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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 18, 1864

Augusta Boys Tried to Help Army

The Richmond Times Dispatch reprinted a story from an Augusta newspaper about a group of boys who tried to head north to Dalton to help the Confederate army.

The spirit of Confederate boys. –The Augusta (Ga.) Constitutionalist has the particulars of an expedition undertaken near that city by a party of juvenile soldiers with a view to make their way to Dalton and offer their services to Gen. Johnston, to act as couriers in the place, as they said, of some of the able bodied men who act in that capacity. The party of which this youthful company was originally composed consisted of ten members, whose ages range from nine to fifteen. Having made all their arrangements, they appointed thanksgiving day as the time to take up their line of march for the “front;” but four o’clock, the hour at which they were to start, came, and only four out of the ten wore present, the balance having been arrested and placed in close confinement by their parents, who, while they admired the spirit, could not approve of the conduct of the juvenile warriors in departing from their paternal roofs to enter the service of their country. The quartette who had assembled according to agreement, determined not to be filled in their cherished undertaking, mounted their steeds - a donkey, a shetland money, and two force - took a last, long, lingering look at the seines of their childhood, turned their backs upon their homes, and took up their line of march. At ten o’clock that night they halted near Berzelia, and encamped, having marched twenty miles. When it became known that the party had absconded, one of their relatives took the train that night. On arriving at Berzelia, in company with a friend, he started in pursuit, and after searching about for some time, came suddenly upon the camp, was challenged by the sentinel pacing his rounds, ordered to advance and give the countersign, whereupon, without further party both gentlemen advanced upon the guard, took him prisoners, surprised the entire party, capturing four prisoners, together with all their stores, and brought them back in safety to Augusta, where they all arrived at an early hour on Saturday morning, much fatigued after their brief but romantic campaign.