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Fort Donelson, February 15, 1862 (March 2019)
American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Fort Donelson
Early on the morning of February 15, the Confederate assault struck the Union right along the Forge Road and drove it back. Brig. Gen. John McClernand’s division attempted to reform their lines, but the ongoing Rebel attacks continued to drive his forces to the southeast.Grant ordered Brig. Gen. Lew Wallace and McClernand to retake their lost ground and then rode to the Union left to order an attack upon the Confederate works opposite Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith’s division. Smith’s division surged forward and overwhelmed the 30th Tennessee occupying the rifle pits in advance of the Confederate line. Capturing large stretches of the earthworks, Smith’s division was stopped only by the onset of darkness.