NEW JOHNSONVILLE, Tenn. – Johnsonville State Historic Park announced today that, through their friends group, the park has received a $7,000 community support grant from Dupont Corporation in New Johnsonville.
Grant funds will be used to enhance interpretive programming at Johnsonville and assist in the reconstruction of Civil War-period soldier huts, similar to those that housed Union soldiers at the Johnsonville supply depot from 1863-1865. The reproduction soldier huts will serve as an interpretive visual aid and offer park visitors an authentic picture of soldier life at Johnsonville during the Civil War.
Johnsonville State Historic Park created a permanent Civil War living history group in February, portraying Union soldier life. Volunteer Civil War re-enactors and park employees from various Tennessee State Parks gather three times a year to recreate life as army soldiers in the 43rd Wisconsin Infantry and 1st Kansas Artillery Battery. The special weekend events will feature both infantry and artillery demonstrations for the general public. In addition to the three annual events, the park will also conduct regular living history programs, beginning with school groups this fall.
Since 2011, Johnsonville has received two grants from the Tennessee Wars Commission, a $9,000 grant for the purchase of 13 new outdoor interpretive exhibit panels for the Battle of Johnsonville and a $15,000 grant for the purchase of reproduction Civil War cannons that will assist in interpreting Johnsonville’s significance as a base for artillery. In addition, New Johnsonville’s Dupont Corporation awarded a $4,000 community support grant in 2012 for trail improvements and interpretive programming.
Johnsonville recently applied for a $50,000 American Battlefield Protection Program grant. If awarded, funds will be used to develop a Preservation and Interpretive Master Plan that will assist in preparing for Johnsonville’s future as a premiere Civil War destination.
The park will host its annual Battle of Johnsonville commemorative event November 2-3, 2013 at the original Civil War site, which is located 2.5 miles from the park’s welcome center. For a complete schedule of commemorative activities, visit www.tnstateparks.com/Johnsonville or contact 931-535-2789.
Located off U.S. Highway 70, Johnsonville State Historic Park is named for Military Governor Andrew Johnson. This 1,200-acre park, on the eastern side of Kentucky Lake, encompasses and overlooks the site of the Battle of Johnsonville. On November 4, 1864, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry took up artillery positions on the west bank of the Tennessee River. Calvary forces under Forrest who had already sunk four Union gunboats downstream, opened fire on the depot from across the river and proceeded to set fire to and sink numerous Federal riverboats in their moorings. Confederate gunfire resulted in the burning of the supply depot, destroying millions of dollars’ worth of Union Army stores. Two large artillery redoubts and other surviving fortifications can be visited at the park. Johnsonville also offers eight miles of hiking trails and a picnic area.