Forrest’s Clever Attack
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
"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.
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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 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eva Archaic Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Tennessee River in the Civil War (approx. 1.9 miles away); Old Johnsonville (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Union Supply Depot (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Town of Johnsonville (approx. 2 miles away); Nashville and Northwestern Railroad (approx. 2.1 miles away); United States Colored Troops at Johnsonville (approx. 2.2 miles away); Forrest's Opening Move (approx. 2.2 miles away).
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 45 times since then. 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.