Port Wentworth in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Battle Between Confederate Gunboats and Union Field Artillery
(December 12, 1864)
Colerain Plantation, as these lands were then known, had been occupied on December 10, 1864, by units of Sherman's army. Anticipating an attempt by a Confederate naval flotilla, which had been engaged in protecting a railroad bridge further upstream, to return to Savannah, Captain C. E. Winegar's battery was posted on a bluff about one mile East of this marker.
Early on the morning of December 12, 1864, the CSS Sampson and Macon and their tender, the Resolute, attempted to run past the Federal battery. There a "terrific fire" from both sides, according to John Thomas Scharf, a midshipman on the Sampson who later became a well-known historian of the Confederate States Navy. The gunboats were struck several times.
Unable to get past the battery, the vessels turned about. In doing so the Resolute collided with the gunboats and drifted helplessly upon Argyle Island where she was captured by troops of the 3rd Wisconsin Regiment. With the aid of barrels of
Erected 1961 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 025-79.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Historical Society, and the Sherman’s March to the Sea series lists.
Location. 32° 8.525′ N, 81° 9.426′ W. Marker is in Port Wentworth, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on South Coastal Highway (State Highway 25) near Oxnard Drive, on the right when traveling north. Located at the Savannah Sugar Refining Company. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Wentworth GA 31407, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Indian Trading Post: Home of Mary Musgrove (here, next to this marker); Atlantic Coastal Highway Through Georgia (approx. 1.6 miles away); Laurel Hill Plantation (approx. 2.9 miles away in South Carolina); Plantation Cistern (approx. 3 miles away in South Carolina); Managing Water for Wildlife (approx. 3.2 miles away in South Carolina); Rice Field Trunk (approx. 3.2 miles away in South Carolina); Prescribed Burning Washington's Southern Tour (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Wentworth.
More about this marker. The riverfront and immediate area, all owned by the Savannah Sugar Refining Company, is an area with restricted access.
Also see . . .
1. Famous Americans, John Thomas Scharf ( as mentioned on marker). He joined a Confederate battery, was engaged in the battles around Richmond in 1862, was wounded at Cedar Mountain, at the second battle of Bull Run, and again at Chancellorsville, and on 20 June, 1863, was appointed a midshipman in the Confederate navy. In January, 1864, he took part in the capture of the steamer "Underwriter," near New Berne, North Carolina. (Submitted on October 18, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. CSS Resolute. in company with Sampson and Savannah, under Flag Officer Tattnall, weighed anchor from under the guns of Fort Pulaski, S.C., and made a brief attack on Union vessels at the mouth of the Savannah River. On January 28, 1862, accompanied by Sampson and Savannah, she delivered supplies to the fort despite the spirited opposition of Federal ships. (Submitted on October 18, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
3. The Rebellion Record; 1864-1865, By Frank Moore, pages 87-88. Colerain Plantation excerpt (Submitted on October 18, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 18, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,610 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 18, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 4. submitted on October 19, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.