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Hawkinsville in Pulaski County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Federal Pursuit

Hawkinsville and Pulaski County

 

— Jefferson Davis Heritage Trail —

 
Federal Pursuit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 8, 2021
1. Federal Pursuit Marker
Inscription.  Pulaski County was created in 1808 and named for Count Casimir Pulaski. He was a Polish born Brigadier General and hero during the American Revolution who was mortally wounded at Savannah, Georgia in 1779. Hawkinsville became the county seat in 1836. Pulaski County sent multiple companies of infantry and cavalry into Confederate military service, plus a battery of artillery. Additional units served in the state reserves or militia.

The first local unit mustered into service was the "Pulaski Volunteers." They became Company G of the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment. T. D. Lawrence Ryan was the company's first Captain. They fought in the First Battle of Manassas (a.k.a. First Bull Run) and throughout the entire war as part of the Army of Northern Virginia. A subsequent company Captain, William W. Williamson, enlisted as a Private in 1861, was elected 1st Lieutenant and was wounded in 1862 then was promoted to the company's Captain in 1863. He continued with the company until surrendering with its few surviving members at Appomattox, Virginia in April 1865.

Four years after the Pulaski Volunteers departed Hawkinsville in 1861, Confederate President

Marker detail: Confederate Private John J. Holland image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Confederate Private John J. Holland
8th Georgia Volunteers Infantry Regiment
Company G, "Pulaski Volunteers"
Enlisted in 1861, died of disease in 1862 (at age 24)
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Jefferson Davis, his family and other Confederates were captured by Federal cavalry near Irwinville, Georgia, approximately fifty miles south of Hawkinsville, on Wednesday, May 10, 1865. Union Brigadier General James H. Wilson's command had been searching for Davis and his entourage since they crossed the Savannah River into Georgia on May 3rd. From his headquarters at Macon on May 6th, Wilson ordered Colonel Henry Harnden’s 1st Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment to proceed east to Dublin and Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin D. Pritchard’s 4th Michigan Cavalry Regiment to ride south along the Ocmulgee River. Pritchard and about 400 men rode all night on the 7th and all the next day down the west (and southwest) bank of the Ocmulgee River. They passed through Hawkinsville on Monday afternoon, May 8th, before making camp just south of town. Their mission was to take possession of all ferries below Hawkinsville, picket the Ocmulgee River and scout both sides of it for signs of Davis's party. Continuing south on May 9th after leaving pickets along the way, a detachment under Pritchard's personal command found and captured Davis and most of his travel party near Irwinville at dawn on May 10th.

With orders to return to Macon with their prisoners, Colonel Pritchard and his 4th Michigan Cavalry detachment began riding north. They were preceded by Colonel Harnden and a detachment of his 1st Wisconsin

Marker detail: Union Colonel Henry Harnden image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Union Colonel Henry Harnden
1st Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment
Cavalry, who had been present at Irwinville but had not participated in the actual capture of Jefferson Davis. Harnden and his men rode from Irwinville to Hawkinsville on May 10th, camped overnight, and continued north toward Macon the next day.

Moving slower with wagons carrying some of their prisoners, Colonel Pritchard's escorting detachment camped one night in Abbeville, then approximately four miles south of Hawkinsville on May 11th. They passed through Hawkinsville again early on Friday, May 12, 1865, closely guarding Davis and the other Confederates.
 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 10, 1865.
 
Location. 32° 16.99′ N, 83° 27.843′ W. Marker is in Hawkinsville, Georgia, in Pulaski County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Golden Isles Parkway (U.S. 341) and North Florida Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located in Hawkinsville Veterans Memorial Riverfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hawkinsville GA 31036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. To Our Confederate Soldiers (approx. 0.3 miles away); Slosheye Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pulaski County

Marker detail: Union Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin D. Pritchard image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Union Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin D. Pritchard
4th Michigan Cavalry Regiment
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Hartford (approx. 0.6 miles away); De Soto Trail (approx. 1.1 miles away); The 1812 Soldiers (approx. 1.1 miles away); A $100,000 Reward (approx. 4 miles away); Bleckley County (approx. 9.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hawkinsville.
 
Also see . . .  Capture of Jefferson Davis by the Fourth Michigan. For the Fourth Michigan, this was the largest, most important contribution to the war effort. The capture of Davis was one of the final acts needed for the Country to begin settling into the uneasy peace that followed. Had Davis not been captured he may have gone on with his plans to get the war going again. (Submitted on June 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Route of Jefferson Davis through South Carolina and Georgia image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Route of Jefferson Davis through South Carolina and Georgia
Federal Pursuit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 8, 2021
6. Federal Pursuit Marker
(looking north • U.S. Highway 341 in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 3, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   6. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 13, 2021