Millen in Jenkins County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
"...its destruction was a brilliant spectacle."
—March to the Sea Heritage Trail —
Union Major General William T. Sherman, traveling with Major General Francis Blair, Jr. and the more than 11,000 men in his 17th Corps, camped at Buck Head Creek just west of Millen on Friday, December 2, 1864. That evening Blair's infantry began entering town General Sherman arrived before 9:00 a.m the following day. Soldiers torched many of the town's structures. The depot, all railroad buildings and storehouses, including two used to house captured Federal officers, and even the old inn were all burned. Major George Ward Nichols, a member of Sherman's staff later wrote "The extensive depot at Millen was a wooden structure
Major Henry Hitchcock, another member of General Sherman's staff, described the depot as being "some 200 feet long...open at the sides, the roof resting on wooden arches springing longitudinally from wooden columns. On the E. side of this was a handsome little station house, apparently used for ticket and other offices...On the west side, apparently used for ticket and other offices...On the west side, facing Stationhouse, say 100 feet off was [al] large two story frame hotel, with many rooms, large dining hall, and quite a number of outbuildings." Hitchcock added later that the railroad's destruction "is a terrible blow to JD & Co." He referred to the destroyed community as the "late town of Millen." As the old inn burned Major Hitchcock learned that a "crazy woman'' was inside. He and two other officers rushed in to save her but found she had already been led out. Hitchcock pitied her and gave her five dollars. Another incident occurred at the home of a Mr. Myers, located on a hill south of the railroad overlooking the depot. After General Sherman and his staff arrived Myers
Around 1:00 p.m. on the 3rd General Sherman and the 17th Corps began leaving town. That evening they camped in the vicinity of Scarborough. After the war Millen's railroad facilities were rebuilt. The brick depot dates from 1868.
Top left: Destruction of the Millen Junction Depot, December 3, 1864
(by Theodore R. Davis, Harper's Weekly)
Bottom left: George Ward Nichols (on horseback) Shortly after the war his article in Harper's Weekly immortalized the exploits of "Wild Bill" Hickok (standing)
Top right: Approximate routes of the "March to the Sea" through coastal Georgia in November & December 1864
(adopted from the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies)
Background watermark: Destruction of Millen Junction, Georgia
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number R19.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 32° 48.138′ N, 81° 56.379′ W. Marker is in Millen, Georgia, in Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 548 Cotton Avenue, Millen GA 30442, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wayside Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Millen Fountain (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Millen (about 400 feet away); Millen Flagpole (about 500 feet away); Jenkins Court House (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named The Wayside Home (about 700 feet away); Jenkins County Confederate Memorial (about 700 feet away); Sherman at Millen (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Millen.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on the History of Millen. (Submitted on May 8, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 180 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 8, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.