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Louisville in Jefferson County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Sacking of Louisville

"...thoroughly and completely ransacked..."

 

—March to the Sea Heritage Trail —

 
The Sacking of Louisville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 30, 2017
1. The Sacking of Louisville Marker
Inscription. On Monday, November 28, 1864, Union Major General William T. Sherman's "Left Wing" commanded by Major General Henry W. Slocum reached the Ogeechee River and Rocky Comfort Creek just west of Louisville. The bridges had been destroyed by portions of Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry only a short time prior. Several hours were necessary for repairs and "corduroying" 3/4 mile of swamp (the laying of tree trunks side-by-side along a muddy road) to enable the entire Left Wing with its 1,200 wagons to cross. Yet scores of soldiers made improvised crossings and began arriving in Louisville. These enterprising foragers arrived with few officers to command them. During an initial period after their arrival heavy looting occurred.

Union Private William C. Johnson of the 89th Ohio Infantry Regiment described the town of about 1,000 inhabitants as having "...quite a number of stores of different kinds, all fairly stocked with goods. The delay in laying the pontoons, and getting trains and troops over, gave our boys ample time to go through the town, which, unfortunately for the inhabitants, they did most completely; everything was appropriated that could be used, and many things that could not be used. The town was thoroughly and completely ransacked, and by some unaccountable means late in the afternoon, the town caught
The view west towards the Market House in background. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 30, 2017
2. The view west towards the Market House in background.
fire...."
The fire started in a house on Broad Street. It consumed half the street before Federal officers arrived and ordered that a firewall be created by demolishing a warehouse. One source indicated that the Federals had been angered by a Broad Street store flying a Confederate flag. Some Federal soldiers also reported they had been sniped at from homes and businesses. But there is no record of any military or civilian resistance in Louisville.

Some acts of kindness were recorded. A woman whose house had been ransacked was told by a soldier that she could ask General Slocum, who arrived in town on the 29th, to post a guard at her home. Slocum's headquarters was on the grounds of the courthouse. Slocum posted two soldiers at her house, one at the front door and one at the rear. Guards were also provided for other households when requested.

Approximately 28,000 Federal infantry camped at or near Louisville from November 28th to December 1st. In addition, more than 5,000 cavalrymen of Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick's division arrived on the 29th after having engaged General Wheeler's Confederate cavalry the two previous days near Waynesboro. After resting their horses for two days Kilpatrick's cavalry left for Waynesboro again on December 1st accompanied by the infantry division of Brigadier General Absalom Baird, 14th Corps. The remainder of
The Sacking of Louisville Marker looking east on Broad Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 30, 2017
3. The Sacking of Louisville Marker looking east on Broad Street.
the Left Wing marched southeast the same morning toward Buckhead Church with several bands playing. Afterwards Louisville was very quiet, with no hogs, cows, chickens or even dogs to be seen or heard. Yet the townspeople were thankful that circumstances had not been worse.

[Photo captions]
Top left: Union Major General Henry W. Slocum
Bottom left: Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler
Middle top: Federal foragers
Union Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick
Top right: Approximate routes of the "March to the Sea" through middle Georgia in November 1864
(adopted from the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies)
Background watermark: Market House, Louisville

 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number L21.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 32° 59.988′ N, 82° 24.526′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Georgia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on East Broad Street east of Mulberry Street (Georgia Route 24), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. East Broad Street is one-way running west. Marker is at or near this postal address: 113 East Broad Street, Louisville GA 30434, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Louisville, Georgia (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); "Yazoo Fraud" (about 500 feet away); Old State Capitol (about 500 feet away); Site of Capitol Building (about 600 feet away); To Commemorate the Site of the First Permanent Capitol of Georgia (about 600 feet away); Rocky Comfort Creek (approx. 0.8 miles away); Crossing the Ogeechee River (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Ogeechee River (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 9, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 142 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 9, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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