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. 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.
***Please note...throughout 2015 and 2016, as the National Park Service marks its 100th anniversary, Fort Donelson National Battlefield is pleased to cover Fed Ex ground shipping for shipping to schools and shipping back to the park!
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.