Friday, April 26, 2013

Stankiewicz’s Battery: Fort Donelson National Battlefield

In February 1862 Capt. Peter K. Stankiewicz commanded a battery of one 8-inch howitzer and 2 9-pounder iron guns at this location.  This battery helped defend against Union Gen. C. F. Smith’s attack on Confederate Gen. Simon Buckner’s position about ½-mile in front of you on February 15.  The cannon here is an original iron gun mounted on a reproduction carriage.

Artillery was essential for both Confederate and Union armies, supporting infantry and cavalry by terrorizing and demoralizing the enemy troops.  Confederates placed artillery in fort Donelson and around the town of Dover in an attempt to control the Cumberland River and prevent a Federal invasion of Tennessee.

Photographs of Confederate artillery are rare, and none of Stankiewicz’s Battery is known to exist.  This one of the Palmetto Battery was taken near Charleston, South Carolina, in 1863.

SOURCE: Interpretive Marker at Fort Donelson National Battlefield (pictured at right).

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