“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Locust Grove in Henry County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Locust Grove

The Federal “Right Wing” Advances

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

Locust Grove Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 20, 2021
1. Locust Grove Marker
Inscription.  Leaving McDonough on Thursday, November 17, 1864, the Federal 15th and 17th Corps separated and marched generally southeast using multiple roads. They comprised the “Right Wing” of Major General William T. Sherman's army, led by Major General Oliver O. Howard. Two divisions of Major General Francis P. Blair's 17th Corps of more than 11,000 men marched southeast on the (Old) Jackson road. Blair's other division advanced generally east into northern Butts County where it camped for the night.

The nearly 16,000 men in four divisions of the 15th Corps, commanded by Major General Peter J. Osterhaus, moved south from McDonough to Locust Grove. Here the 15th Corps divided. Brigadier General John E. Smith's division proceeded to Jackson before spending the night five miles further southeast at Flovilla. The divisions of Brigadier Generals William B. Hazen and Charles R. Woods proceeded south then east, camping the following night (November 18th) at Indian Springs. Slowed by their assignment of guarding the 15th Corps' supply wagons, Brigadier General John M. Corse's division also marched through Locust Grove, arriving in Jackson on the 18th.
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One Federal soldier described in his diary this difficult duty: “We are flankers on [one] side of the [wagon] train … We marched about one hundred yards from the road … it was a hard place to march.

Union Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick's 5,000-man cavalry division rode south along the Macon & Western Railroad (running between Atlanta and Macon) to the north and west of Locust Grove. Pausing at times to destroy tracks, the Federal troopers also skirmished on November 16th at Lovejoy Station and Bear Creek Station (present-day Hampton) with portions of Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry division and Georgia militia led by Major General Gustavus W. Smith. Lieutenant John H. Ash of the Georgia Huzzars described the hopelessness of stopping the Federal advance, “Near Bear Creek Station met and encountered the overwhelming numbers of Sherman's advance, killing and wounding a great many of the enemy, but we were unable to check them, as our Reg[iment] could only muster 48 guns. We were so completely run over that we were scattered in every direction, those of us who were not killed and captured.” Kilpatrick's cavalrymen spent the night at two plantations along the road to Locust Grove before briefly joining the 15th Corps infantry divisions of Generals Hazen and Woods for their march further south on November 17th. Kilpatrick's new orders
Locust Grove Marker detail image. Click for full size.
via Civil war photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, circa 1865
2. Locust Grove Marker detail
Union Brigadier General Charles R. Woods.
were to feint south toward Macon to convince Confederates that the Right Wing was marching toward that city when in reality their goal was to cross the Ocmulgee River unopposed east of Jackson.

The Federal soldiers marching through Locust Grove did not leave the area as they found it. Describing the condition of the region after the Federals passed Eliza Atkins Walker wrote to her Confederate soldier husband, “It would surprise you, I think, just to see plantation after plantation destroyed.”

Captions (left to right)
• Sherman's March to the Sea Nearly 16,000 soldiers in the 15th Corps, plus thousands of wagons, horses, mules, cattle and more passed through Locust Grove on November 17, 1864
• Federal soldiers on the march
• Union Brigadier General Charles R. Woods, Commander, First Division, 15th Corps His first command against Southern forces was in January 1861 of troops on the ship “Star of the West” attempting to reinforce the federal garrison at Fort Sumter.
• The “March to the Sea” through Henry County (Lloyd's Topographical Map of Georgia, 1864)
• William S. Fears Federal cavalry camped on his plantation near Locust Grove.
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails. (Marker Number R3.)
Topics and series.
Locust Grove Marker detail image. Click for full size.
via "History of the Restoration Movement"
3. Locust Grove Marker detail
William Sadler Fears.
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 November 17, 1864.
Location. 33° 21.116′ N, 84° 6.815′ W. Marker is in Locust Grove, Georgia, in Henry County. Marker is on School west of U.S. 23, on the left when traveling west. Marker is near the Locust Grove town hall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Locust Grove GA 30248, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Locust Grove Institute (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The March to the Sea (approx. 2 miles away); Ringold Community (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Huey UH-1H Was the Work Horse of Vietnam (approx. 6.2 miles away); Miller's Saw Mill Replica (approx. 6.2 miles away); Steam Locomotive (approx. 6.2 miles away); Lane's Place (approx. 6.2 miles away); Clements Log Cabin (approx. 6.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Locust Grove.
Locust Grove Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 20, 2021
4. Locust Grove Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 602 times since then and 111 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 23, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Jun. 19, 2024