Fort Johnson (5)

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Fort Johnson (5) (1863-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1863 in present day Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Named Fort Johnson after Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee. The fort was abandoned by Union troops in 1867 after the end of the war and after Tennessee had returned to the Union. Also known as Camp Andy Johnson and Capitol Redoubt.

Covered Artillery Pieces on the Capitol Steps 1864
Fort Johnson Plan
Tennessee State Capitol Site of Fort Johnson circa 1862-1865

History of Fort Johnson

The beginning of the U.S. Civil War found Nashville under Confederate control with Fort Henry and Fort Donelson providing external protection. With the loss of Fort Henry (6 Feb 1862) and Fort Donelson (16 Feb 1862) the Confederate position in Nashville became untenable and they surrendered the city on 25 Feb 1862.

Union forces occupied the city and turned Nashville into a Union logistics hub for the region. Work on the fortifications for the city began in August 1862 using large numbers of conscripted contrabands (runaway slaves) and free Blacks.

Brigadier General USV, James St. Clair Morton, (Cullum 1495), converted the Tennessee State Capitol Building into a strong fortification with a stockade of cedar logs surrounded the building, reinforced bales of cotton and earthen parapets. Fifteen pieces of heavy artillery were emplaced at strategic points around the Capitol. Several companies of infantry and artillery garrisoned the fort. Fort Johnson became the headquarters of the command.

An inspection report dated 25 May 1865 by Brigadier General Zealous B. Tower, (Cullum 1059), Inspector General of Fortifications, Military Division of the Mississippi, included the following: "Capitol Hill.-Gen. Morton built some earth parapets and stockades around the capitol building large enough to mount fifteen guns and to give room for a regiment of infantry. The position has a good command over the country around, and, thus strengthened, was a good keep for the north portion of the city. No longer needed, the stockade is being removed at the request of the Legislature and by direction of the commanding general. Gen. Morton's line of defense successfully resisted Morgan's and Forrest's attacks during Buell's march into Kentucky. Afterward Nashville became a great depot, and public buildings, as hospitals, store-houses, and corrals, extended far beyond the limits of the city and necessitated a much longer defensive line."

The fort was abandoned by Union troops in 1867 after the end of the war and after Tennessee had returned to the Union.

Current Status

No remains and no markers.

Location: The State Capitol at 600 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.16579 Long: -86.78441

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: .....'

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Visited: 14 May 2016

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