“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jewells Mill in Warren County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Shoals on the Ogeechee

Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 2, 2012
1. Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker
Inscription.  First called Lexington, Shoals was the site of what was probably the first woolen mill and iron foundry in Georgia. In 1794, Col. William Bird, Revolutionary soldier from Pennsylvania, and Benjamin A. Hamp bought several thousand acres of land including the shoals, a natural site for a dam, where they built the mill. The race was made by alternately burning pine logs on the granite and pouring cold water over it so the stone would split off. Hamp soon sold his share in “Bird & Hamp” to Col. Bird. After Col. Bird's death in 1812, his heirs sold the property to Thomas Cheely, who built a grist mill for grinding wheat and corn. This, with the woolen mill, was burned by Sherman's forces in 1864. In later years there have been grist mills and ginneries at the site operated by the Coleman family who own most of the original Bird property.

“Aviary,” the home of Col. Bird and his wife, Caroline Dalton Bird, with its family cemetery where both are buried, was on the hill overlooking the dam. Among their descendants were William Lowndes Yancey, “Orator of Secession,” and Benjamin Yancey, Jr., minister to Argentina
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under President Buchanan.
Erected 1957 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 149-4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #15 James Buchanan, the Georgia Historical Society, and the Sherman’s March to the Sea series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1794.
Location. 33° 15.276′ N, 82° 45.305′ W. Marker is in Jewells Mill, Georgia, in Warren County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 123 and Shoals Road, on the left when traveling south on State Highway 123. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mitchell GA 30820, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jewell Historic District (approx. 3.2 miles away); Col. Robert M. Mitchell (approx. 3.9 miles away); Beall Springs (approx. 4.3 miles away); Calvin Logue Monument (approx. 9.3 miles away); Glascock County (approx. 9.4 miles away); Glascock County Veterans Monument (approx. 9.4 miles away); Glascock County National Bicentennial Monument (approx. 9.4 miles away); Warthen Historic District (approx. 10.2 miles away).
Regarding Shoals on the Ogeechee.
Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 2, 2012
2. Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker
While the mill was burned in the Civil War and the Bird home burned 30 years later, the Cheely-Coleman house (built circa 1825) still stands a short distance from the shoals. The historic marker for that home has been removed by the current owners.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Additional commentary.
1. Other Historical Markers Related to Civil War Events at Shoals of the Ogeechee
The two mills at Ogeechee Shoals were destroyed by Sherman’s cavalry division commanded by General Judson Kilpatrick. Upon arriving in Milledgeville during his March to the Sea, Sherman ordered that Kilpatrick move “… eastward, break the railroad between Millen and Augusta, then turn and strike the railroad below Millen; after which he will use all possible effort to rescue our prisoners of war now confined near Millen.” Kilpatrick’s chosen route brought him to the shoals.

Confederate pickets at the shoals reported the union cavalry’s arrival to General Joseph Wheeler, who was then attacking Sherman’s infantry near Sandersville. Wheeler with most of his command pursued and overtook the union cavalry at Sylvan Grove. Wheeler harassed Kilpatrick’s force as it continued
Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 2, 2012
3. Shoals on the Ogeechee Marker
Looking south on Shoals Road at the bridge over the Ogeechee River.
on its mission. The union cavalry destroyed a portion of railroad track south of Waynesboro and learned from an escaped prisoner of war that Camp Lawton had been evacuated. Wheeler’s pursuit of the union cavalry concluded after the Cavalry Action at Buckhead Church. Kilpatrick rejoined the union infantry near Louisville, and Wheeler deployed his forces to defend Augusta, which he believed to be Sherman’s objective.

References: “The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Series 1, Volume 44, pages 407-409, 527, and 570-571.
    — Submitted February 14, 2016, by Harry Gatzke of Huntsville, Alabama.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 2,853 times since then and 272 times this year. Last updated on October 30, 2010, by R. Zebley of Rapid City, South Dakota. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 24, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 26, 2023