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Contact: Douglas J. Richardson
Dover, TN - Fort Donelson National Battlefield is pleased to announce additional programs and learning opportunities in February, 2012, to help visitors of all ages commemorate one of the most significant battles of the American Civil War. The legendary Battle of Fort Donelson, fought on both the Cumberland River and on land in and around the community of Dover, in Stewart County, Tennessee, was the first major victory in the Civil War for the Union. This Union victory was quickly followed by the fall of Clarksville and Nashville, changing the course and dynamics of the Civil War.
During the weekend of February 18 and 19, 2012, the park will commemorate the transition from Confederate to Union occupation with a living history opportunity featuring the 9th Kentucky Infantry (USA). The encampment will share stories of camp life, demonstrate drills, and offer black powder demonstrations. A schedule of programs for the encampment will be posted in the visitor center each day.
On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the park will offer a Junior Ranger program at 10AM, at the Dover Hotel, stop #10 on the driving tour. During this program, youths and their families will have the opportunity to learn the unique contributions of women to the war effort in this region, how this battle, and the Civil War in general, greatly affected civilian populations, and will introduce participants to the Stewart County Civil War Quilt Trail, which they can then explore. This program is offered in cooperation with the Stewart County Visitor Center and Fort Defiance Civil War Park.
On Saturday, February 18, 2012, at 11:00AM, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at Fort Donelson National Cemetery, stop #11 on the park's driving tour. The ceremony will be led by members of the Fort Donelson Camp #62 of the Sons of Union Veterans, and will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice a century and a half ago. General Ulysses S. Grant will be present. All are invited to be part of this ceremony.
On Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, a special exhibit of Civil War era artillery will be on display at the Fort Donelson visitor center during the visitor center's normal hours of operation. The exhibit is being provided by longtime friend of the park Larry Parke and will be displayed in the visitor center museum.
On Saturday, February 25, at 2:00 PM in the visitor center theatre, Dr. William Mulligan, Jr., Professor of History at Murray State University, will offer a compelling presentation on the 4th United States Colored Heavy Artillery and their unique contribution to the American Civil War.
Superintendent Steven McCoy and the staff of Fort Donelson wish to thank all volunteers and partners for their efforts in making these events possible.
The Fort Donelson National Battlefield visitor center is located along Highway 79 in the town of Dover, Tennessee. The visitor center is open daily from 8AM to 4:30PM.
All programs are free and open to the public. Schedule is subject to change in case of inclement weather. Updates will be made to the park's website at www.nps.gov/fodo.