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

Naval Warfare

Controlling the Tennessee River

 
 
Naval Warfare Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karen Emerson-McPeak, October 15, 2017
1. Naval Warfare Marker
Inscription. This was a busy landing and crossing point on the Tennessee River; a waterway of strategic importance during the war. After the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862, the Confederates’ hope of maintaining control of Paris Landing vanished. On March 11, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered four infantry companies and an artillery battery to establish a garrison here and secure the county and the landing.

As the fighting moved to other parts of Tennessee, Paris Landing was largely forgotten until late in October 1864 when Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest began raids in the region against Union transportation and communications lines. The Confederates established a concealed battery here and began attacking Federal gunboats steaming upriver to Johnsonville, a major Union supply base. They captured or destroyed several vessels, including USS Undine after an hour-long artillery duel between the gunboat and Forrest’s horse artillery on October 30. Acting Master John L. Bryant reported that “the enemy opened with a cross fire of artillery and musketry. I opened on them with my broadside guns and returned the fire with rapidity.” He fired canister at Confederate soldiers in the bushes to “good effect,” but then a steam pipe burst, making Undine “entirely unmanageable,”
Naval Warfare Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karen Emerson-McPeak, October 15, 2017
2. Naval Warfare Marker
and Bryant surrendered.

Forrest’s men repaired the vessel and resumed their attacks on Federal gunboats. On November 2, however, Undine was severely damaged in a fight. The Confederates took it to Reynoldsburg Island and two days later burned it to the waterline.

(photo captions)
Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Confederate infantry and artillery firing on Union gunboats Courtesy Naval Historical Center
Union gunboat fleet on the Tennessee River, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (1896)
Rail Line at Johnsonville – Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 26.351′ N, 88° 5.003′ W. Marker is in Buchanan, Tennessee, in Henry County. Marker is at the intersection of Austin Peay Memorial Highway (U.S. 79) and Fishing Pier Drive, on the left when traveling west on Austin Peay Memorial Highway. Touch for map. Located at the Paris Landing State Park Visitor Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16055 US-79 Scenic, Buchanan TN 38222, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Forrest at Paris Landing (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Henry (approx. 4.1 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Henry (approx. 5.6 miles away); Site of Fort Henry (approx. 6 miles away); Gerard Furnace (approx. 6.2 miles away in Kentucky); Fort Heiman (approx. 6.2 miles away in Kentucky); Advance On Fort Donelson (approx. 7˝ miles away); Advance on Fort Donelson (approx. 9.1 miles away).
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 17, 2017, by Karen Emerson-McPeak of Triune, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 17, 2017, by Karen Emerson-McPeak of Triune, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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