“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Johnsonville in Humphreys County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

The Tennessee River in the Civil War

The Tennessee River In the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
1. The Tennessee River In the Civil War Marker
Inscription. The Tennessee River flows from the mountains of east Tennessee to the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky. In the 19th century it was navigable from the Ohio to Great Bend at Muscle Shoals in northern Alabama. Steamboats and gunboats could move freely from Paducah to Alabama, bringing supplies and soldiers to whichever side controlled the river.

The Confederates Occupy Columbus

In a monumental blunder, the Confederates occupied neutral Columbus, Kentucky, in September 1861. Federal forces quickly responded by seizing Paducah and Smithland, Kentucky, at the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.

Forts Henry and Heiman Fall

The Confederates constructed two forts on the Tennessee River, Fort Henry on the east bank in Tennessee and Fort Heiman on the west bank in Kentucky. The Union navy made short work of both. Gunboats again steamed as far south as Alabama, demonstrating Union might.

The Union Takes the River

Combined Union army-navy operations proved successful at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh, blows from which the Confederacy never recovered. Once Union forces took the Tennessee River it became part of a supply network for Federal armies in the west. The river and railroad connection at Johnsonville made it a key component in the Union supply
The Tennessee River In the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
2. The Tennessee River In the Civil War Marker

(lower left) Union engineers built strong fortifications in Paducah, strengthening the army’s hold on the mouth of the Tennessee River. (upper right) Fort Henry was no match for the Union’s “brown water navy.” Ironclad gunboats shelled the fort into submission. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Erected by Tennessee State Parks.
Location. 36° 3.768′ N, 87° 57.984′ W. Marker is in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, in Humphreys County. Marker is on Old Johnsonville Road 0.1 miles west of Museum Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Johnsonville State Historic Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 900 Nell Beard Road, New Johnsonville TN 37134, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Johnsonville (here, next to this marker); The Union Supply Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); The Town of Johnsonville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nashville and Northwestern Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); United States Colored Troops at Johnsonville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Forrest's Opening Move (approx. 0.4 miles away); Johnsonville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battle of Johnsonville (approx. 2.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in New Johnsonville.
Also see . . .  Johnsonville State Historic Park. (Submitted on June 15, 2014.)
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 325 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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