National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee















Portrait #267
Subject/Title: Donelson, Daniel Smith
Artist:Unknown
Date Created:ca. 1860s
Owner/Location:Private Collection
Frame Dimensions:41 x 36
Image Dimensions:29 x 24
Materials/Media:oil on canvas
Date Documented:1/10/2004
Condition:Fair

Description:Oval of a CSA two-star general in uniform. Waist-length, frontal of a middle-aged man with brown hair and light eyes. His forehead is wrinkled and five pair of uniform buttons are visible.
History:
Notes:Subject (1801-1863) was one of three sons of Samuel Donelson and Mary Donelson and was born in Sumner County, Tennessee. His older brother was Andrew Jackson Donelson, named after their uncle, President Andrew Jackson.

In 1821, Daniel Donelson entered West Point, and graduated in 1825, becoming an United States Army Officer. He resigned his commission only half a year later to become a planter in Sumner County. He was also a member of the militia in Tennessee, starting as a brigade major in 1827 and being promoted to brigadier general in 1829.

After a brief stay in Florida, Donelson returned to Tennessee where he became a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He left after a two-year term, but returned 12 years later, in 1855, this time rising to the office of Speaker.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Donelson volunteered for the Tennessee militia and was returned to his previous rank of brigadier general in the militia. That May he approved the location of Fort Donelson, which was named in his honor. He assumed the same rank in the Army of the Confederacy, fought in several battles, including the Battle of Murfreesboro, and eventually rising to command of the department of East Tennessee. He was promoted to major general on April 22, 1863, less than a week after his death near Knoxville, Tennessee.

He was named after his maternal grandfather, Daniel Smith, the early Tennessee mapmaker. His wife was Margaret Branch Donelson.


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