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This Day in Georgia History

May 21, 1861

Oglethorpe Infantry Departed Savannah

Following a parade through Savannah, a company of the Oglethorpe Light Infantry departed Savannah for Virginia. Earlier, on April 29, the Provisional Confederate Congress had passed an act authorizing the enlistment of troops in anticipation of war with the United States. Francis S. Bartow, a Georgia delegate to the Congress, was a captain in a Savannah militia unit, the Oglethorpe Light Infantry. He sent a telegram to his unit informing them of the legislation, and members quickly voted to offer their services to Confederate Pres. Jefferson Davis. Reportedly the Oglethorpe Light Infantry was the first militia unit in the South to volunteer to fight on behalf of the Confederacy.