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“Johnsonville” doesn’t mean much to most students of the Civil War. Yet, its contribution to the Union victory in the Western Theater is difficult to overstate, and its history is complex, fascinating, and heretofore mostly untold.
Wooten, a former Park Manager at Johnsonville State Historic Park, unearthed a wealth of new material that sheds light on the creation and strategic role of the Union supply depot, the use of railroads and logistics, and its defense by U. S. Colored Troops. His study covers the emergence of a civilian town around the depot, and the role all of this played in making possible the Union victories with which we are all familiar.
This sterling monograph also includes the best and most detailed account of the Battle of Johnsonville. The fighting took place on the heels of one of the most audacious campaigns of the war, when Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry through western Tennessee on a 23-day raid. On November 4-5, 1864, Forrest’s troopers attacked the depot and shelled the city, destroying tons of invaluable supplies.
Wooten’s deep original archival research peels back the decades to reveal significantly more on that battle as well as what life was like in and around the area for both military men and civilians. Civil War students thirst for original deeply researched studies on fresh topics. And that is exactly what Johnsonville: Union Supply Operations on the Tennessee River and the Battle of Johnsonville, November 4-5, 1864 provides them.
18 images, 5 maps