July 30th, 1864

Dunlap Farm:

Since General Stoneman decided not to meet up with McCook at Love Joy’s Station, he continued on toward Macon in an attempt to rescue prisoners being held there.  On his way into Macon, Stoneman’s Cavalry destroyed several miles of track along with several bridges and depots.  He then moved on Macon in an attempt to take the city.  He established his headquarters at the Dunlap House, located in what is now Ocmulgee National Monument.  He used his two pieces of light artillery to begin shelling the city and was quickly forced to retreat by Confederates guarding the city.

 

Sunshine Church:

With Stoneman retreating from Macon, Confederate Cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson Jr., gave chase.  Iverson had been born and raised in the area and his knowledge of the area allowed him to get ahead of Stoneman near Sunshine Church (near Round Oak, Ga.).  The Confederates place a cannon in the middle of the road and as soon as Stoneman was in range, the began to fire on him.  A sharp skirmish ensued and Iverson was able to deceive Stoneman into thinking he was surrounded.  Stoneman surrendered himself and 700 troops to Iverson.  They were then imprisoned in the very prisons they were trying to reach in an effort to rescue their comrades.

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The Battle of Sunshine Church started in this area along Monticello Hwy just north of Otis Redding Rd.  Stoneman’s Cavalry moved north on both sides of the road and fought a sharp engagement with Iverson’s troops, who were positioned just north of this point near Pippin Road.  Near the end of the battle, fearing that he was completely surround, Stoneman surrendered along with nearly 600 of his troopers.
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Looking south on Monticello Hwy at Pippin Road.  Iverson(CS) positioned his forces across the road facing the approach of Stoneman’s Cavalry.  They fashioned a barricade across the road and place an artillery piece in the middle of the road.
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Sunshine Church II, built in 1880 to replace the original church that was burned by Sherman’s right wing on their March to the Sea.  This newer church is now located in Round Oak about two miles north of the site of the original Sunshine Church.  In 1890, a Union Veteran named B.F. Morris who had been cared for by a local family after he was wounded in the battle, was invited to return to the church and deliver a sermon.
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The Cabaniss-Hunt House, recently rebuilt and remodeled, was used as a makeshift hospital during the Battle of Sunshine Church.  The mistress of the house, Betty Hunt, nursed many wounded Federal soldiers here after the battle.  She earned the nickname “The Angle of Sunshine Church” from the wounded men, some of whom returned to the area after the war and settle here, one of them was a pallbearer at her funeral.

July 27th, 1864

July 27th, 1864:

After the death of General McPherson during the Battle of Atlanta, General Logan assumed command during the battle and retained it for several days while General Sherman decided who should replace McPherson.  Sherman, being a graduate of Westpoint, had a certain disdain for political Generals like Logan, and did not trust them to follow orders properly and promptly as they were on the field of battle for political gain.  With these thoughts in mind and after consulting with General Thomas of the Army of the Cumberland, Sherman chose General O.O. Howard to command the Army of the Tennessee as McPherson’s successor.  General Hooker is so offended and outraged that he was not given command of the Army of the Tennessee, the he resigns his commission and leaves the Army.  Howard assumed command on the 27th of July and his order of the day was to shift the Army of the Tennessee from the east side of Atlanta near Decatur, to the west side of Atlanta by moving to the north and around the top of the city.  His ultimate objective is to move on Eastpoint and destroy the railroad.

Sherman has Cavalry units dismount and fill the lines of Howard’s army as they began to pull out.  He also ordered infantry units along the line to skirmish heavily with the Confederates in the cities defensive lines in hopes of screening Howard’s move.  Sherman was attempting to flank Hood out of the city and draw him into a fight or cut off Hood’s supply line from the railroad to Macon and the railroad to Westpoint.

Stoneman’s and McCook’s Cavalry were sent on a raid to destroy the railroads while the Army of the Tennessee was moving into place.  Stoneman went south out of Decatur and McCook moved southwest  from Turner’s Ferry.  McCook and Stoneman were scheduled to meet at Love Joy’s Station on the 28th to destroy the railroad.  McCook went southwest along the west bank of the Chattahoochee and crossing on pontoon bridges at Smiths Ferry, about 6 miles south of Campbellton.  He moves on toward the east and in Palmetto he destroys several miles of track, burns the depot and then moves towards the east again in the direction of Fayetteville.  Along the Fayetteville road the come across a Confederate wagon train.  They take about 300 prisoners and burn nearly 500 wagons.  They also kill almost 1000 mules with their sabers to keep the sound of gunfire from giving away their location.

By mid to late morning, Hood is aware of the Federals movements.  He sends Wheelers Cavalry to intercept and destroy the Union Cavalry.  Wheeler surrounds Garrard’s Cavalry at Flat Rock where they skirmish and Garrard falls back towards Lithonia.  Hood then learns of McCook’s raid and Wheeler is sent to intercept him.  Having detected the movements of Howard’s Army of the Tennesse, Hood sends General Stephen D. Lee’s Corps and A.P. Stewart’s Corps to extend the Confederate left flank out of Atlanta in an attempt to block the Federal move toward East Point.  S.D. Lee is now the commander of Hood’s former Corps.

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The Bullard Henley House, located west of the Chattahoochee River on Hwy. 92 near Hwy 166, was built in the late 1830’s.  As McCook moved his column south toward Campbelton, he engaged in a short firefight on the Bullard Plantation.  One of the Federal soldiers died and is buried behind the house.  General McCook established his headquarters here for the night.  McCook, along with his officers, enjoyed a meal prepared by Mrs. Bullard.  In the evening, the daughter of Mrs. Bullard, played the family piano to entertain the officers.  The officers made multiple request for Yankee Doodle, but she refused to play it and would play Dixie instead.  After several rounds of this, the General made a deal that he would sing Dixie while she played as long as she would play Yankee Doodle after.
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Smith’s Ferry road.  After meeting resistance at the river crossing in Campbellton, McCook moved six miles south to Smith’s Ferry.  This dirt road is an original portion of the period road that McCooks cavalry traveled upon.  At the end of the road is the original Ferry Masters house and is still occupied as a private residence. 
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On the east side of the Chattahoochee at Cedar Grove Rd. and River Lake Dr.  After Crossing the river at Smith’s Ferry, McCook east along this road that was once the other half of Smith’s Ferry Rd.  They then turned to the south, camera left, and rode through Rico to Palmetto.
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The Railroad in Palmetto.  Here, McCook destroyed six miles of track and burned the depot along with supplies and they cut the telegraph lines as well. 

150 Years Ago Today: July 30th, 1864: The Battles at Dunlap Farm and Sunshine Church

July 30th, 1864: 

I again apologize for the lateness of the post as I have been pretty busy for the last few days.

Dunlap Farm:
     Since General Stoneman decided not to meet up with McCook at Love Joy’s Station, he continued on toward Macon in an attempt to rescue prisoners being held there.  On his way into Macon, Stoneman’s Cavalry destroyed several miles of track along with several bridges and depots.  He then moved on Macon in an attempt to take the city.  He established his headquarters at the Dunlap House, located in what is now Ocmulgee National Monument.  He used his two pieces of light artillery to begin shelling the city and was quickly forced to retreat by Confederates guarding the city. 
    
Sunshine Church:
     With Stoneman retreating from Macon, Confederate Cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson Jr., gave chase.  Iverson had been born and raised in the area and his knowledge of the area allowed him to get ahead of Stoneman near Sunshine Church (near Round Oak, Ga.).  The Confederates place a cannon in the middle of the road and as soon as Stoneman was in range, the began to fire on him.  A sharp skirmish ensued and Iverson was able to deceive Stoneman into thinking he was surrounded.  Stoneman surrendered himself and 700 troops to Iverson.  They were then imprisoned in the very prisons they were trying to reach in an effort to rescue their comrades. 

150 Years Ago Today: July 30th, 1864: The Battle of Brown’s Mill

Sorry for the late post.  I have been on the road a lot this week.

July 30th, 1864:  The Battle of Brown’s Mill
     On the 29th, McCook’s Cavalry made it to Love Joy’s Station where they were supposed to meet General Stoneman and destroy as much of the railroad as possible.  When McCook arrived, Stoneman was not there, so McCook began to destroy the tracks.  Stoneman had been given permission by Sherman to head south towards Macon and Andersonville after destroying the tracks, in an effort to free the Union Prisoners.  Stoneman, who was looking to pull off some heroic venture to improve his reputation, decided that McCook could handle the detail at Love Joy’s Station and went straight for Macon. 
     McCook ended up fighting a fairly heated skirmish at Love Joy’s Station and the began to retreat back towards the west in an attempt to cross the Chattahoochee and return to the safety of the Federal lines.  General Wheeler and his Confederate Cavalry were hot on his trail and were engaged in a running skirmish with McCook’s rear guard. 
     On the morning of the 30th, the front of McCook’s column came into Newnan along what is now E. Broad St. near the train depot.  Their path was blocked by a train load of Confederate soldiers that were waiting for the tracks in Palmetto to be repaired.  The same tracks that McCook had destroyed a couple of days before.  Both sides were surprised by the appearance of the other and a small firefight ensued.  Being blocked in the front by the train and having Wheeler coming up on his rear, McCook began moving south of town looking for a clear path to the river where he could avoid a fight.  Wheeler’s forces entered town and split up in an effort to hit McCook from the front and rear. 
     The two forces finally met about three miles south of Newnan near Brown’s Mill along the Millard Farm Road and what is now Old Corinth Road.  McCook’s troopers were driven from the road and into the woods where they dismounted and fought on foot.  The fighting was intense and Wheeler soon received about 1400 reinforcements that had marched out of Newnan.  McCook, thinking he was surrounded, shouted “Every man for himself!”  McCook suffered heavy casualties and lost several officers and Brigade Commanders.  He decided to split his forces and they cut their way out of Wheelers trap and made off for the river in different directions.  A large number of his troopers were captured over the next few days as the Confederate Cavalry continued their pursuit.  McCook, lost about 100 troopers to the fight and another 1300 were captured and sent to prison camps.  Wheeler lost about 50 troopers.