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Dover in Stewart County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Life at Fort Donelson

 
 
Life at Fort Donelson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
1. Life at Fort Donelson Marker
Inscription. "We lived luxuriously in comfortable tents and log huts," one Fort Donelson soldier wrote in the more tranquil days before cold weather set in and the armies clashed. Besides rations of flour, fresh and cured meats, sugar, and coffee, every boat brought boxes from home filled with things a farm or store could provide, including uniforms and clothing. The reconstructed log hut represents the approximately 400 huts built for the fort's garrison by soldiers and slave laborers as living quarters, some 100 of them inside the 15-acre fort. When winter came, these crude huts with their canvas roofs made from tents and their fireplaces made from stone, stick, and mud, warded off the wind, rain, and snow, and kept many Confederates from freezing to death. Most of the thousands of soldiers who arrived before the battle were housed in tents or slept beneath a blanket on the ground, and suffered terribly in the bitter February cold.

The only known contemporary illustration of the Confederate encampment within Fort Donelson appeared in the March 17, 1862, issue of Harper's Weekly. The view is from the area occupied today by the National Cemetery.

Fort Donelson's defenders wore a wide variety of clothing, as this photograph of captured Fort Donelson soldiers shows.

Few had uniforms, most wore citizens' clothes. Many
Newspaper Sketch of the Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
2. Newspaper Sketch of the Fort
of the officers had the regular gray uniform, while others wore U.S. Army blue.

No one knows exactly what the cabins at Fort Donelson looked like, but they probably didn't differ much from those pictured here, built by Confederate soldiers of Centreville, Virginia in the winter of 1861-62.
 
Erected by Fort Donelson National Battlefield - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 36° 29.579′ N, 87° 51.4′ W. Marker is in Dover, Tennessee, in Stewart County. Marker is on Fort Donelson Park Road, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located at tour stop three, the log huts, on the driving tour of Fort Donelson National Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Dover TN 37058, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Quarters for the Troops (here, next to this marker); Stankiewicz's Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Powder Magazine (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gun Positions (about 600 feet away); The River Batteries (about 700 feet away); Control the Rivers and Railroads (about 700 feet away); Foote's Gunboat Flotilla (about 700 feet away); Exchanging Iron Valentines (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Dover.
 
Also see . . .
Tour Stop Three image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
3. Tour Stop Three
 Fort Donelson. National Park Service site. (Submitted on November 18, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Interior of the Recreated Log Hut image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
4. Interior of the Recreated Log Hut
Location of the Camp image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
5. Location of the Camp
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 441 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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