The Strategic Importance of the Battle of Fort Donelson

John Thayer became the leader of the Nebraska regiment. The regiment spent time in Missouri with General John Fremont in preparation for the war. The regiment marched directly through St. Louis where it was reported that several people thronged by the road to witness their hero. In December, the troops were under a constabulary duty to defend their state. The State had experienced some defeats earlier in August and this had caused many fears to the State. To defend them, the State waged a tactical guerilla war and bushwalking to counter their enemies. Major General Sterling Price had managed to confide all the southern in Missouri State with the aid of union forces (Cooling 2003). This force joined another union under the control of Major Brig and Gen. John Pope who struggled to restore peace and order in the northern part. As a trial, the Nebraska participated in a skirmish at Shawnee mound on the Black River. The union managed to capture other hundreds of confederates and the warmongers were appreciated for their efforts. By this time, the troupe now was ready for the campaign in 1862. In January 1862, Gen. Ulysses Grant commanded a garrison at Kentucky and convinced the commander of Missouri Gen. Henry Halleck that they were to break the western defense force in order to conquer that State. In this regard, first Donelson, which was near River Tennessee were the weakest and most attractive link between Mississippi and Cumberland Gap. Grant won the support from Andrew Foote and the two launched a strong army, which were determined to win this confederate and bring it under their control. Grant had fears that his troop had few men and thus he had to strengthen his army before he made any move (Palagruto 2010). He used two methods to reinforce his troops as he first stripped his department and eliminated any regiment that could arise as opponent to his mission and secondly, Hallenick made orders that could forward the zealous and untested the Nebraska in order to test the strength of Nebraska. The Nebraskans boarded a train to St. Louis while the regiment group opted for a steamer train to transport them to join Grant’s troop. Several groups started to arrive at fort Henry and Grant immediately ordered these boats to move further to Cumberland where they could carry out their operations. This was meant to reinforce grant’s operations in fort Donelson. The heavy February rains in the area dismantled transportation along the rivers and at the same time Grant’s troop were facing opposition from stubborn defenders at fort Donelson. The port was not easily conquered as it had several creeks, heavy woods, ravines, and the current floods. The Tennessean fighters were out to defend their land and they managed to guard their guard (Palagruto, 2010). The confederates understood that Tennessee, Mississippi, and Cumberland River were the vital targets by the rebel forces. Thus, they could not allow them to access this area for it linked the North and the South. In addition, the rivers were a major means of transport between the two states that is the South and the North. The Southerners struggled all their best to defend these rivers as the North could easily attack them. The confederate prepared well by constructing Fort Henry along River Tennessee and fort Donelson along river Cumberland to act as protection against their enemies. The two ports