• The legendary battle between Confederate guns and US ironclads at Fort Donelson, February 14, 1862.

    Fort Donelson

    National Battlefield Tennessee

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  • The Eagle has Flown!

    The juvenile eagle at Fort Donelson has fledged. The eagles now reside at the Confederate River Batteries, stop #4 on the driving tour. Visitors are encouraged to view and admire, but asked to keep a respectful distance, as this is their home.

Traveling Trunks

Traveling Trunks

Traveling trunks are available year-round, free-of-charge, and by reservation only. The trunks were developed with the help of educational specialists and teachers. They are interdisciplinary, curriculum-based, target 4th-8th grade levels, and offer students an opportunity for hands-on learning and access to primary resource materials to further study about the Civil War in Tennessee and Kentucky. All trunks have reproduction clothing, books, VHS tapes, CDs, and suggested activities.

The park has five trunk themes: women's history, the Underground Railroad, US and Confederate soldier life, and naval history.

A Journey on the Underground Railroad, focusing on Black Troops at Fort Donelson and the legacy of the Underground Railroad;

A Confederate Soldier at Fort Donelson, which focuses on soldier life at the Civil War fort. (Trunk Photographs)

Sarah's Journey: Civilians During the Civil War, which chronicles the life of a Tennessee widow and her family during the war.

U.S. Sailor Trunk focuses on the lives of Union volunteers in the Navy. (Trunk Photographs)

U.S. Soldier Trunk investigates the life of a typical Union soldier from the Midwest.(Trunk Photographs)

How do I reserve a trunk for my classroom?

Please call the park at (931)232-5706, extension 103. The park staff will check availability and verify your reservation. A completed trunk reservation form, with important contact information and a school principal's signature, will be provided and is required before trunks are shipped to the school.

How will the trunk be delivered to my classroom? Trunks are shipped to the school via United States Postal Service parcel post. Educators in nearby schools may also pick up a trunk personally at the Fort Donelson visitor center after arrangements and reservations have been made.

Are there fees for using the trunks?

No. The park presently requests that schools and educational groups return the trunk via a trackable method, and insured for $1,200. The park recommends using United States Postal Service parcel post with Delivery Confirmation and USPS insurance as it is the most cost effective.

How long may our class use the trunk?

Trunks may reserved for two--week periods. We do not recommend using two trunks at once, since teachers and schools are responsible for lost, broken, or misplaced items in the trunks. The estimated value of each trunk is $1,250 each.

Did You Know?


On February 16, 1862, Confederate General Simon B. Buckner surrendered Fort Donelson to Ulysses Grant. Several years later, Buckner would serve as the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1885, he would serve as a pallbearer to his old friend Ulysses Grant.