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Burke County Historical Markers

The Cavalry Actions at Waynesboro

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Cavalry Actions at Waynesboro
  • Location: Located near the junction of U.S. 25 and Ga. 24, just south of Waynesboro


Late on Nov. 26, 1864, elements of the 3rd Cavalry Division [Union], Brig. Gen. J.L. Kilpatrick, USA, of Gen. Sherman’s army, reached the railroad bridge north of Waynesboro and partially burned it before being driven off by troops of the Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee [Confederate], Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, CSA. Next day, Kilpatrick entered Waynesboro and destroyed a train of cars and much private property before being driven from the town by Wheeler, who attacked his camp south of Waynesboro at dawn next day and drove him southwest beyond Buckhead Creek toward Louisville.

Early on Dec. 4th, Kilpatrick, supported by two brigades of Baird’s infantry division, 14th Corps [Union], advanced from Thomas’ Station (6 miles S) to burn the bridges over Brier Creek north and east of Waynesboro. Finding Wheeler’s men deployed astride the road, Kilpatrick attacked. After hard fighting, Wheeler retired to Waynesboro. Here he checked Kilpatrick’s larger force with a charge by Texas and Tennessee troops to gain time to withdraw across Brier Creek and block the road to Augusta, which, at the time, appeared to be the objective of Gen. Sherman’s army.

At Brier Creek, Kilpatrick burned the rail and wagon bridges and withdrew. The supporting infantry brigades marched toward Jacksonboro and rejoined the rest of Baird’s division, encamped at Alexander. they were followed that evening by Kilpatrick’s command, which camped at Old Church on the old Quaker Road.