Online Encyclopedia

DONEGAL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 414 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DONEGAL, a small seaport and market town of Co. Donegal, Ireland (not, as its name would suggest, the county town, which is Lifford), in the south parliamentary division, at the head of Donegal Bay, and the mouth of the river Eask, on the Donegal railway. Pop. (1901) 1214. Its trade in agricultural produce is hampered by the unsatisfactory condition of its harbour, the approach to which is beset with shoals. Here are the ruins of a fine Jacobean castle, occupying the site of a fortress of the O'Donnells of Tyrconnell, but built by Sir Basil Brooke in 161o. There are also considerable remains of a Franciscan monastery, founded in 1474 by one of the O'Donnells, and here were compiled the famous " Annals of the Four Masters," a record of Irish history completed in 1636 by one Michael O'Clery and his coadjutors. There is a chalybeate well near the town, and 71- M. S., at Bailintra, a small stream forms a series of limestone caverns known as the Pullins. Donegal received a charter from James I., and returned two members to the Irish parliament. The name is said to signify the " fortress of the foreigners," and to allude to agarrison under General Floyd into Donelson, and Grant was at first outnumbered; though continually reinforced, the latter had at no time more than three men to the Confederates' two. The troops of both sides were untrained but eager. On the 12th and 13th of February 1862 the Union divisions, skirmishing heavily, took up their positions investing the fort, and on the 14th Foote's gunboats attacked the water batteries. The latter received a severe repulse, Foote himself being amongst the wounded, and soon afterwards the Confederates determined to cut their way through Grant's lines. On the 15th General Pillow attacked the Federal division of McClernand and drove it off the Nashville road; having done this, however, he halted, and even retired. Grant ordered General C. F. Smith's division to assault a part of the lines which had been denuded of its defenders in order to reinforce Pillow. Smith personally led his young volunteers in the charge and carried all before him. The Confederates returning from the sortie were quite unable to shake his hold on the captured works, and, Grant having reinforced McClernand with Lew Wallace's division, these two generals reoccupied the lost position on the Nashville road. On the 16th, the two senior Confederate generals Floyd and Pillow having escaped by steamer, the infantry left in the fort under General S. B. Buckner surrendered unconditionally. The Confederate cavalry under Colonel Forrest made its escape by road. The prisoners numbered about 15,000 out of an original total of 18,000.
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