This Week in the Civil War - 499

Feb 5, 2013

On February 3, 1863, a Confederate assault led by Major General Joseph Wheeler failed to dislodge a Union fortification at Ft. Donelson on the Cumberland River.  The purpose of the attack had been to disrupt Union shipping. 

The attack failed, even though the Confederates enjoyed a 3-1 advantage in manpower.  In the process, the Confederates lost nearly a third of their original invasion force of 2,500.  Leading up to the attack, major dissension emerged among the commanding officers, when Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest warned that low munitions and supplies would lead to disaster.

He confided to an aide: “If I am killed in this fight, will you see that justice is done by officially stating that I protested against the attack….”  Forrest refused to serve under Wheeler again.