Hillsboro in Jasper County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
The "Right Wing" Marches through Jasper County
— March to the Sea Heritage Trail —
The "Right Wing" of Union Major General William T. Sherman's army struggled through rain and muddy roads to cross the Ocmulgee River at Planter's Factory (Seven Islands) from Friday through Sunday, November 18 through 20, 1864. After successfully crossing the river it advanced on Hillsboro. The Right Wing was commanded by Major General Oliver O. Howard, including the nearly 16,000 men of the 15th Corps led by Major General Peter J. Osterhaus. Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick's 5,000-man cavalry division accompanied Howard's Right Wing.
The almost 12,000 men in Brigadier General Francis P. Blair's 17th Corps marched east from Planter's Factory on Saturday, November 19th before camping that night, a few miles north of Hillsboro. Kilpatrick's cavalry division rode directly from
In Hillsboro, one group of Federal soldiers "drove off cows, sheep, and hogs...took every bushel of corn and fodder, oats and wheat" and burned the outbuildings on Mrs. Louise Reese Cornwell's farm. When General Howard and his staff stopped for tea, she prepared what food she had left, but thought how ironic that while Howard "sat at the table and asked God's blessing, the sky was red from the flames of burning houses." Staff officers performed "many pretty pieces and sang several pretty songs" on Cornwell's piano, and Howard posted a guard for protection of their hostess. The previous summer, Mrs. Cornwell had aided wounded Federal cavalrymen following the Battle of Sunshine Church. In November at least one officer knew of her earlier kindness and thanked her as he passed.
One soldier who had a pleasant experience in Hillsboro was Captain Charles W. Wills of the 103rd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He wrote to his sister, "By the kindness of Mrs. Elizabeth Celia Pye, I occupy a feather bed to-night. It is the first house I have been in for the
For Captain Wills and other Federal soldiers their march continued south from Hillsboro toward Sunshine Church, a landmark destined for destruction.
Bottom left: Hillsboro Methodist Church and the three-room Academy attended by B.H. Hill
Map: The "March to the Sea" through Jasper County
(Lloyd's Topographical Map of Georgia, 1864)
Portraits: Benjamin Harvey Hill (Photo by Matthew Brady)
Union Major General Oliver O. Howard (photo by Matthew Brady)
Union Captain Charles W. Wills (after his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel)
Background watermark: Wm. Knabe & Co., "Gold Medal Pianos" advertisement, 1864
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number R7.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails, and the Sherman’s March to the Sea series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is November 18, 1864.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro GA 31038, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Across the Ocmulgee (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace of Benjamin Harvey Hill (a few steps from this marker); Benjamin Harvey Hill (approx. 0.6 miles away); Sunshine Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Sunshine Church II (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Stoneman Raid (approx. 6.2 miles away); Hebron Baptist Church (approx. 6.9 miles away); a different marker also named The Stoneman Raid (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hillsboro.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Benjamin Harvey Hill. (Submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 405 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.