Fort Donelson National Battlefield - Kentucky



This historic site commemorates the Battle of Fort Donelson, which occurred in February of 1862. The surrender of Confederate Fort Donelson on Sunday, February 16, 1862 proved to be the first major victory for the Union in the American Civil War. Within days of the surrender, Clarksville and Nashville fell into Union hands. It was the campaign battle that changed the course of the American Civil War and made Ulysses S. Grant a household name, and Nathan Bedford Forrest a legend. The battle claimed over 500 Union dead, and over 300 Confederate dead.

Significant features of the battlefield are preserved including impressive earthworks, the Confederate river batteries along the Cumberland River, which provide one of the most incredible views of any Civil War site, and the historic Dover Hotel where Confederate Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner surrendered Fort Donelson and its garrison to Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant. The main portion of the park is in Dover, Tennessee.  Fort Heiman in nearby Calloway County, Kentucky, was a Confederate battery in the Battle of Fort Henry. The National Cemetery is the final resting place of 670 Union dead from the Civil War as well as members from the armed forces who served in later wars. The park is also a bird and wildlife watching destination, especially noted for its nesting Bald Eagles.

The site was established as Fort Donelson National Military Park on March 26, 1928. The national military park and national cemetery were transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966 and redesignated a national battlefield on August 16, 1985. Fort Heiman was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1976 and transferred to the Park Service on October 30, 2006.

Fort Donelson’s main entrance is located along Highway 79, in Dover Tennessee. The park’s Fort Heiman unit is located at 682 Fort Heiman Road, New Concord, Kentucky. For more information call (931) 232-5706 or visit

National Parks Arts Foundation

State Travel Guide Visit Link Here
Date Park Established August 16, 1985
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