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DeKalb County Historical Markers

The March to the Sea

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The March to the Sea
  • Location: Stone Mountain Road at Rock Bridge Road


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. 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 south-east toward Covington.

After marching about 15 miles, the 20th Corps camped in this area, west of the railroad, Jackson’s division on the right, to cover the road to Lithonia, Geary’s division on the left, to cover the road to Stone Mountain and Rock Bridge, and Ward’s division about 3 miles to the rear, east of Snapfinger Creek.

Next morning, the 20th Corps continued on the Rock Bridge road, crossing the Yellow River at Rock Bridge (8 miles E), and halted for the night to allow the trains to close up on the main body.

Between Atlanta and Milledgeville, the movements of the Left Wing were almost unopposed, the few Confederate troop available being employed against the Right Wing to protect Macon, a principal arsenal center, and the Central of Georgia Railway.