December 1st, 1864

Dec. 1st, 1864:

The Right Wing, who Sherman is now traveling with, is making its way towards Millen and passes through the area of Herndon and Birdsville, west of Millen.

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Birdsville Plantation, still a private residence and owned by the same family since the land was granted by the King in the 1700’s, was visited by elements of the Right Wing of Sherman’s Army.  Bummers, ransacked the house and in an attempt to find valuables, they dug up fresh graves in the family plot, all they found were the bodies of twin children that had recently died.  This home was built around 1789 and local legend holds that the home is haunted with apparitions, the sound of footsteps, voices, children crying and doors that open and close by their selves.
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A small community sprung up around the plantation and at one time this served as the school.
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A classic southern oak lined road leading to Birdsville Plantation.
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150 Years Ago Today: Dec. 1st – Dec. 5th, 1864

Dec. 1st, 1864:
     The Right Wing, who Sherman is now traveling with, is making its way towards Millen and passes through the area of Herndon and Birdsville, west of Millen. 

Dec. 2nd, 1864:
     Sherman and the Right Wing move into Millen.  Sherman stays here for a day so that he can communicate with all parts of his army.  Soldiers give reports of the deplorable conditions found at the abandoned Camp Lawton just north of town.  Nearly the entire town is burned to the ground over the next day or so. 

Dec. 3rd, 1864: 
     The Left Wing passes through the area of Buckhead Church where on the 28th the Federal Cavalry under Kilpatrick clashed with Wheeler’s Confederate Cavalry.  The Left Wing then marches into Millen.  Parts of the Right wing have started moving out of Millen and are moving past Scarboro.

Dec. 4th, 1864:     The Battle of Waynesboro
     On the morning of the 4th, Kilpatrick’s Cavalry supported by two Brigades of Infantry marched on Waynesboro.  Their objective was to capture the town and burn all the bridges over Brier Creek.  As they approached the town they encountered General Wheeler’s skirmishers and drove them in toward the main line of works.  Being out numbered by the Federals who were advancing rapidly on their position and were about to over run them, the Confederates fell back to another line of prepared work in the streets of Waynesboro.  As Wheeler was again about to be overrun by a larger force, he ordered his Texans and Tennesseans to charge, thus delaying the Federals long enough for Wheeler to move his forces to block the Augusta road should Kilpatrick turn that way.  After quickly taking control of the town, the Federals burned the bridges over Brier Creek and set fire to the town.  The towns people were able to suppress many of the fires saving a great deal of the town. 

Dec. 5th, 1864:
     General Hardee is now well aware of the Sherman’s intent to move on Savannah and has placed his command between Sherman and Savannah.  The Right and Left Wings are both moving in a south easterly direction using the main roads into Savannah.  On the 5th, Sherman, traveling with the 17th Corps reaches the Ogeechee Church in what is now Oliver.  He took possession of a private home for his headquarters and remained here for several days to coordinate the movements of his command.  They were now within 50 miles of Savannah. 

Photography Day 42 is Done!

     Day 42:  My friend Jeff and I were going to my Dad’s house in Woodbine, Ga. for a weekend of fishing, so, I decided to make the most of the drive and photograph as many locations of the March to the Sea as I could.  We mostly followed the right wing for the trip.  I was able to photograph 11 antebellum structures that were visited by Federal troops on the march.  Three of them by Sherman himself. 
     We started at Jarrell Plantation Historic Site where I photographed the plantation house.  From here we went to Round Oak where I photographed the area around the Battle of Sunshine Church.  Not technically part of the March to the Sea, but for logistical reasons I photographed it out of sequence.  From Round Oak we drove down to Clinton, where I photographed several home.  One of which was Kilpatrick’s Headquarters while the March to the Sea moved through the area.  After Clinton, we drove a short distance to the Griswoldville Battlefield.  This was the site of the only major engagement or battle along the March to the Sea. 
     We left Griswoldville and headed toward Ball’s Ferry.  Along the way we passed through Irwinton and Toomsboro.  I photographed the river and surrounding area at the location of Balls Ferry.  From here we traveled through Wrightsville and Kite and then made our way into Swainsboro, where we had lunch at the Crossroads Cafe.  I had the Reuben and it was really good, but the best thing I had was their Chocolate Chip Toffee cookie. 
     From Swainsboro we traveled north toward Midville where we took Ga. 17 east toward Millen.  Along the way I stopped at several cotton fields to make images.  Before Millen, we took a detour to a place called Birdsville.  It is the site of an antebellum plantation that suffered tragically from the passing of Sherman’s Army.  It is you classic plantation with the ancient Live Oaks overhanging the lane that leads to the front of the house.  It was truly a beautiful location.  It has been in the same family since the King granted them the land in 1785.  From Birdsville we went to Buckhead Church on Buckhead Creek. 
     After leaving Buckhead Church, we drove through Millen and then continued on Ga. 17 towards Savannah.  Along the way we stopped to photograph the Little Ogeechee Baptist Church and then passed through Guyton and between Guyton and Bloomingdale, I photographed Zion Lutheran Church. 
     All in all it was a very productive day and I turned what is normally a six hour drive in to a 12 hour drive.

Below is an image of Birdsville Plantation.