Fort Donelson National Battlefield Dover
Where is it at?
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
120 Fort Donelson Shores Road
Tel: 931 232-5706
Where are we going today?
The Civil War is certainly something everyone learns in school. As you should - it's such an important part of American history! What better way to learn about certain battles within the war, than to visit the actual locations that they occurred!
The Fort Donelson National Battlefield is a place in Tennessee that had an amazing and history changing impact on the direction the Civil War was taking. In 1862, February in fact (the 16th if you want to know!) Fort Donelson surrendered, meaning the victory was to the Union.
This created a pathway to victory for the Union, and it is now a place that the whole family can visit on your family day out!
The visitor center is the best place for you to start your historic adventure. It is filled with exhibits that fascinating artifacts and information all about the war and what happened at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield.
Explore the exhibit all about the Underground Railroad in the USA, as well as an orientation film that tells you the story of the two generals in the battle!
Make your way round the battlefield with the self-guided tour. That means you can just take your time! There are 6 miles that you can enjoy, and there are park rangers there to answer any questions that you may have!
Nearby, there are three forts that the confederates actually built themselves, Fort Donelson being one of them. It's an earthen fort that became a refuge site for slaves seeking freedom, just like Fort Heiman and Fort Henry.
A fascinating look into the past!
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
Visitor Center open 8am - 4:30pm daily
All year round. Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Kids can enjoy the battlefield instead of the classroom, but a Park Ranger can also visit the classroom! Give them a call for details! .
There are picnic areas so why not bring your own lunch and enjoy your favourite treats surrounded by history!.
Any Top Tips?
Get the kids taking part in the Junior Ranger Program! There is also a Junior Civil War historian program too! .
Doing our bit
The park services have really taken the care to preserve this amazing historic site. Help them out by following regulations and not leaving any rubbish! .
Need a little extra help?
All of the visitor center facilities are handicapped accessible. .
Can I get one of those?
There is a bookstore that you can pick up some great items that can continue your education into the Civil War history! .
There is limited staff, so guided tours aren't available on a daily basis. .
What people are saying?
by Jeff Moran
Originally, I planned on staying only two hours, but my visit actually turned into 4 hours because the "small" battlefield was larger than I anticipated. The visitor center's ranger was helpful in answering my question why the Union Gun Boats suffered so much damage in attacking the fort. Fort Donelson also had a phone number that you could call at each stop to hear an explanation what you were seeing. Do make sure you stop at the hotel surrender house to see additional displays.
by matt jackson
Great little fort (earthworks really) that are decently preserved considering they are over 150 years old. Nice hiking area, free-flying bald eagles and an informative short driving tour that covers the area of the battle. A visit is quick, maybe two hours if you visit the museum and are interested in the site. Well preserved and friendly staff.
by Greg M
Nice experience. The updated museum is well worth the visit. The ranger was very friendly and helpful.
by Robert Damon
Very good battle field. You must understand that this is NOT a classic fort, but an area. Nevertheless this is well worth seeing but u must
stop at the visitors center and get the map, free, as it explains all of the numbered tour stops as u drive.
by Barry G
Very informative tour.