BUCKNER – Surrender to Ulysses S Grant At Battle of Fort Donelson

Grant and Buckner at Fort Donelson:

In February 1862, Grant commanded the land forces in the Army-Navy operations in Tennessee that captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, opening the door for the occupation of Nashville, the first Confederate state capital to fall under Union control. At Fort Donelson, his old friend, Confederate brigadier general Simon Bolivar Buckner, asked for surrender terms. Grant responded, “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender,” and he became known in the North as “Unconditional Surrender Grant”—a nickname inspired in part by his initials, U. S. His victory led to a promotion to major general.

An illustrator depicted him smoking a cigar at Fort Donelson—he actually was a pipe smoker at the time—and the published image resulted in admirers sending him cigars by the barrelful. Perhaps not coincidentally, he would die of tongue cancer.

A Confederate sympathizer in a telegraph office intercepted and destroyed his messages to the War Department following the battle at Fort Donelson, and until the truth was discovered Grant was temporarily removed from command for failing to communicate with his superiors.

Source:  http://www.historynet.com/ulysses-s-grant

Correspondence Between Ulysses S. Grant and Simon B. Buckner
Discussing Surrender Terms at Ft. Donelson

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Donelson
February 16, 1862.

Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Commanding U.S. Forces near Fort Donelson.

SIR: In consideration of all the circumstances governing the present situation of affairs at this station I propose to the commanding officers of the Federal forces the appointment of commissioners to agree upon terms of capitulation of the forces and post under my command, and in that view suggest an armistice until 12 o’clock to-day.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. BUCKNER,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.


HEADQUARTERS, Fort Donelson
February 16, 1862

        Major Cosby will take or send by an officer to the nearest picket of the enemy the accompanying communication to General Grant, and request information of the point where future communications will reach him. Also inform him that my headquarters will be for the present in Dover.

S. B. BUCKNER,
Brigadier. General.

 

Have the white flag hoisted on Fort Donelson, not on the batteries.

S. B. BUCKNER,
Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD
Camp near Fort Donelson
February 16, 1862.

General S. B. BUCKNER,
Confederate Army.

        SIR: Yours of this date, proposing armistice and appointment of commissioners to settle terms of capitulation, is just received. No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U.S. GRANT,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.


HEADQUARTERS,
Dover, Tenn.
February 16, 1862.

Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
U.S. A.

        SIR: The distribution of the forces under my command incident to an unexpected change of commanders and the overwhelming force under your command compel me, notwithstanding the brilliant success of the Confederate arms yesterday, to accept the ungenerous and unchivalrous terms which you propose.

I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
S. B. BUCKNER,
Brigadier. General, C. S. Army.

Source:  http://www.civilwarhome.com/grantdon.html