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New Johnsonville in Humphreys County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Battle of Johnsonville

Up in Smoke

 
 
Battle of Johnsonville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
1. Battle of Johnsonville Marker
Inscription. Johnsonville was a major Federal supply depot on the Tennessee River at the western terminus of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, completed in May 1864. Col. Charles R. Thompson commanded the 2,000-man garrison here. The 12th, 13th, and 100th United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiments provided infantry support for the heavily fortified post.

Early in November 1864, part of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s 3,500-man command occupied the west bank of the Tennessee River opposite Johnsonville. On November 4, after capturing two Federal vessels as a diversion, Confederate gunners opened fire on three Union gunboats, eleven transports, and eighteen barges. Assuming that Forrest intended to attack the depot, Thompson ordered the vessels burned to prevent their capture. The fire spread to the docks and warehouses, and the Federal batteries could not destroy Forrest’s well-concealed gun emplacements.

Forrest moved his forces south during the night, as the blazing docks and warehouses illuminated the river. An artillery detachment left behind continued shelling Johnsonville the next morning. By the time Federal reinforcements arrived, the Confederates were gone. The Confederates reported only eleven casualties, the Federals eight.

Forrest estimated that the Confederates destroyed $6.7 million
Close up of map shown on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
2. Close up of map shown on the marker
of war materiel, although Union estimates were much lower. The Johnsonville raid did not impede the flow of supplies for Federal operations, such as Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s march to the sea or the victories over Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood’s army at Franklin and Nashville a few weeks later.

Johnsonville State Historic Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

“Some of the Thirteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, who were at Johnsonville, were upon the riverbank as sharpshooters, and armed with the Enfield rifle, and did good execution. The affair was slight, but it has gained credit for the colored troop.” — Union Col. Reuben D. Mussey.

(captions)
(lower left) Johnsonville, artillery park and USCTs - Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper center) Johnsonville, with rail line Courtesy Library of Congress
(lower right) Johnsonville and vicinity, Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1891-1895)
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 1.891′ N, 87° 56.898′ W. Marker is in
Battle of Johnsonville Marker in front of the Welcome Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
3. Battle of Johnsonville Marker in front of the Welcome Center
New Johnsonville, Tennessee, in Humphreys County. Marker is at the intersection of Nell Beard Road and Broadway Street (U.S. 70) on Nell Beard Road. Touch for map. The marker is in front of the Johnsonville State Historic Park Welcome Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 90 Nell Beard Road, New Johnsonville TN 37134, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Johnsonville (approx. 2.1 miles away); Jesse James (approx. 2.1 miles away); Forrest's Opening Move (approx. 2.1 miles away); United States Colored Troops at Johnsonville (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Town of Johnsonville (approx. 2.2 miles away); Nashville and Northwestern Railroad (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Union Supply Depot (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Tennessee River in the Civil War (approx. 2.4 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.)
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
Inside the Welcome Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
4. Inside the Welcome Center
Inside the Welcome Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
5. Inside the Welcome Center
Inside the Welcome Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
6. Inside the Welcome Center
Inside the Welcome Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2014
7. Inside the Welcome Center
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 436 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 14, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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