Monday, February 15, 2010

On this day in the Civil War . . .

from This Day in the Civil War :

Saturday, Feb. 15 1862

One of the most stunning examples of Confederate defeat snatched from the jaws of victory occurred today at Ft. Donelson on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. The gunboats of Flag Officer Foote prevented the Rebel forces from taking to the river in large numbers to escape, so they did the only thing they could: they put up a fight fierce enough to break a hole in the Union line of attack. McClernand’s right flank was blown completely what did Gen. Pillow do? He pulled the victorious troops back into the fort and debated who should have the honor of surrendering the garrison. Gen. Floyd, the official commander, decided to decline, as did Gen. Pillow, so they took a handy rowboat and saved themselves to fight another day. The honor of surrender they left to Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner who, they reasoned, having been a prewar friend of Gen. U.S. Grant, would get the men better terms anyway. They were wrong.

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