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Contact: Douglas J. Richardson, (931)232-5706, ext. 108
Dover, TN - Fort Donelson National Battlefield is pleased to announce a variety of programs and learning opportunities 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.
On February 2, 2012, at 6:00 PM at the park's visitor center, the month will begin with a special showing of Episode Two of Ken Burns' "The CivilWar." This episode includes powerful descriptions of the incredible battles at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. This film and discussion is offered free of charge and is shown under special license from PBS.
On February 4, 5, and 6, 2012, at 1:00 PM each day, Park Rangers will offer special programs on the history and significance of Fort Heiman, a Confederate fort along the former Tennessee River in Calloway County, Kentucky. Rangers will explain how and why the site was chosen by the Confederate Army, its role in the February, 1862, campaign, and how what happened along the river changed the course of the Civil War. Participants can meet the Park Ranger at the Fort Donelson visitor center and caravan to the site.
On February 11, 2012, a group of living history authentic campaigners will recreate the Confederate evacuation from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson. This group will march the Trace to Highway 79, arrive in Dover in the mid-morning hours, and will enter Fort Donelson by 11:00AM. Visitors are welcome to come and witness the arrival to Fort Donelson. That afternoon living history opportunities will be made available, including black powder demonstrations, a schedule of which will be posted at the visitor center. Also on February 11, 2012, Kendall Gott, author of Where the South Lost the War, will visit Fort Donelson and share his insights on the 150th anniversary of the battle. He will offer programs at 3:00PM and 6:00PM at the park's visitor center theater.
Also on February 11, 2012, at 11:00 AM, at the visitor center, a ceremonial deed signing will be held in partnership with the Civil War Trust. The Civil War Trust has, over the course of several years, acquired several acres associated with the Battle of Fort Donelson, and will eventually transfer these lands to the park for preservation and protection. This brief ceremony celebrates this successful partnership.
On February 13, 2012, a Park Ranger will offer a presentation on the initial skirmish between the USS Carondelet and the Confederate guns at Fort Donelson. This program will be at 10:00AM, at stop #4 of the park's driving tour.
On February 14, 2012, the 150th anniversary of the legendary naval battle at Fort Donelson, a Park Ranger will offer a program to commemorate this event and how it changed the course of warfare forever. This program will be at 2PM, at stop #4 of the park's driving tour. At 6:00PM, Jack Hurst, author of Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography, will speak at the park's visitor center.
On February 15, 2012, the park will offer two programs to commemorate the Confederate attempt to escape Fort Donelson. The first, at 9AM, will commemorate the events of the morning of February 15, 1862; the second, at 1:00PM, will commemorate the afternoon events. Programs will begin at the park's visitor center.
On February 16, 2012, the park will commemorate the Confederate surrender of Fort Donelson with a special program at the Dover Hotel, stop #10 of the driving tour, at 3:45PM. General Ulysses Grant and General Simon B. Buckner will offer their remarks on this significant event. At 7:00PM, General Grant will be a featured speaker at the Fort Donelson Civil War Roundtable, held at the Stewart County Visitor Center, along highway 79 in Dover. The Civil War Singers will offer a concert during this meeting.
The park is grateful for the assistance and partnership with Land Between the Lakes/ US Forest Service, Fort Donelson Civil War Roundtable, the Town of Dover, Stewart County, Fort Defiance Civil War Park, and all who have helped make these events possible.
All programs are free and open to the public. Schedule is subject to change in case of inclement weather or unsafe conditions. Updates will be made to the park's website at www.nps.gov/fodo.