This Day in Georgia Civil War History
July 31, 1864
Battle of Sunshine Church; Stoneman Defeated
Union General George Stoneman had failed in his goal to free Federal prisoners being held in Macon and Andersonville, but his men had plundered along the way, resulting in the Stoneman Raid. On this day he was attempting to retreat back to join Sherman when his cavalry force, already opposed by militia from Macon under General Howell Cobb, ran into three cavalry brigades under Confederate General Joseph Wheeler. The Confederates prevailed in the Battle of Sunshine Church, forcing Stoneman to surrender.