Battle of Griswoldville: The Big Picture
- Source: David Seibert
- Marker: Battle of Griswoldville: The Big Picture
- Location: Griswoldville Monument on Baker Rd. off Ga. 57 via Ridge Rd.
BATTLE OF GRISWOLDVILLE: THE BIG PICTURE
On Nov. 15, 1864, [Union] Maj. Gen. W.T. Sherman left Atlanta on his devastating “march to the Sea.” His force divided into two wings and feinted toward Macon and Augusta while on their way to the capital at Milledgeville. [Confed.] General William J. Hardee opposed Sherman with cavalry under Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and state troops and militia. Hardee realized the move toward Macon was a feint and ordered [Confed.] General Gustavus W. Smith with his Georgia Militia, the Athens and Augusta Defense Battalions and two regiments of the Georgia State Line to protect Augusta and its valuable industries and arsenal. Most of these troops under [Confed.] Brig. Gen. Pleasant J. Philips caught up with the right flank of Sherman’s right wing under the command of [Union] Brig. Gen. Charles Walcutt. For some never adequately explained reason, Philips order his Confederates to attack the veteran Union troops who were lightly fortified along this ridge. The Confederates passed through the still smoldering Griswoldville, set afire by [Union] cavalry the day before, and saw the first real results of the devastation being wrought upon their homeland. The Confederates, mostly old men and boys, attacked with great courage and vigor, but failed to change any part of Sherman’s plan in the only pitched infantry battle on the March to Sea.
143-12 GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES 1998