The 110th meeting
Clarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Gateway Hospital. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes east of Governor’s Square mall.
The meeting begins at 7:00pm and is always open to the public. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.
Topic: “Johnsonville, TN: The End of the Line, November 4th, 1864”
The Tennessee River town of Johnsonville, Tennessee, was developed as a major supply depot for the Union Army to help supply the massive Nashville Depot. Its creation came about due to Confederate raids on steamboat traffic on the Cumberland River (which was smaller in size) and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Both were quite vulnerable and both were often closed to Union supply traffic.
Fortifications and massive docks and warehouses were built to handle the huge volume of supplies coming in from up north. It is because of the importance of the town and its supply hub that it drew the attention of famed Confederate cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest in November 1864.
Forrest believed that William T. Sherman, then embarking on his March to the Sea, drew his supplies from Johnsonville and Nashville and if he could smash this depot Sherman would be forced to retire. Forrest attacked the depot on November 4th, 1864 and while destroying millions of dollars in supplies, sinking transports and doing other damage, it did not stop Sherman, who had cut himself off of the supplies coming from Tennessee.
Our speaker this month is Jerry Wooten, Park Manager of Johnsonville Historic Park. His program will illustrate the significance of Johnsonville, Tennessee, and its impact upon the Union war effort in Tennessee in 1863-65.
Wooten will discuss details about the troops involved in this late-war Tennessee River campaign, provide descriptions of the Union depot at Johnsonville, and share photographic images of the Union’s largest supply operation in the western theater during the Civil War. A discussion of the events leading up to the Battle of Johnsonville, Tennessee, on November 4th, 1864, will also be highlighted during the program.
Jerry Wooten is originally from Clarksville, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor’s degree in American History from Austin Peay State University in 1992 and his Master’s Degree from Murray State University in Public History in 1994. Currently, Jerry is finishing his Ph.D. in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University concentrating in heritage tourism and Civil War battlefield preservation.
After a stint with TVA in Kentucky he accepted the position as Executive Director of the River Heritage Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, where he remained until 2002.
He then accepted the directorship of Kentucky’s Shaker Museum and stayed there until 2003 when he returned to Tennessee and went to work for the Tennessee Historical Commission in Nashville as Director of State Historic Sites. In this role, Jerry was responsible for all 191 state-owned historic buildings and sites in Tennessee.
In 2009, Jerry accepted a position with Tennessee State Parks at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park as program director. In April 2011, Jerry accepted the position as Park Manager of Johnsonville State Historic Park located in Humphreys County in New Johnsonville, TN, where he is currently employed.
Jerry is married to Robin Wooten who also works for Tennessee State Parks and serves as the area manager for East Tennessee. When not “doing” history or working in parks, Jerry enjoys painting, watching movies, playing music, and spending time with his wife and their dog “Flash” at their Nashville home.