Help Save Two Tennessee Battlefields


News of the latest preservation fight in the Western Theater comes to us from the Civil War Trust. Take a moment to read Civil War Trust President Jim Lighthizer’s update at Fort Donelson and Parker’s Cross Roads.

When the Civil War began, Tennessee was a state of sharply divided loyalties, just like the United States itself. Geographically, the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers made “The Volunteer State” a site of immense strategic importance and within its borders, brother truly fought against brother, and more Civil War battles were fought in the Tennessee borders than in any other state, save Virginia.

Now you have the chance to help us save 63 acres at two of Tennessee’s most famous battlefields: Fort Donelson, which took place on the frigid morning of February 16, 1862, and Parker’s Cross Roads, which was fought on the last day of that same year, December 31, 1862.

At Fort Donelson, General Ulysses S. Grant demanded (and received) the “unconditional surrender” of a Confederate army of more than 12,000 men. It was the first of three occasions on which Grant would capture an entire rebel army, and it was also the beginning of a meteoric rise that would take him to Vicksburg, Appomattox and, ultimately, the White House.

At Parker’s Cross Roads, Nathan Bedford Forrest, finding himself outnumbered and threatened in front and rear, ordered his men to “charge ‘em both ways.” Forrest’s daring strategy paid off, saving his force from annihilation and adding to his reputation as one of the most audacious officers of the war. You can help us tell this story to future generations by saving the land to nearly completing the preservation of this monumental battlefield.

This is some of the most historically significant land left to be saved at this battlefield. The acreage includes part of the Confederate outer defense line manned by troops under General Simon Bolivar Buckner, plus a portion that forms the most southern section where the Confederate units of General Gideon Pillow’s ‘breakout’ attack fully bent the Union division under General John McClernand. This land was part of the far-left flank of Pillow’s attack and utilized troops from Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama.

The events at Fort Donelson and Parker’s Cross Roads are crucial to a full understanding of the Civil War in the Western Theater. Will you join me in saving these 63 acres at these Tennessee battlefields?

Very Sincerely,
Jim Lighthizer

P.S. Help tell the story of the Civil War in the Western Theater by saving 63 acres in Tennessee!

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