day Grant captured Fort Donelson
On March 25, Old State Capitol remembers
the battle that produced ‘Unconditional Surrender’ Grant
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[March 20, 2017]
SPRINGFIELD - The Old State
Capitol will take visitors back to the battle that dealt the
Confederacy a huge loss and put Ulysses S. Grant on the road to
commanding the entire Union Army in a special event March 25.
In a free “Civil War Saturday” event, the staff at the Old
Capitol State Historic Site will explain the battle and its
significance. The presentation begins at 2 p.m.
When Grant captured Fort Donelson in northwestern Tennessee, he took
13,500 Rebel prisoners – the largest surrender to an American
officer to that point in history. The victory ensured that Kentucky
would stay in the Union and opened the way for a Union advance into
It also produced a new nickname for the unproven general:
“Unconditional Surrender” Grant. He earned a promotion and a
reputation for toughness.
The Old State Capitol served as the seat of Illinois government from
1839 to 1876. Abraham Lincoln served as a legislator there, launched
his 1858 Senate campaign there with his famous “House Divided”
speech, and used it as his unofficial transition headquarters after
being elected president.
The Old State Capitol is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library]