Skip to main content

Civil War Trust

February 15, 2008

Fort Donelson, Events, National History Club


Civil War Preservation Trust Teacher Newsletter

The Civil War Preservation Trust is America's largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the war’s history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.


   February 16, 1862:  Surrender of Fort Donelson, TN







   February 16, 1862:  Surrender of Fort Donelson, TN

From Civil War Day by Day, by E.B. Long – pages 171-172:

At daybreak Southern boats pulled up at Fort Donelson bringing four hundred reinforcements – but too late.  During the night, Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry fled to the southeast rather than surrender.  Genls. Floyd and Pillow boated across the Cumberland and made their somewhat ignominious getaway.  A few others here and there simply walked away.  But the major Confederate force under Gen. Buckner stayed behind.  Buckner asked for terms and Grant sent back his famous reply that made him a hero in the North: “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.  I propose to move immediately upon your works.”  It was take it or leave it; and Buckner took it.  The siege of Fort Donelson was over, and with it a Confederate army surrendered.  No one will ever know with accuracy how many surrendered that day – estimates run from 5,000 to 15,000, but it probably was somewhere around 13,000.  Confederate casualties are estimated at up to 1,500.  For the Federals, Grant had some 27,000 men plus the gunboats, and lost 500 killed, 2,108 wounded, and 224 missing for 2,832.  The fall of Forts Henry and Donelson was a catastrophe for the South.  The whole state of Tennessee was wide-open, Kentucky was lost, and two important rivers were in Federal hands.  The victory received the acclaim it deserved in the North and the despair it deserved in the South.  Winter was coming to a gloomy conclusion for the Confederacy; it was ending with signs of hope in the ever anxious North, at least in the West.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield:
Map of property CWPT has helped save at Fort Donelson:


New Lincoln photos discovered.  
Washington Post article on the restoration of the Lincoln Cottage.  Also includes an interesting look at the President and Mrs. Lincoln.
Famous people connected with Harpers Ferry.
Shenandoah (Valley) at War
Interview with Jeff Shaara.



March 8-9, 2008
Picacho Peak State Park
Civil War in the Southwest Reenactment
The battle of Picacho Peak has the designation of being the westernmost battle of the American Civil War.
More information at:

March 8, 2008
Gettysburg, PA
2nd South Carolina String Band Concerts  
The 2nd SC will be presenting two live concerts, which will be recorded and released as the next album later in 2008.
Contact the 2nd SC before March 1st.  More details are at    

March 29, 2008
The Bridgewater College Civil War Institute presents
This Mighty Scourge: The Civil War in the Borderland

McKinney Center for Science and Mathematics Room 100
Bridgewater College
402 E. College St., Bridgewater, VA 22812

A one-day symposium featuring:

-Paul C. Anderson, Associate Professor of History at Clemson University 
 and author of Blood Image: Turner Ashby in the Civil War and the Southern 
 Mind, who will discuss the image of one of the earliest Confederate heroes.
-Christian Keller, Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army 
 Command and General Staff College in Fort Belvoir, Va., who will explain
 the contributions of regiments of Pennsylvania Dutch at the battle of
-Jonathan A. Noyalas, Professor of History at Lord Fairfax Community
 College in Middletown, Va., who will explore General Robert Milroy
 at Winchester and his Presbyterianism.
-Alann Schmidt, Park Ranger with the National Park Service at
 the Antietam National Battlefield, who will discuss the Dunker
 Church at Antietam. He is currently writing a book about the church,
 entitled Beacon of Peace.

Sessions are free of charge.
For further information, contact Nick Picerno at 540-828-5761 or

May 9-22, 2008
“Politics and Personalities: The Wilderness Campaign, 1864”
Sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Battlefield
This event commemorates the 144th Anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness.  Historians include Gordon Rhea, Clark “Bud” Hall and Greg Mertz, with Chief Justice Frank Williams of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and Chairman of the Lincoln Forum and Dr. John Y. Simon, the Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. The weekend will include guest speakers, battlefield tours, a special tour at Ellwood of Warren’s Headquarters (newly restored), an optional evening program at Guinea Station commemorating Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s final evening and the annual dinner, as well as breakfasts, lunches, snacks and transportation.  The programs will offer a thorough examination of the influencing politics, personalities and subsequent planning, on both sides of the Rapidan during the Winter Encampments of 1864, followed by an investigation of the complexities of leadership and the resulting successes or failures.  
Visit for more information.

May 15, 2008
Deadline for “Preserve the Spirit of History”
Use and develop this slogan to create either a poster or an essay to demonstrate that Civil War battlefields are endangered national treasures. 

Elementary -- grades 4, 5, and 6
Junior -- grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior -- grades 10, 11, and 12

Junior -- grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior -- grades 10, 11, and 12
Sorry – there is no elementary essay category.

Both the top students and their teachers are honored.
Learn more at or by contacting

June 3-5, 2008
Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Oral History Institute
The Oral History Institute trains participants in planning and conducting successful oral history projects.  Emphasizing hands-on experience, topics covered in the two-and-a-half-day schedule include framing questions, interviewing techniques, transcribing and archiving, and devising public programs based on oral history.  To develop these skills, participants will work on a practice project that encompasses all stages of oral history and will also have time to consult with experts about planned projects. Sessions will also be available on videotaping interviews and on fundraising. The faculty consists of professors from the fields of History, Sociology, Archiving, and Telecommunications who all have extensive
experience with Oral History. We encourage volunteers or paid staff from local historical organizations, libraries, schools, and colleges and universities to
apply.  Admission to the institute is limited to thirty and is competitive. 
Contact the Ohio Humanities Council at (800) 293-9774 or  The application deadline is May 2.
Fank Dunkle
Ohio Humanities Council

July 25-27, 2008
Civil War Preservation Trust Summer Teacher Institute

Sheraton Four Points Hagerstown
1910 Dual Highway
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 790-3010
Also, visiting Antietam and Harpers Ferry

Register now for this exciting program.
Classroom sessions include civilian, military, teaching and informational topics.  You will gain practical information, techniques and topics to use in the classroom (not lectures).  In addition, battlefield visits are “field trips”, not “battlefield tours”. Meet teachers from across the country; receive a resource book for you and your school.

Classroom sessions are offered on Friday and Sunday. 
On Saturday, visit either Antietam or Harpers Ferry. 
Attendees will have pre-registered for their choice of classes and their field trip. 
Class pre-registration will be offered soon.

Continuing Education Units may be obtained through Virginia Tech. 
This option is offered by pre-registration only.  

Registration forms are available at

The hotel will be the Sheraton Four Points, Hagerstown. 
Call (301) 790.3010 to make your reservations. 
Rooms are $75 per night. 
Teachers must mention “CWPT Teacher Institute” to get this rate.  Parking is free. 

There is a $50 registration deposit that is refunded upon completion of the program. 
For more information, email



The National History Club was founded in March 2002 to pro9mote the reading, writing, discussion and enjoyment of history among secondary students and their teachers.  It provides schools with a clearinghouse to share their activities with other member chapters from around the country.  Schools in 42 states now have chapters.

For more information, visit



A.  When, and to whom did Abraham Lincoln say, “I would like to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky”?

B.  What is the name of the little girl who suggested that Abraham Lincoln grow a beard?

C.  Who uncovered the plot to assassinate Lincoln on the way to his first inauguration? 

D.  What were “Jesse Scouts”?

E.  Which vessel sank the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864?




Two-Week Civil War Curriculum CD-ROM: For grades 5, 8 & 11.  Download online, or e-mail your land address to to have it mailed.
The classroom curriculum guide is endorsed by The History Channel, which helped develop this effective tool for educators.  According to Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian of The History Channel, the CWPT Civil War curriculum guide is “the best two-week curriculum on the Civil War available to teachers today.”  Dr. O’Connell notes that the guide is part of The History Channel’s ongoing partnership with CWPT to encourage students and teachers alike to learn more about our nation’s unique Civil War heritage.  

Classroom Membership:
Contains the monthly classroom newsletter and quarterly Hallowed Ground magazine, a packet of classroom materials, curriculum CD-ROM & book of Civil War trivia.  To sponsor a classroom, obtain an application, or view a newsletter - contact  

Civil War Preservation Trust Education Web Site

Adopt a Battlefield:
Save battlefields while teaching about their history! Site packs include Antietam, Appomattox, Fredericksburg, Trevilian Station, Perryville, Peninsula Campaign and Harpers Ferry.   Email for more details.  Contact for information on Third Winchester, Chancellorsville and Glendale.

Battlefields as Outdoor Classrooms:
Contact for more information.



A.  We’re not certain.  According to the Abraham Lincoln Research Site (Roger Norton):

“Indeed there was a saying at the time (1861) that Lincoln would like to have God on his side, but he must have Kentucky.   However, from what I can tell, this saying is simply "attributed" to Lincoln or "reportedly said" by Lincoln.  I have not seen a specific letter, speech, etc. where it can be shown with 100% certainty that Lincoln said those words.  I have researched this quote before in all my "authentic quote" sources and drawn a blank.  I cannot point to any primary sources.
The closest I can come to an actual quote with a source is as follows:
     "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same
     as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we
     can not hold Missouri, nor, as I think,
     Maryland. These all against us, and the job
     on our hands is too large for us."

     --From a September 22, 1861, Abraham Lincoln
       letter to Orville Browning.

However, tradition still attributes the quote you sent to Lincoln, and it has indeed remained a favorite in popular usage.  As far as I can tell the actual truth on whether or not Lincoln said those exact words is "lost to history."
Extensive “Abraham Lincoln Research Site”. Also links to the “Mary Todd Lincoln Research Site” and “Lincoln Assassination Research Site”.  The sites have been included in the newsletter before, but the pages have been updated since then. 

B.  Grace Bedell. 
Visit for more information –typos but still a good site. 

C.  Alan Pinkerton.  According to the Gilder Lehrman Institute, “Allan Pinkerton was a detective and spy, best known for founding the Pinkerton Agency, the first detective agency in America. Pinkerton had been asked by S. M. Felton, the President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad to investigate possible plots to destroy the rail line connecting New York City to Washington, DC. It was during this investigation that Pinkerton and his agents uncovered a plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln as he traveled by rail to his inauguration in Washington on the evening of February 22, 1861.”
See  The institute also offers a podcast on “Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power”

D.  They were Union scouts dressed as Confederates.  According to the Winter 2008 issue of Blue & Gray Magazine, the Jesse Scouts were used by Brig. Gen. William Averell’s cavalry in the summer of 1864 to gather information on enemy troop positions.  They were very successful and were possibly used on a reconnaissance mission prior to the battle of Fisher’s Hill. 

E.  The Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley, sank the Housatonic near Charleston, SC on February 17, 1864.  According to E.B. Long in “Civil War Day by Day” (p465), “About 8:45 P.M. an officer of the sloop U.S.S. Housatonic, on duty off Charleston, spotted “something in the water” speeding toward the ship.  The torpedo struck near the magazine; an explosion flashed, and the Housatonic sank rapidly, stern first.  All but five of the crew clambered into the rigging and were saved.  The attacker, C.S.S.   H.L. Hunley, was an experimental cigar-shaped “semi-submersible,” with a torpedo, or mine, at the end of a long spar in the prow.  Before the successful attack, at least thirty-three men had died testing Hunley.  This time, too, Lieutenant George E. Dixon and his six-man crew perished, and Hunley was not heard from again.  Although the daring attack sent consternation through the blockading fleet, the perils of such pioneer submarines made them still ineffective instruments of warfare.” 

Learn more at


Jennifer Rosenberry
Education Coordinator
Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Our Sponsors

Powered by Convio
nonprofit software