This past weekend I was invited by the 10th Iowa (Adjunct) to the 150th Battle of Bentonville reenactment, to come along and photograph their unit. I have to say that it was an incredible experience with a truly impressive group of reenactors. Their attention to the detail in their period impressions was incredible. It was an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to photograph such a fine group of reenactors.
Photographs from the reenactment can be seen here:
150th Battle of Bentonville Reenactment
I also have a short video of the 10th Iowa marching into the reenactment of Saturday morning. They camped off site on Friday night and on Saturday morning they marched over 8 miles. They even did a little foraging for food along the way. If you look close you can see a few chickens. Be patient with the video, it takes about 12 seconds before it starts.
150th Bentonville March
For some reason, this image below is one of my favorite. A soldiers feet take them everywhere they need to go.
|These boots have traveled many a mile to sway the tide of battle.
Folks, I am sorry for not posting in such a long while, but honestly with the holidays and my participation in a few other projects, one with the Atlanta History Center, I have been a bit taxed for time. I am now back on task and moving forward with the completing the documentary. I will be working to find a publisher and if it proves to be too difficult a task I will be self publishing through Amazon or will publish a PDF e book. I will also be producing a selection of folios that will contain prints from various locations along the Atlanta Campaign and the March to the Sea. I may also attempt another Kickstarter Campaign if I decide to self publish.
Last year I made a series of post under the title of “150 Years Ago Today”. This year I will be making post with a similar timeline, but they will be images of the current conditions of the location that is significant for that day.
Here is a link to the images from the Fort McAllister Reenactment from mid December.
The images are free to download and if you see one that you would like for me to alter, by making it black and white, sepia, wet plate, etc, just let me know and I will do that for you. I can also try to DEFARB images as well if you would like that. Please share the images with any other reenactors that you know that were there.
Fort McAllister Reenactment Images
General Hardee has had his forces quietly construct a pontoon bridge across the Savannah River. They constructed it out any boat or pretty much any floating object they could use. On top of the boats, boards were placed to make a road. They then placed straw and hay on top of the bridge to dampen the noise of travelers. On the night of Dec. 20th, Confederate forces withdrew from Savannah and crossed the pontoon bridge into South Carolina.
Dec. 21st, at 4:00am, Federal forces were met on the outskirts of town by the Mayor and aldermen. They formally surrendered the city and requested protection from the Federal Army. Word was immediately sent to General Sherman, who was meeting with Navy Officers. Sherman was taken back to King’s Bridge. From there he rode into Savannah.
Dec. 22nd, General Sherman entered Savannah and established his headquarters at the Pulaski House. While working out the details here, an English merchant, Charles Green, offered the General his home as his Headquarters. General Sherman accepted and the Headquarters was moved to the Green House. It was here that Sherman penned his famous telegram to President Lincoln. It read as follows:
“I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah, with one hundred fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.”
Dec. 24, President Lincoln receives Sherman’s telegram. The telegram is published in newspapers across the country. Lincoln replied with “Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah, but what next?”
The March to the Sea is complete. Sherman has reached his goal of Savannah and now has control of the city. Camps are established and order is maintained. Sherman’s Chief Engineer, Orland Poe, is reconstructing and fortifying the cities defenses. The mines and obstructions are removed from the Savannah River and the port is reopened. The citizens are encouraged to go back to life as normal, as as much of normal as can be expected under occupation. Freed Blacks begin working for the Federal Army in various roles and schools are established for them in places that were once used in the slave trade. Sherman rests, repairs, and refits his Army for there is more to come.
Dec. 10th, Sherman begins to lay siege to the defenses of Savannah and artillery exchanges become a frequent occurrence. In order to keep up a siege, Sherman know he will need supplies and must make contact with the Federal Navy just off the coast.
Dec. 12th, Kilpatrick is dispatched with his cavalry to locate an assault route to Fort McAllister. Fort McAllister protects the mouth of the Ogeechee River and must be taken in order for Sherman to begin supplying his army. After locating and route and informing Sherman, Kilpatrick rides to Midway and makes his headquarters at the Midway Church and then sends forces to Sunbury in an attempt to contact the Federal Fleet.
Dec. 13th, Federal forces overwhelm the garrison at Fort McAllister after a spirited fight the fort is captured. Sherman watched the assault from a rice mill across the river. With the Ogeechee River open, supplies begin to flow in to the army. Sherman has a 1000′ long wharf built at King’s Bridge on the Ogeechee River. This area is now a park with a boat ramp where the Hwy. 17 crosses the Ogeechee River.
Dec. 17th, General Hardee, commander of the Confederate forces in Savannah, sends a request to Confederate President Jeff Davis for reinforcements from Lee’s Army in Virgina, but receives word that Lee can not spare any troops. General Sherman, knowing he has the upper hand, sends a request for Hardee’s surrender, but it is rejected by Hardee and the siege continues.
Dec. 6th and 7th, the Right Wing marched through Bulloch County and crossed the Ogeechee River at Jenks Bridge, the remnants of which are visible today at the Savannah Ogeechee Canal Society park.
Dec. 8th – Dec. 10th, the Left Wing marches toward Savannah passing through Springfield and Ebenezer. At the while meeting more resistance. The Right Wing begins to push elements to the East through Pooler and also faces increased resistance.
Dec. 10th, General Sherman arrives on the outskirts of Savannah’s defenses and begins to plan for siege operations.
Nov. 28th, 1864:
The Left Wing of Sherman’s army moves from the Ogeechee River at Fenn’s Bridge to Louisville and Bartow. The Right Wing Occupies Riddleville and Wrightsville. Both of the wings are getting closer to each other and will eventually merge as they close on Savannah.
November 19th, 1864:
The 20th Corps, part of the Left Wing, made their way through Social Circle and Rutledge to Madison along the way they destroyed the Railroad and any thing that could be used to support the Confederate war effort. From Madison, General Geary took a Division to Buckhead, near the Oconee River. In Buckhead, Geary’s Division burn the Railroad Depot, 500 bales of cotton, 5000 bushels of corn. They also burned the Ferry and boats on the river as well as the railroad bridge that was over 400 yards in length. General Sherman, who was traveling with the 14th Corps of the Left Wing, moved through Shady Dale and Newborn, destroying both as they were working their way towards Milledgeville. Sherman and the 14th Corps also crossed the Alcovy River during the day. The Right Wing continued to make progress on their move south toward Clinton.
November 18th, 1864:
The Left Wing continues to move towards Milledgeville. General Sherman is still traveling with the 14th Corps and they turn south from the area of Covington and move towards Milledgeville via Shady Dale. The 20th Corps moved on Madison where they destroyed the railroad and Geary’s Division was sent to the Oconee River to destroy the bridges crossing. After the completed their assignments, the 20th Corps was to move south through Eatonton to link up with the 14th Corps near Milledgeville. The Right Wing crosses the Ocmulgee River and begin moving south east. They are working their way toward Monticello and toward Clinton, which is just north east of Macon.
The Federals process of foraging was in full swing. The “Bummers” as they were often called, would leave the camps in the morning ahead of the main column and move out to the flanks. Along the flanks they would visit every home and plantation and take their food and livestock. There are many accounts of the”Bummers” also taking personal items and random keepsakes. There are even accounts of the soldiers stealing and wearing ladies dresses. For the most part, if there was more food than the soldiers could carry or use, they would destroy it so it would be of no use to an Confederates that may come around.
November 16th, 1864:
With the City of Atlanta a still smoldering ruin, General Sherman and his staff, along with the 14th Corps, moved east out of the city towards Decatur. The right wing’s rear guard moved out towards Jonesboro to catchup with the rest of their wing. General Sherman and his staff left their headquarters at the Lyon’s house around 7:00am. The Lyon’s house was located where the current Atlanta City Hall now sits. As they moved east the day was bright, clear and crisp. The roads to the east were crowded with the soldiers and wagons of the 14th Corps. Sherman and his staff made their way to Lithonia, near the Yellow River, where they camped for the night. Along the way, Sherman’s Soldiers, destroyed the railroad by burning the cross ties and bending the rails around trees and telegraph poles.
The right wing of the army continues to make their way south. They pass through Jonesboro where they had fought a serious engagement in September, and then passed through Love Joy’s Station and Stockbridge. They Stop near McDonough for the night.