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Forrest's Johnsonville Raid

  • Time Period: October 19- november 9, 1864
  • Area: Mississippi and Tennessee
  • Explanation: Unremitting pressure was being applied to the Confederate army and Forrest's purpose was to make every effort to relieve it.

Forrest's cavalry left Corinth, Mississippi on October 19th to begin what would be a 23-day foray. Traveling northwest through Jackson, Tennessee, the Confederates swung on a northeasterly path to Paris. Turning abruptly eastward, they crossed the Big Sandy River and arrived at Paris Landing on the Tennessee River on the 28th. The following day, the raiders effectively blocked that waterway in the vincinity of Fort Heiman and Paris Landing. After off-and-on engagements between Confederate shore batteries and several Union gunboats, Forrest and his men commandeered 2 Union steamers on the Tennessee River.

On November 1st, his "cavalry afloat" moved downriver to Johnsonville while a portion of his force struggled with the artillery pieces along the muddy riverbanks. Following a day of desultory action, the Confederates made their final move against Johnsonville on the 3rd. A combination of bluff and clever artillery emplacement brought about a significant Confederate victory. Union gunboats and great mounds of supplies went up in a wild, wind -whipped inferno as Forrest's massed cannon belched successive salvos of unerring iron on them. The Johnsonville Raid resulted in Union losses of 4 gunboats, 14 steamboats, 17 barges, 33 guns, 150 prisoners, and over 75,000 tons of supplies. Total damages were estimated at $6,700,000. The episode once again showed Forrest's fierce but ingenious capabilities and strengthened his reputation as one of the war's premier field commanders.

Campaign Battles

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  • Johnsonville
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