USS Nautilus

County Seat: Waverly

Tennessee has produced its share of naval heroes. One of them is William Robert Anderson, who was born in HumphreysCounty in 1921.

A graduate of the
United StatesNavalAcademy, Anderson was the commanding officer of the USS Nautilus, the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. In 1958 the Nautilus, under his command, left Hawaii heading north and didn’t stop until it landed in England – thus becoming the first vessel to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic by way of the North Pole. “For our world, our county, and the Navy – the North Pole!” Anderson told his crew.

Anderson later represented Tennessee in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1964 until 1972.

Johnsonville during the Civil War
PHOTO: National Archives
Speaking of the navy: Only once in recorded world history has an army of cavalry (soldiers on horses) defeated a naval force. This Confederate victory, known as the Battle of Johnsonville, took place in Humphreys and Benton counties, and the sites of the battle are preserved at the Johnsonville State Historic Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. Click here to take a Tennessee History for Kids tour.

And here is the Humphreys County Courthouse.