“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)

Forrest's Opening Move

The Battle of Johnsonville


— November 4, 1864 —

Forrest's Opening Move Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
1. Forrest's Opening Move Marker
Inscription.  Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s army held Atlanta and was poised to strike deeper into the Confederacy. Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford B. Forrest was determined to cut off Sherman’s supplies and cripple the Union campaign. In November 1864, Forrest launched a raid at a vital link in the Union chain of supply—Johnsonville.

Forrest’s Navy
Forrest blockaded the Tennessee River between Fort Heiman and Paris Landing. In two days, Forrest’s force burned two supply boats and captured a gunboat and a supply boat.

On November 2, 1864, Forrest moved his makeshift two-ship navy—the now armed supply boat Venus and the gunboat Undine—toward Johnsonville. Two Union gunboats attacked, recapturing the Venus. A second naval battle the next day brought an end to the Undine.

His fleet lost, Forrest again blockaded the river. He bottled up the Union gunboats at Johnsonville and prevented gunboats from Paducah from aiding their comrades.

“That devil Forrest was down about Johnsonville, making havoc with the gunboats and transports.” Gen. William
Forrest's Opening Move Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
2. Forrest's Opening Move Marker
T. Sherman.

(upper right) Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, C.S.A Alabama Department of Archives and Library
(lower left) Forrest leads his cavalry along the river bank as the Venus cruises toward Johnsonville in The Horse Marines by John Paul Strain.
(lower right) Gen. William T. Sherman, U.S.A. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Erected by Tennessee State Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 36° 3.636′ N, 87° 57.6′ W. Marker is in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, in Humphreys County. Marker is on Old Johnsonville Road half a mile west of Nell Beard Road, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located on the grounds of the Johnsonville State Historic Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Johnsonville TN 37134, 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. United States Colored Troops at Johnsonville (within shouting distance of this marker); Johnsonville (within shouting distance of this marker); Nashville and Northwestern Railroad (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Town of Johnsonville (approx. ¼ mile away); The Union Supply Depot
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(approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Johnsonville (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Tennessee River in the Civil War (approx. 0.4 miles away); Forrest's Artillery (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Johnsonville.
Also see . . .  Johnsonville State Historic Park. (Submitted on June 14, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 521 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 8, 2021