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

Fort Johnson

Controlling the Tennessee River

Fort Johnson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 31, 2016
1. Fort Johnson Marker
Inscription. Take Exit 133, State Route 191, and drive north to visit two state parks associated with the struggle to control the Tennessee River during the Civil War.
     In 1861, the Confederates built Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River and Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Adm. Andrew Foote captured them with army and navy forces in February 1862. The Federal victory at Shiloh in April secured control of the Tennessee River in West Tennessee. African American laborers built an extension of the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad between Kingston Springs and the depot on the eastern bank of the river. To maintain control and supply Union forces, they also constructed Fort Johnson at the depot in 1863. U.S. Colored Troops served as the garrison at the fort, named for military governor (and later president) Andrew Johnson.
     Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest attacked the depot in November 1864, posting artillery on the western side of the river and shelling the depot. When Union Col. Charles R. Thompson panicked and ordered all vessels burned to prevent their capture, the flames spread to the depot and supplies; the loss totaled millions of dollars.
     On the western side of the river, you can visit Nathan B. Forrest State Park, where the Confederate attack is interpreted. On the eastern side,
Fort Johnson Marker in Front of Rest Area Building image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 31, 2016
2. Fort Johnson Marker in Front of Rest Area Building
Johnsonville State Historic Park interprets the fort and depot. It includes two redoubts, rifle pits, the remains of a locomotive turntable, and an African American cemetery.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 52.208′ N, 88° 1.292′ W. Marker is near Holladay, Tennessee, in Benton County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 40 at milepost 130, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located at the Benton County I-40 East Rest Area; it is accessible only from the eastbound travel lanes of the freeway. Marker is in this post office area: Holladay TN 38341, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fighting on the Tennessee River (approx. 7.1 miles away); Jesse James (approx. 10.6 miles away); Battle of Johnsonville (approx. 11.9 miles away); The Town of Johnsonville (approx. 13.5 miles away); Johnsonville (approx. 13.6 miles away); United States Colored Troops at Johnsonville (approx. 13.6 miles away); Nashville and Northwestern Railroad (approx. 13.6 miles away); Forrest's Opening Move (approx. 13.6 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker also includes a photograph of the Johnsonville supply depot with Fort Johnson on a hill in the background; an image of a painting titled "Capture of Fort Henry by U.S. Gun Boats"; a portrait of Gen. Nathan B. Forrest; a photograph of the Johnsonville railyard; and a map of the location of the marker and Civil War sites in the area.
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 143 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on August 9, 2016.
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