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Hillsboro in Jasper County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Hillsboro

The “Right Wing” Marches through Jasper County

 

—March to the Sea Heritage Trail —

 
Hillsboro Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
1. Hillsboro Marker
Inscription. Hillsboro (originally spelled Hillsborough), named for pioneer settler Isaac Hill, is one of the oldest communities in central Georgia. It is the birthplace of Benjamin Harvey Hill, a United States and later Confederate States Senator. The "Hillsborough Academy" attended by B. H. Hill was succeeded by the school building that bears his name.

The "Right Wing" of Union Major General William T. Sherman's army struggled through rain and muddy roads to cross the Ocmulgee River at Planter's Factory (Seven Islands) from Friday through Sunday, November 18 through 20, 1864. After successfully crossing the river it advanced on Hillsboro. The Right Wing was commanded by Major General Oliver O. Howard, including the nearly 16,000 men of the 15th Corps led by Major General Peter J. Osterhaus. Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick's 5,000-man cavalry division accompanied Howard's Right Wing.

The almost 12,000 men in Brigadier General Francis P. Blair's 17th Corps marched east from Planter's Factory on Saturday, November 19th before camping that night, a few miles north of Hillsboro. Kilpatrick's cavalry division rode directly from Planter's Factory to Clinton on the same day. Meanwhile, three divisions of General Osterhaus's 15th Corps camped in or near Hillsboro on the 19th, including General Howard. The remaining division
Hillsboro marker next to Ben Hill School. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
2. Hillsboro marker next to Ben Hill School.
of the 15th Corps camped close-by on the 20th and followed the other three divisions to Clinton.

In Hillsboro, one group of Federal soldiers "drove off cows, sheep, and hogs...took every bushel of corn and fodder, oats and wheat" and burned the outbuildings on Mrs. Louise Reese Cornwell's farm. When General Howard and his staff stopped for tea, she prepared what food she had left, but thought how ironic that while Howard "sat at the table and asked God's blessing, the sky was red from the flames of burning houses." Staff officers performed "many pretty pieces and sang several pretty songs" on Cornwell's piano, and Howard posted a guard for protection of their hostess. The previous summer, Mrs. Cornwell had aided wounded Federal cavalrymen following the Battle of Sunshine Church. In November at least one officer knew of her earlier kindness and thanked her as he passed.

One soldier who had a pleasant experience in Hillsboro was Captain Charles W. Wills of the 103rd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He wrote to his sister, "By the kindness of Mrs. Elizabeth Celia Pye, I occupy a feather bed to-night. It is the first house I have been in for the last three months. She understood from the Rebels that we burned all houses and she took her things out and hid them in the woods...The foragers found them and brought them in to her. Had an excellent
View of Ben Hill School next to marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
3. View of Ben Hill School next to marker.
supper with the boys. This is level, fine country, and has been well cultivated."


For Captain Wills and other Federal soldiers their march continued south from Hillsboro toward Sunshine Church, a landmark destined for destruction.

[Photo captions]
Bottom left: Hillsboro Methodist Church and the three-room Academy attended by B.H. Hill
Map: The "March to the Sea" through Jasper County
  (Lloyd's Topographical Map of Georgia, 1864)
Portraits: Benjamin Harvey Hill (Photo by Matthew Brady)
Union Major General Oliver O. Howard (photo by Matthew Brady)
Union Captain Charles W. Wills (after his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel)
Background watermark: Wm. Knabe & Co., "Gold Medal Pianos" advertisement, 1864

 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number R7.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 33° 10.609′ N, 83° 38.354′ W. Marker is in Hillsboro, Georgia, in Jasper County. Marker is on Georgia Route 11 south of Henry Jones Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro GA 31038, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
Another nearby marker about Benjamin Hill. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
4. Another nearby marker about Benjamin Hill.
markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Across the Ocmulgee (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace of Benjamin Harvey Hill (a few steps from this marker); Benjamin Harvey Hill (approx. 0.6 miles away); Sunshine Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Sunshine Church II (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Stoneman Raid (approx. 6.2 miles away); Hebron Baptist Church (approx. 6.9 miles away); a different marker also named The Stoneman Raid (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hillsboro.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Benjamin Harvey Hill. (Submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Blog: Marching Through Georgia, November 19, 1864. (Submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
D.A.R plaque about Benjamin Hill near this marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
5. D.A.R plaque about Benjamin Hill near this marker.
Photo of Benjamin Harvey Hill image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain (PD) Matthew Brady (LOC)
6. Photo of Benjamin Harvey Hill
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 251 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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