December 20th, 1864

December 20th, 1864:

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.

_dsc0526-bw
Looking across the Savannah River from River Street toward Hutchinson Island where the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center now stand near the area where General Hardee had a pontoon bridge constructed.
_dsc0420-bw
Salt Creek looking north.  The Confederates built a large set of earthworks on the right side of the creek and this is where Battery Jones would have been located.  A total of 8 cannons protected the bridge across Salt Creek from the Federal advance.
_dsc0432-bw
Looking towards Salt Creek on what was the Savannah Ogeechee Road.  Battery Jones crossed the road just in the distance and beyond it was the bridge over Salt Creek.  The Confederates here held the Federals at bay for several days and on the night of December 20th they opened fire with at two hour bombardment of Federal forces to cover the evacuation of Confederate forces in Savannah.  After the bombardment, the artillery crews destroyed what they could not carry with them and evacuated to South Carolina.
_dsc0447-bw
The marsh at Shaw’s Bridge and Shaw’s Dam.  Here, the Confederates also had a set of earthworks that covered the cause way over the Ogeechee Canal.  Heavy fighting ensued in the area as the Federals attempted to assault the position and were repulsed twice.  The Confederates held the position until the night of the 20th, when they evacuated to South Carolina with the rest of the Confederate defenders.
_DSC0016.bw.jpg
Isle of Hope United Methodist Church was built in 1859 and during the civil war a Confederate artillery battery was placed here on the church grounds and contained 4 guns.  The church itself was used as a hospital and the pews were used as makeshift beds.  This battery was evacuated like the rest when Hardee moved his forces to the South Carolina side of the Savannah River.
Advertisements

December 17th, 1864

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.

_dsc0536-bw
Savannah was an important Confederate port, and now with it under siege from General Sherman and no reinforcements coming to aid General Hardee’s defense of the city, Hardee plans to evacuate.

November 24th, 1864

Nov. 24th, 1864:

General Kilpatrick takes his cavalry column and leaves the Right Wing and feints toward Augusta with elements of the Left Wing.  General Hardee arrives at Ball’s Ferry to assess the situation.  He decides that their lines must be abandoned and they withdraw during the night.

They Left Wing begins to leave Milledgeville and moves through Hebron.

_dsc0195-bw
The Confederates abandoned their position here along the high ground just east of the Oconee River at Ball’s Ferry.

November 21st, 1864

November 21, 1864:

Parts of the Right Wing of Sherman’s army pass through Gordon and move on east to Irwinton.  Their column stretches out for miles as they choke the roads.  The Left Wing continues to move closer to Milledgeville.  Sherman remarks in his memoirs that they only made 8 miles on this hard, cold, windy day.  That night an uncommon early season snow storm blanketed the army with snow.  The southern civilians accuse the yankees of bringing the cold weather with them.

General Hardee, in command of the Confederate forces in Georgia, is in Macon where he has been preparing to defend the city.  His scouts have reported that the Federal columns have turned away from Macon and have started on a move eastward.  Hardee now realizes that the Federal objective is most likely Augusta or Savannah.  General Hardee begins to shift his troops as well as Wheeler’s cavalry to the east in an effort to slow down the Federal Advance.

September 3rd, 1864

Sept. 3rd, 1864:

General Sherman, having followed Hardee from Jonesboro on the previous day, has formed his troops in a line of battle across from what is left of Hardee’s Corps.  Skirmishing continues throughout the day, buy Sherman does not order an assault.  Just before breakfast, Sherman receives a dispatch from a courier sent by Slocum in Atlanta advising him that they have entered and secured the City of Atlanta and that the remainder of Hood’s forces have evacuated toward Love Joy’s Station via the McDonough Rd.  Sherman, fearing that all of Hood’s forces have reunited, holds off on attacking the Confederates and with his objective “fairly won”, he decides to hold his position a day or two longer and destroy more railroad track, before returning to Atlanta.  Slocum’s entire XX Corps has entered the city and is attempting to restore some semblance of order.

_DSC0046.bw
After his defeat at Jonesboro, General Hardee (CS) retreated with his Corps south to Love Joy’s Station.  The remainder of General Hoods Army of Tennessee (CS), having evacuated Atlanta, meets them here.  They entrench in the area and establish camps at Nash Farm and other sites within Love Joy.
_DSC0076.bw
Nash Farm, once the site of a Cavalry Battle from Kilpatrick’s Raid (CS), will be site where the Confederates plan to make another stand, but General Sherman, receiving word that Atlanta has been captured and occupied by Federal forces, decides not to press his advantage and attack the Confederates.  He positions his armies facing the Confederates and small skirmishes continue.
_DSC0130.bw
After learning that Atlanta has fallen, General Sherman does not attempt to attack the Confederates again at Love Joy Station.  Instead he forms entrenched lines and begins to destroy more of the railroad between Love Joy and Jonesboro.
_DSC0136.bw
Hwy. 41 at McDonough Rd.  Looking south at where the Confederate lines crossed the road at Love Joy Station after their retreat from Jonesboro and Atlanta.
_DSC0139.bw
Looking north on Hwy. 41 from McDonough Rd. in the direction of the Federal lines the were established after they chased the Confederates from Jonesboro to Love Joy.  The spent several days here preventing the Confederates from moving back north as well as destroying more railroad.