Historic Markers Across Tennessee

13,000 Prisoners

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: Petty Street, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover, TN
County: Stewart
Coordinates: N 36° 29.344    W 087° 50.182
  36.48906666    -87.83636666
Waymark: None


Thirteen thousand dejected Confederate defenders of Fort Donelson huddled here against the cold on February 16, 1862. They had fought long and hard against Grant's forces and did not consider themselves defeated. They had been surrendered against their will and now waited to be transported north. Never before in the Civil War had so many prisoners been taken, and the poorly clad Confederates could only guess what awaited them. After being issued two day's rations and allowed to keep "their clothing, blankets, and such personal property as may be carried about the person," the prisoners were shipped 120 miles to Cairo, Illinois. From there trains carried them to prison camps in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Massachusetts. In September 1862 most of the prisoners were exchanged for Union soldiers being held in Confederate prison camps.

Where did they go?
Most of the enlisted men were taken to prison camps in Illinois and Indiana; most of the officers went to camps in Ohio and Massachusetts:

• Camps Douglas & Butler
Chicago & Springfield, Illinois

• Camp Morton
Indianapolis, Indiana

• Camp Chase & Johnson's Island
Columbus & Sandusky, Ohio

• Fort Warren
Boston, Massachusetts

Erected by Fort Donelson National Battlefield - National Park Service - Department of the Interior


More information:
Wikipedia: Battle of Fort Donelson
NPS: Fort Donelson
NPS: Fort Donelson - Battle Summary