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Near Trenton in Dade County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Payne's (Sitton's) Mill

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail

 
 
Payne's (Sitton's) Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 27, 2021
1. Payne's (Sitton's) Mill Marker
Inscription.  This mill was built in 1836 by Jake Sitton, who operated it for a number of years. The material for te building was cut on Sand Mountain by Edward Price. All the lumber was of pure pine and was transported to the site by wagon with the axles liberally lubricated with tar and drawn by oxen. The miller was Matthew Mashburn. In September, 186s the Federal army occupied the mill south of Trenton and for some reason called it "Payne's Mill" rather than the better known name of "Sitton's Mill." Since Mashburn, the miller, was 56 years old at the time, it is possible that a younger man named Payne was operating the mill when the army took it over. There may have been a connection between this mill and the Empire Iron Works, located further up Lookout Creek. The iron works were built under a contract with the Confederate Government, and it is possible that the mill was also taken over by the government and used as a support facility with someone named Payne being in charge.

On September 4, 1863 General James Negley sent a detachment out to find a mill in a central location that could be used to grind grain for the army. 'the next morning,"
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Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Blakely led the 78th Pennsylvania Regiment on this reconnaissance. The men went "up the valley to a mill on Lookout Creek," he wrote. "This mill was filled with wheat, corn and rye. I halted here and placed Captain Marlin, of Company A, in charge of the mill. We ground out all there was in it; we scoured the Lookout valley, and gathered and ground all the grain we could find, turning the product over to the passing army. We also gathered and turned in to the troops all the cattle we could fit for beef, taking care to leave with each family enough for their support."

The Pennsylvania men complained about the work at the mill, and General George Thomas relieved them with King's Brigade from Reynolds' division that had been camped at Trenton. "We were relieved from guard duty about nine o'clock a.m.," Private William B. Miller, 75th Indiana Infantry Regiment, wrote on September 8th, "and returned to camp. The 75th did not move but relieved a Pennsylvania Regiment who were guarding a mill on Lookout Creek."

A few soldiers were left behind as the army crossed Lookout Mountain. After the Battle of Chickamauga, Colonel Archibald Blakely of the 78th Pennsylvania Infantry wrote: "When the army had passed us [at the mill], we had a squad of 16 men too sick to march, and we had no transport for them. I therefore detailed Private W. S. Hosack,
Payne's (Sitton's) Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 27, 2021
2. Payne's (Sitton's) Mill Marker
of Company G, an excellent physician, to take charge of them and remain with them, leaving them tents, supplies and medicine. We have not heard from them and I suppose they have been captured. Our location at the mill was very unhealthy, and we suffered much sickness there."

Captions (left to right):
• Payne's or Sitton's Mill
• From the map of Col. William E. Merrill, Chief Engineer, Army of the Cumberland
• Mill dam and pond
 
Erected by Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1836.
 
Location. 34° 51.443′ N, 85° 30.006′ W. Marker is near Trenton, Georgia, in Dade County. Marker is on Sells Lane (County Route 100) half a mile south of Lafayette Street (Georgia Route 136), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton GA 30752, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Union School (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dade County (approx. 1.1 miles away); Trenton (approx. 1.2 miles away); Macon Iron Works
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(approx. 1.9 miles away); Stories in Stone (approx. 1.9 miles away); The O'Neal House (approx. 2.2 miles away); White Oak Gap (approx. 2.6 miles away); Cureton Plantation (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
More about this marker. Marker is surrounded by muddy and soft ground. Use caution when walking in this area.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 28, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 498 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 28, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Apr. 19, 2024