This book tells the story of the Union supply depot at Johnsonville, Tennessee, and the battle that nearly destroyed it in November, 1864. Dr. Jerry Wooten has written the most thorough account to date of the establishment of the depot on the Tennessee River, its connection by rail to Nashville, and the defense of the depot by federal forces including units of United States Colored Troops.
Previous versions of the story focused almost entirely upon Confederate operations under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose troops captured several steam transports on the Tennessee River and shelled Johnsonville extensively on November 4-5, 1864. Wooten’s account goes far beyond that, detailing the construction of the depot as well as the completion of track for the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad that connected Johnsonville with the larger Union supply depot at Nashville. In addition, Wooten describes daily life at Johnsonville for the hundreds of soldiers and civilians who both lived and worked there. He also provides the most extensive coverage yet of the fighting both on the river and at the depot itself.
This book is an outgrowth of Jerry Wooten’s doctoral dissertation, written while he was manager of Johnsonville State Historic Park. The breadth and depth of his research is evident, and the finished product is engaging and thoroughly readable. Wooten draws upon published primary sources, as well as many previously unpublished letters and accounts. He also includes many never-before-published images.
One does not have to be a Civil War specialist to enjoy this book. There are heroes and cowards, brave deeds and inexplicable blunders; in short, the stuff of which fine history books are made. Don’t miss your chance to own a copy of this fine book, available now in the shop.