Johnsonville is located on the right bank of the Tennessee River, two miles above Reynoldsburg, seventy-eight miles from Nashville, and is the western terminus of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad. On the right bank of the river there is a range of hills coming down to within 100 yards of the river-bank, the railroad running for some distance along the base of these hills before reaching the river. The country north of the railroad, in the direction of Reynoldsburg, is flat, from the depot on the river- bank. The Government warehouses were on the river-bank. The river at this point is about 400 yards wide, and the course straight. The ground on the left bank of the river is flat and heavily wooded, no timber having been cut down on that bank previous to the attack.
At 3 p. m. on November 2 Lieutenant-Commander King, with gun-boats 32 and 29, started from Johnsonville down the Tennessee. When some five miles below that point he met the gun-boat Undine and steam- boat Venus, carrying two 20-pounder Parrott guns. These boats were loaded with rebel troops, and were steaming up the river. Our gun- boats opened fire upon the rebels. The Venus was disabled, run into the shore, and abandoned; the Undine steamed down the river. The gun-boats returned with the Venus to Johnsonville. The Venus had on board, when captured, two 20-pounder Parrott guns, with 200 rounds of ammunition for same; 100 boxes shoes, 2 bales blankets, 576 boxes hard-bread, and a few other packages. The quartermaster's and subsistence stores had been taken from the Mazeppa. The guns and ammunition were removed from the boat, the other property was destroyed with the boat.
About 12 m. on November 3 the Undine came up the river, near the head of the island, little more than a mile below Johnsonville. Our gun-boats moved down to engage her, when she steamed down the river for the purpose of decoying our boats into their shore batteries. This was repeated twice, the rebel sharpshooters on the bank firing in volleys upon the gun-boats.
On the morning of November 4 the Undine was discovered lying at the head of the island. Our gun-boats moved down the river, and continued to advance upon her until she was fired and abandoned. The Key West, in advance, ran into a battery within two miles Of Johnsonville, and received nineteen shots before she was able to escape. Five of our gun-boats came up the river and engaged the rebel batteries near the foot of Reynoldsburg Island, about five miles below Johnsonville, but were not able to get up. The military and naval force at Johnsonville on November 4 was as follows: Forty-THIRD Wisconsin Volunteers, 700 men; detachments of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and One hundredth U. S. Colored Infantry, - men; armed quartermaster's employes, 800 men; detachment of the Eleventh Tennessee Cavalry, 20 men; First Kansas Battery, six 10- pounder Parrott guns; Company A, Second U. S. Colored Artillery, two 12-pounder Napoleon guns; one section quartermaster's battery from Nashville, two 12-pounder Napoleon guns; two 20-pounder Parrott guns captured on Venus; gun-boats Key WEST (32), Elfin (52), and Tawah (29). Colonel C. R. Thompson, of the Twelfth U. S. Colored Infantry, was in command of the troops, and Lieutenant- Commander King of the gun-boats. On the hill, near the river, there was an earth-works, the artillery being posted in and about this work. Part of the infantry was posted in this work, and part in rifle-pits that had been thrown up on the flat north of the railroad. At about 2 p. m. on the 4th of November the rebels were