Major General Daniel Smith Donelson, Civil War Veteran, Sumner Co., TN
Maj. Gen. Daniel Smith Donelson 23 June 1801---17 Apr 1863
"...these dead shall not have died in vain."
Abraham Lincoln, 1863
"General. Born in Sumner County, Tenn. June 23, 1801. Appointed Adjutant General in 1861 by Gov. Isham G. Harris. Commanded a Brigade in the western Virginia Campaign in 1861. Transferred to Charleston, SC under command of Gen. R. E. Lee. Transferred to the command of Gen. Braxton Bragg at Tupelo, MS. Served in Bragg's Kentucky invasion. Commanded a Brigade at Murfreesboro Dec. 31-Jan. 3, 1863. Transferred to Dept. of East Tennessee in Jan. 1863. Promoted to Major General April 22, 1863, five days after his death. Died in service at Montvale Springs, Tennessee. Buried at Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville."---Ferguson'sSumner County in the Civil War
"CSA b. Sumner Ct., Tenn., 23 June 1801. On 9 July 1861 Donelson was made a brigadier general in the Confederate army at the age of 60. He had graduated 5th in the West Point class of 1825, established himself as a prominent Tennessee planter and militia man, and was speaker of the Tennessee state legislature at the start of the Civil War. He had served only 5 months in the U. S. Army, as a 2d lieutenant of artillery after his graduation from the academy.
On Tennessee's secession Gov. Isham G. Harris appointed Donelson a brigadier general of state troops, asking that he select sites along the Tennessee River for the building of fortifications. Donelson said there were no really good locations, but picked the 2 best he could find. Forts were built on them, the first named Donelson, for the brigadier; the second was named Fort Henry, for Tennessee Sen. Gustavus A. Henry. Forts Henry and Donelson would be the sites of important Union victories.
After being commissioned into the Confederate army, Donelson was sent to Brig. Gen. William Wing Loring's command in western Virginia; to duty in Charleston, S. C.; then to Gen. Braxton Bragg for his campaign to Murfreesboro. With the Army of Tennessee 31 Dec. 1862, at the Battle of Stone's River, Donelson showed what a 61-year-old volunteer could do; after the repulse of Confederate Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers' men in their attack on the "Round Forest", Donelson followed up with his brigade and, from a slightly different position, assaulted the same group of Federals. Though eventually driven back, he and his men captured 1,000 Union troops and 11 cannon.
On 17 Apr. 1863 Donelson died of natural causes while serving as head of the Confederate Department of East Tennessee. Uninformed of his death, the Confederate War Department promoted him to major general 22 Apr."---
Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War;
Patricia L. Faust, Editor;
Harper Perennial Publisher, 1991;
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