Griswoldville in Jones County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
One Man's Dreams Destroyed
— March to the Sea Heritage Trail —
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.
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.
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
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.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • 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 22, 1864.
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 (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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 255 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.