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

Bombarding Johnsonville

Forrest’s Clever Attack

Bombarding Johnsonville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, April 18, 2021
1. Bombarding Johnsonville Marker
Inscription.  In 1862 and 1863, Confederate cavalry raids along the Louisville & Nashville Railroad often shut down operations and slowed the flow of supplies into Nashville. The Union army built a supply depot at Johnsonville to help alleviate the disruptions. The depot, the terminus of the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad on the Tennessee River, supplied the Federal army during the 1864 Atlanta campaign.

Late in 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest moved on Johnsonville, hoping to cut off supply lines to Gen. William T. Sherman’s army as it marched through Georgia. Forrest and his 3,500 man command reached the west bank of the Tennessee River late in October and engaged Union gunboats north of here at Paris Landing. On November 4, he posted his artillery here, across from Johnsonville, and bombarded the Federal positions and vessels. Fearing that Forrest planned to cross the river, and overestimating the size of his force, Union Col. Charles R. Thompson ordered that Union vessels be burned. The fire soon raged through the depot, and the damage was later estimated to be more than two million dollars. Suffering only two casualties, Forrest

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had outwitted his opponents and scored a decisive victory. The Federals soon returned Johnsonville to operation, and in less than six months the war was over.

"Gen. Forrest reports on 5th instant that he was then engaged fighting enemy at Johnsonville, having already destroyed 4 gun-boats of eight guns each, 14 steamers, and 20 barges, with large quantity of quartermaster's and commissary stores, on landing and in warehouses, estimated at 75,000 to 120,000 tons."
—Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, Nov. 8, 1864

Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park preserves the wooded foothills of Pilot Knob. This historic landmark overlooks the Tennessee River banks from which Forrest bombarded the Federal depot at Johnsonville on November 4, 1864. The park was created as a local historic site in 1929. The Civilian Conservation Corps significantly expanded and improved it during the Great Depression. It became a state park in 1963.

Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Johnsonville depot, 1864 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Confederate infantry and artillery firing on Union gunboats Courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center

Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:

Bombarding Johnsonville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, April 18, 2021
2. Bombarding Johnsonville Marker
Parks & Recreational AreasWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 4, 1864.
Location. 36° 3.604′ N, 87° 59.978′ W. Marker is in Eva, Tennessee, in Benton County. Marker can be reached from Eva Beach Drive, 0.2 miles east of Lucas Road, on the right when traveling east. Located at the Eva Beach Recreation Area. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 271 Eva Beach Dr, Eva TN 38333, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eva Archaic Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eva, A Community of the Western Banks of the Tennessee River (about 700 feet away); The Tennessee River Railroad Bridge (about 800 feet away); Railroads, A Force for Development (about 800 feet away); Winfrey Cemetery (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lower Redoubt (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Tennessee River in the Civil War (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Union Supply Depot (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eva.
General Nathan B. Forrest image. Click for full size.
circa 1865
3. General Nathan B. Forrest
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmscd-00082]
[Johnsonville, Tenn. Camp of Tennessee Colored Battery] image. Click for full size.
circa 1864
4. [Johnsonville, Tenn. Camp of Tennessee Colored Battery]
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpb-02100]
Credits. This page was last revised on April 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 18, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 264 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 18, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia.   3, 4. submitted on April 19, 2021. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024