JOHNSONVILLE: The Evolution, Defense, and Demise of the Union’s Tennessee River Supply Depot, 1790-1890

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Wooten, Jerry Thomas
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Middle Tennessee State University
Johnsonville was a Union army supply depot on the Tennessee River during the American Civil War from 1863 to 1865. This dissertation reveals what happened at Johnsonville, why the activities that occurred there are significant, and offers an assessment of the contributions of supply depots to the eventual Union victory. I first review the Trace Creek region and Johnsonville’s pre-Civil War history. Next, I address how Union strategy and policy led to the creation of Johnsonville and what this isolated river and railroad post contributed to Union forces in the Western Theater. Third, I address the role of African-Americans and Johnsonville’s garrison forces which included a combination of both white and African-American troops living and working together. Fourth, I explore the inner workings of the Johnsonville supply depot then revisit the activity by Union forces in the fall of 1864 including an overview of the Battle of Johnsonville and what happened to the supply depot. Finally, I conclude with the post-war memory and public history practice at Johnsonville State Historical Park and how scholarship has shaped its development in the twenty-first century.
Civil War, United States Colored Troops, Military Supply, Unionism in Tennessee