December 12th, 1864

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 a 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.

_dsc0218-bw
Looking west across the Ogeechee River from Fort McAllister.  Sherman need to capture this fort in order to open the river for the Union Navy to bring in supplies.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry found a route to the fort by land, which they reported to General Sherman.  Kilpatrick then moved southwest to Midway.
_dsc0054-bw
Midway Church, constructed in 1792 as a replacement for a previous meeting house that was burned in 1779.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry camped here at the church and Kilpatrick used it as a headquarters while he operated in the area.
_dsc0031-bw
Across the road on the far side of the church is a walled cemetery where many notable people from Georgia’s history are buried.  After raiding and looting the surrounding plantations, the Federal Cavalry soldiers used the cemetery as a coral for the livestock they liberated from near by citizens. 
Advertisements

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.

_dsc0338-bw
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.
_dsc0327-bw
A small community sprung up around the plantation and at one time this served as the school.
_dsc0354-bw
A classic southern oak lined road leading to Birdsville Plantation.

November 18th, 1864

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 while Geary’s Division was sent to the Oconee River to destroy the bridges crossing it.  After they 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.  The “Bummers” stopped at Jarrell Plantation, now a state historic site, to forage and destroy what they could not carry.  They burned the cotton gin and destroyed 300 bushels of the families wheat, they stole the livestock, and wagons.  They Federal troops also freed all the slaves on the plantation.

_dsc0013-bw
Jarrell Plantation House.  Built in the early 1840’s this home and land belonged to the Jarrell family for 140 years.  When Federal foragers came through they torched the cotton gin, took all the food they could carry, destroyed 300 bushels of wheat, and freed 39 slaves.
_dsc0038-bw
Parts of the Right Wing also passed through the area of Round Oak and past Sunshine Church, where a Federal Cavalry had been engaged with Confederates in a small battle during the summer.
_dsc0041-bw
Elements of the Right Wing marched down this road through Round Oak on their way to Clinton.  This is also the spot where, during the Battle of Sunshine Church, the Confederates blocked the road with an artillery piece.