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Griswoldville in Jones County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Griswoldville

One Man's Dreams Destroyed

 

— March to the Sea Heritage Trail —

 
Griswoldville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 5, 2018
1. Griswoldville Marker
Inscription.  Griswoldville is among the most severe examples of destruction during the March to the Sea. Nothing remains today of the industrial town that once occupied this crossroads. Named for Samuel Griswold (1790-1867), a Connecticut industrialist, Griswoldville is most often associated with the battle that occurred 1-1/2 miles east on November 22, 1864. Griswold began making cotton gins in the early 1820s after moving to nearby Clinton. The frames for his gins used lumber from long-leaf pines grown where you presently stand. When the Central Railroad of Georgia was completed in 1843 the line combined two important assets at the same location, lumber and Samuel Griswold transportation. By 1849 Griswold moved his gin works here.

By 1850, Griswold's production increased to about 800 gins annually, sold throughout the Southeast. Besides his sawmill and gin works Griswold built a grist mill, blacksmith shop, housing for workers and slaves, a general store, post office, railroad depot, church and more. In 1852 he completed his own three-story 24-room home; by 1860 he owned over 11,000 acres. When war erupted in 1861 Griswoldville was transformed.
View of this marker towards other Griswoldville markers. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 5, 2018
2. View of this marker towards other Griswoldville markers.
Through November 1864 it produced close to 3,600 copies of the Colt 36 caliber revolver for the Confederacy, plus swords, pikes, bricks, soap, candles and other materials.

On Sunday morning, November 20, 1864, fewer than 100 Federal cavalrymen in the 9th Michigan Cavalry Regiment surprised Confederate pickets at Griswoldville. Within minutes they were burning the pistol and candle factories, railroad cars and depot,, a water tank plus 400 boxes of soap. The next day Federal cavalry destroyed more of the town before Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry forced their departure. But Samuel Griswold's dream was destroyed. His home was among the few structures left standing. The following day, November 22nd, Confederate militia repeatedly charged an entrenched Federal brigade just east of Griswoldville and was tragically repulsed.

After Samuel Griswold saw his life's work ruined he said, "It is gone, all gone...[I]f I could call back ten years, I would soon make it all back, but I am too old and feeble." Upon Griswold's death he was buried in the Methodist church cemetery in Clinton.

[Photo captions]
Background: Griswoldville, Ga., circa 1862
Top left: Samuel Griswold
Bottom left: Head of Griswold manufactured “Joe Brown Pike” Produced for the State of Georgia early in the war when firearms
The view south on Henderson Road. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 5, 2018
3. The view south on Henderson Road.
were scarce. The steel heads were approximately 10” in length mounted on a six-foot long wooden staff.
Top middle: Griswold manufactured copy of the Colt .36 caliber “Navy revolver” Griswold used brass and iron because of the scarcity of steel
Middle: Union Captain Frederick S. Ladd 9th Michigan Cavalry Regiment Led destruction of Griswoldville, November 20, 1864 Killed near Savannah, December 7, 1864
Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler His cavalry was unable to save Griswoldville
Right: “Right Wing” historic driving route of the March to the Sea Heritage Trail through the Griswoldville area
Bottom right: Griswoldville, Georgia, circa 1862

 
Erected 2018 by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number R11.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails, and the Sherman’s March to the Sea marker series.
 
Location. 32° 52.259′ N, 83° 29.33′ W. Marker is in Griswoldville, Georgia, in Jones County. Marker is on Henderson Road north of Griswoldville Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Macon GA 31217, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Griswoldville (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Griswoldville The Advance from East Macon
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(a few steps from this marker); Confederate Pistol Factory (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Griswoldville (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Griswoldville The Deployment and Assaults (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Cavalry Skirmish (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Griswoldville (approx. 1.4 miles away); Target Griswoldville (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Griswoldville.
 
Also see . . .  “Harvest of Death”: The Battle of Griswoldville. (Submitted on December 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Griswoldville.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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