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

Old Clinton

"...with much difficulty he restrained them from burning the [entire] town."

 

óMarch to the Sea Heritage Trail ó

 
Old Clinton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
1. Old Clinton Marker
Inscription. Founded in 1808 Clinton was a commercial and educational center and the early seat of Jones County. It was planned with streets in a New England styled gridiron pattern and a central square. In 1820 Clinton was the fourth -largest town in Georgia. Samuel Griswold, coming from Connecticut, built a cotton gin factory here. Thomas B. Slade opened the Clinton Female Institute about 1833. By the 1860 this once prosperous village was in decline. The Macon and Savannah Railroad had bypassed the town so Griswold moved his growing business to the railroad. Later the county seat was moved to nearby Gray. Yet Clinton's enduring historic value has earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal cavalry under Major General George Stoneman passed through Clinton twice in July en route to and returning from their unsuccessful raid on Macon. After Stoneman's defeat at Sunshine Church on July 31st the Federals captured there passed through Clinton yet again on their way to prison at Macon's Camp Oglethorpe.

On Saturday, November 19, 1864, nearly 5,000 Federal cavalrymen led by Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick thundered into Clinton during their "March to the Sea." Three infantry divisions of the 15th Corps started arriving about noon the following day, allowing Kilpatrick's Cavalry to feint toward
Old Clinton Marker and other markers looking north towards City of Gray. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
2. Old Clinton Marker and other markers looking north towards City of Gray.
Macon. Commanded by Major General Peter J. Osterhaus the 15th Corps was one of the two corps in Major General Oliver Otis Howard's "Right Wing," representing almost one-half of Major General William T. Sherman's army. Osterhaus's fourth division was delayed, under Brigadier General John M. Corse, in Osterhaus's words by "...encumbrances clogging his movements..." because of the division's need to guard the 15th Corps wagons, pontoon bridge and cattle.

Despite Clinton's depressed economy. Some structures remained for the Federal troops to burn. Major Thomas Osborn, Howard's chief of artillery wrote, "Some of the men captured with General Stoneman were now with General Union Major General Kilpatrick and it was with Peter J. Osterhaus much difficulty he restrained them from burning the, [entire] town." The Federals destroyed most of the remaining industrial and commercial buildings. The three 15th Corps infantry divisions departed Clinton on the 21st. Osterhaus ordered one division to march toward Gordon and the other two to move toward Irwinton. As the troops departed Osterhaus became aware of a Confederate force near the town of Griswoldville. He changed his orders to meet this threat.
 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number R9.)
 
Marker series.
Old Clinton Marker near 4 other markers at location of civil war campgrounds. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 29, 2017
3. Old Clinton Marker near 4 other markers at location of civil war campgrounds.
This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 32° 59.834′ N, 83° 33.546′ W. Marker is in Clinton, Georgia, in Jones County. Marker can be reached from Pulaski Street 0.2 miles east of Greene Settlement Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 442 Pulaski Street, Gray GA 31032, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Samuel Griswold (here, next to this marker); Shermanís Right Wing (here, next to this marker); The Stoneman Raid (here, next to this marker); Clinton Female Seminary (here, next to this marker); Macarthy-Pope House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); LaFayette (about 700 feet away); Clinton Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gen. Iversonís Birthplace (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clinton.
 
More about this marker. Located in the Old Clinton Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
 
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 236 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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