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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 28, 1864

March to the Sea; Battle of Buck Head Creek; Camp Lawton

Sherman and the 20th Corps left Tennille for Louisville, Georgia, advancing approximately fifteen miles despite meeting some minor resistance from Confederate cavalry.

Henry Hitchcock, military secretary to General Sherman, wrote in his diary of one one wing of the army being on its way to Camp Lawton near Millen, and how well the army was being supplied from Georgia farms.

“Thus we approached Ogeechee [River] at two points – one column at Louisville, which is ten to twelve miles above railroad bridge, – and other three columns coming towards railroad bridge across the Ogeechee which is at Station 10. Meanwhile Kilpatrick has gone far round to the North from Milledgeville via Sparta, with orders to choose his own road and strike and cut R.R. at or near Wainesboro [sic], between Augusta and Millen, – thence to come down on Millen if possible with dash and rescue prisoners and again cut Savannah railroad below Millen … .Today’s march on sandy roads, and through woods chiefly pines, though as yet we still see oaks and other trees. Good farms along the travelled roads, and crops have all been good. We see hardly any cotton, – corn almost exclusively instead – for which we are much obliged. We often laugh over J.D’s [Confederate President Jefferson Davis] idea that Sherman’s army will be starved out. Never was an army so bountifully supplied.” Source: M.A. DeWolfe Howe (ed.),
Marching with Sherman: Passages from the Letters and Campaign Diaries of Henry Hitchcock, Major and assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers, November 1864-May 1865
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995), pp. 107-108.

Union cavalry feigned towards Augusta, then headed for Camp Lawton near Millen, only to discover that the prisoners there had been moved. They were also ordered to destroy railroad between Augusta and Millen. A Confederate cavalry force had rushed to Augusta to defend it, before learning the Union forces’ true intent, and hurried after them. The relatively small Battle of Buck Head Creek took place when the two sides met in Jenkins County. Both sides claimed victory - the Union troops did retreat to join the other forces on the March to the Sea, but the Confederates lost six hundred men to less than fifty for the Union. The encounter did nothing to stop the March to the Sea.

Image of March to the Sea; Battle of Buck Head Creek; Camp Lawton March to the Sea Map
Hal Jespersen
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