dover Hotel, at tour stop 10.

        Fort Donelson National Battlefield is owned and administrated by the National Park Service, a section of the Department of the Interior.  Fort Donelson is one of the many National Battlefield and Military Parks located in and around the state of Tennessee, and like Shiloh, is found on a river-side location, on the Cumberland River, at the very northern tip of Tennessee.  The battlefield is located in the very small town of Dover, Tennessee, just east of the Tennessee River, and it is this location that gives Fort Donelson- easily the largest and best preserved battlefield in Tennessee after Shiloh- a secluded and rural feel, much like the atmosphere one experiences at Shiloh.  
        Visitors begin their journey at the Visitor's Center, located just west of the town center, off of Highway 79.  After picking up a tour map, drivers can begin the loop around the best preserved portion of the battlefield and  the several small excursions into the town itself.  Highlights of the driving tour include the Confederate Monument, at tour stop 1; the River Batteries and their amazing view down onto the Cumberland River, at tour stop 4; the well preserved Dover Hotel, at tour stop 10, and the moving National Cemetery, at tour stop 11.  
        Besides the tour road, there are also two walking trails, although neither pass by any points of historic interest.  A trip to Fort Donelson would perfectly compliment a weekend trip to Shiloh, as the two battlefields are important to each other's history and are located only a few hours apart.  This battlefield is a good example of how to present a secluded, yet vitally important historic site.  

 

French's Battery, at tour stop 8.


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