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DeKalb County Historical Markers

The March to the Sea

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The March to the Sea
  • Location: Norris Lake Rd at Norris Lake Dr (at Norris Lake) off Ga 124


On Nov. 15, 1864, after destroying Atlanta and cutting his communications with the North, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, USA, began his destructive campaign for Savannah – the March to the Sea. He divided his army [USA] into two wings. The Right Wing marched south from Atlanta to feint at Macon but to cross the Ocmulgee River above the city and concentrate at Gordon.

The Left Wing (14th and 20th Corps) Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, USA, marched through Decatur where the 20th Corps, Brig. Gen. A. S. Williams, USA, took the Rock Bridge road toward Social Circle to strike the Georgia Railroad at that point and destroy it to Madison. The 14th Corps, accompanied by General Sherman, cleared Decatur the next day and turned SE toward Covington. That night, the 20th Corps camped near Stone Mountain where, next morning, about two miles of railroad was destroyed.

On the 16th, the 20th Corps continued east on the Rock Bridge road, crossed the Yellow River, and camped here in the vicinity of Rock Bridge Post Office to allow the trains to close up. Jackson’s and Ward’s divisions camped near the river. Geary’s division about a mile SE on the road to Social Circle.

Next morning, the 20th Corps marched east through Sheffield to Centreville Box (Jersey) and camped for the night between Cornish and Big Flat creeks, with Geary’s division on the west bank of the Ulcofauhachee (Alcovy) River, three miles from Social Circle and the undefended main line of the Georgia Railroad.