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DeKalb County Historical Markers

The Stoneman Raid


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Stoneman Raid
  • Location: Old DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur

THE STONEMAN RAID

In July, 1864, Maj. Gen. W.T. Sherman’s army closed in on

Atlanta. Finding its fortifications “too strong to assault and

too extensive to invest,” he sought to force its fall by sending

Maj. Gen. Geo. Stoneman, with three brigades (2112 men and 2 guns)

of the Army of the Ohio cavalry, supported by Garrard’s division,

Army of the Cumberland cavalry, to cut the Central of Georgia

R.R. by which the defenders were supplied. On the 27th, Stoneman

sent Garrard to Flat Rock (12 miles SE) to protect his rear, then

left Decatur, crossed the Ocmulgee (Yellow) River near Covington,

and turned down the left bank toward Monticello and Macon.

Near Macon on the 30th, he detached part of the 14th Illinois

Cavalry which wrecked railway facilities at Griswoldville, Gordon,

McIntyre and Toomsboro (east of Macon), and burned trains, trestles

and the long railway bridge over the Oconee River.

At Macon (95 miles SE), he was turned back by Georgia Militia,

strongly intrenched. Unable to advance, he shelled Macon briefly,

then attempted to retreat. Early next morning, Sunday the 31st,

he was brought to bay at Sunshine Church (19 miles NE of Macon)

by Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson, Jr., who, with only 1300 cavalry,

had marched to intercept him. Deluded into believing that he was

being surrounded, Stoneman covered the escape northward of Adams’

and Capron’s brigades, then he surrendered, with about 600 men

and his artillery and train, to what Iverson had managed to con-

vince him was a substantially superior force.

044-83 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1957