Description - The February 1862 fall of Fort Donelson, a 15-acre fort of 100 huts surrounded by 10-foot-high (3 m) walls of earth and logs, led the North to its first great victory and a new hero, Ulysses S. Grant, who became known as "Unconditional Surrender" Grant after the battle. Fort Donelson (Dover) National Cemetery - 1,842 interments, 504 unidentified - adjoins the park.
Copyright: - Tennessee State Parks
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
- The facilities at Fort Donelson National Battlefield include the reconstructed Dover Hotel, Fort Donelson with river batteries and outer defense earthworks and a national cemetery. A visitor center is open everyday, but Christmas, on the grounds with Civil War exhibits, a short slide program and book store. During the summer months visitors will find scheduled interpretive presentations on the grounds. Upon arrival, check the Visitor Center for posted times and events.
Recreation - At this National Battlefield visitors should begin their exploration at the Information Center. In this facility you'll find educational materials and exhibits, as well as restrooms, maps and a knowledgeable staff. Auto tours of the battlefield are recommended, as is hiking and picnicking.
Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cooling fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant foliage colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall color change.
The Battlefield lies one mile (1.6 km) west from the community of Dover, Tennessee, on U.S. Highway 79. The closest airport to this National Battlefield is Nashville International, 100 miles (161.2 km) to the east.