View Full Version : Fort Donelson account - 8th Illinois Infantry

John of the Skulkers Mess
02-13-2004, 06:23 PM
A favorite of mine, the diary(s) of G.D. Molineaux located at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.


'We stripped of knapsacks and overcoats all to prepare to storm a battery but colonel countermanded the order - good thing we would been cut to pieces.

'...But no more sleep for me and many others that night we just tracked out walks and round and kept trotting all night to keep from freezing it grew very cold and towards morning all was froz tight as a drum. the hardest night I yet experienced. I was provoked at the secesh provoked to kill.

Feb. 14th 'St. Vals Day' at home. during the day was heard the gunboats for first time and we sent up a shout of joy but they soon ceased firing and we felt bad something had happened. ...'

John Pillers

K Bartsch
02-14-2004, 12:47 AM
Yes indeed. On their eight mile march from Ft Henry tp Ft Donelson and Dover Tenn, the feds enjoyed unseasonably warm and springlike conditions. Many a yank cast aside that extra blanket and jettisoned an overcoat along the route of march. Little did they know winter was not over by a long shot and were surprised by the freezing weather and sleet of the 13th and Valentine's eve. The winter storm made life truly miserable on both sides of Donelson's works. Later, the rebels in Donelson called the shells from the fed gunboats "iron valentines" falling as they did on St. Valentine's Day.
Many have opined that the fall of Donelson, which doomed Nashville and ultimately made Tennessee untenable for Confederates, was a leading cause of the Confederate's defeat.

K Bartsch