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.

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.
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.
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.
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.