View single post by pamc153PA
 Posted: Sat Nov 29th, 2008 12:28 am
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Joined: Sat Jun 14th, 2008
Location: Boyertown, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 407

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Hi all,

I just started reading Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. I've never read anything by Mr. Cooling before, and I also don't know a lot about the battles for the forts, so I'm striking into pretty unfamiliar territory (time to learn something new!).

I was always under the impression, based on what little I had learned about these two battles, that really they were a chance for the "Comeback Kid" U.S. Grant to show what he could do after a less than stellar performance earlier in the war, and that was pretty much the importance of the two battles. I was also aware of the importance of the border states, such as Kentucky, in the outcome of the Civil War. However, Cooling's premise is that the capture of these two forts signalled the start of the Confederate collapse in the West. If so, that's a huge significance to the two events that I had completely missed.

Do you folks agree with Cooling? What WAS the significance of Forts Henry and Donelson, in the war in the West and the war in general? Was I clueless, or ill-informed? Or uninformed?

Anyone willing to stir from their turkey-induced coma to give their two cents?


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