Smith's Attack

directional sign for Tour Stop #5
Tour Stop #5


Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Wheelchair Accessible

On this portion of the battlefield, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant ordered a counterattack on the point in the Confederate line that was believed to be the weakest point. General Charles F. Smith led this assault by horseback, up the steep hillside, with young soldiers from the 2nd Iowa, 7th Iowa, 14th Iowa, 16th Missouri and 25th Indiana Infantry units following him. Slowly and sadly, the Confederate soldiers were ordered to return to this area, their former camp.  

It was at this point in the battle that Corporal Voltaire Twombly, 2nd Iowa Infantry, picked up the colors from three other wounded comrades and carried them until the end of the engagement. Twombly would be awarded the Medal of Honor in 1897.

The Confederate position was overrun, and they were pushed back to the next ridge, while Smith's forces occupied the earthworks by nightfall. Both sides waited for daylight to resume combat. 

Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Last updated: April 13, 2021