Inscription. One mile north, on December 9, 1864, during the American Civil War, U.S. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis crossed Ebenezer Creek with his 14th Army Corps as it advanced toward Savannah during Gen. William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea. Davis hastily removed the pontoon bridges over the creek, and hundreds of freed slaves following his army drowned trying to swim the swollen waters to escape the pursuing Confederates. Following a public outcry, Sec. of War Edwin Stanton met with Sherman and local black leaders in Savannah on January 12, 1865. Four days later, President Lincoln approved Sherman’s Special Field Orders No. 15, confiscating over 400,000 acres of coastal property and redistributing it to
former slaves in 40-acre tracts.
By Mike Stroud, May 27, 2010
|1. March to the Sea: Ebenezer Creek Marker|
Erected 2010 by Erected for the Civil War 150 commemoration by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. (Marker Number 51-2.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Shermans March to the Sea marker series.
Location. 32° 22.396′ N, 81° 10.955′ W. Marker is in Rincon, Georgia, in Effingham County. Marker is on Ebenezer Road (Georgia Route 275). Click for map. Located east of County Road 284 at the Ebenezer Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Rincon GA 31326, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. William Bartram Trail (a few steps from this marker); Old River Road (a few steps from this marker); The Salzburgers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rev. John Martin Bolzius -The Rev. Israel Christian Gronau (about 300 feet away, in a direct line); The Town of Ebenezer (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Adam Treutlen (approx. 0.2 miles away); Silk Culture at Ebenezer (approx. ¼ mile away); Historic Taverns on this Road (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rincon.
By Mike Stroud, May 27, 2010
|2. March to the Sea: Ebenezer Creek Marker, seen along Ebenezer Road|
Regarding March to the Sea: Ebenezer Creek. On Dec. 9, 1864 - a mere 12 days before Gen. William T. Sherman's Union troops captured Savannah - an incident at Ebenezer Creek in Effingham County helped pave the way for the United States to confiscate more than 400,000 acres of coastal property and redistribute it to former slaves in 40-acre tracts.
That day - considered by some to be one of the most pivotal moments in the Civil War - was commemorated Tuesday by the Georgia Historical Society as officials dedicated a new historical marker about a mile south of the site where they believe hundreds of fugitive slaves drowned after the bridge Union troops used to cross the creek was destroyed.
Deadline to Savannah - As Sherman's advancing army made its way through
rural Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah during its fiery and destructive March to the Sea, it collected thousands of fugitive slaves who followed along behind the Union columns in the hope of finding freedom. Sherman's far left wing of the 14th Army Corps, under the command of Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, was snaking along the Old River Road between Savannah and Augusta, laying pontoon bridges over those streams too deep to ford. When the 10-mile long column of soldiers reached the expansive and icy Ebenezer Creek - more than 18 feet deep and much wider than it is today - the pontoons were as usual laid by the engineers for the troops to cross safely over.
By Mike Stroud, May 27, 2010
|3. March to the Sea: Ebenezer Creek Marker, center|
|* See nearby markers - shares location with Old River Road Marker(L), William Bartram Trails (R) markers and The Salzburgers Monument (background at right).|
Once Davis' troops had crossed, it is fairly certain he had the pontoon bridge destroyed immediately, leaving the refugees stranded on the creek's northern banks.Although it is not known how many women, children and older men were stranded there on the northern banks ofEbenezer Creek, some accounts conservatively estimate that number at 5,000.
Finding the ruins - Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, recently located what he believes to be the remnants of the pontoon bridge - apparent wooden pilings crossing Ebenezer Creek where vestiges testament of a 19th-century bridge still can be seen.After pouring over first-hand accounts and detailed 19th- and 20th-century maps, Groce has concluded the event occurred where the historic Old River Road once crossed the coffee-colored Ebenezer Creek - a winding 13-mile tributary of the Savannah River lined with thousand-year-old cypress trees.
Today, the site of the infamous crossing is on private property, undeveloped and looks remarkably as it did almost 150 years ago. The site is about a mile north of where the historical marker was placed Tuesday, near the end of Ebenezer Road (Ga. 275) where the nearby and historic Jerusalem Lutheran Church stands as a monument to the Salzburgers who arrived about a hundred years before.
(Excerpt Savannah Morning News 5/26/2010)
Also see . . . Sherman's March to the Sea, New Georgia Encyclopedia. ... At Ebenezer Creek ...After the march Davis was soundly criticized by the Northern press, but Sherman backed his commander by pointing out that Davis had done what was militarily necessary. (Submitted on May 27, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 27, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,479 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 27, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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