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Conyers in Rockdale County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Conyers Station

War Comes to Conyers

 

—March to the Sea Heritage Trail —

 
Conyers Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 24, 2018
1. Conyers Station Marker
Inscription. Had you been standing near this spot at midday on Thursday, November 17, 1864, looking west along the railroad track, you would have seen Union Major General William T. Sherman ride into Conyers with Brigadier General William P. Carlin's 1st Division of Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis's 14th Corps. During the next 24 hours, 13,500 men, 800 wagons and 4,800 mules would pass through this depot town, known then as "Conyers Station" (population 400), on their "March to the Sea."

Members of General Sherman's staff spent 1-1/2 hours in the home of Mrs. Amanda Scott located then on the southeast corner of Green and Scott Streets. Majors Henry Hitchcock, Joseph C. Audenreid and others may have their been given noonday meal by Mrs. Scott. Whether Sherman ate lunch on the big boulder near the Scott house, as local legend has it, or joined his officers inside, it seems certain his noonday meal was foraged locally. While in Conyers, newspapers Augusta dated up to November 13th were found. From them Sherman learned the Confederates were unaware of his plans for the march.

As Sherman's staff was leaving Mrs. Scott's home a group of local African-American men offered to volunteer. Colonel Amos Beckwith, Sherman's chief-commissary officer, hired three as teamsters. Others may have followed informally because all along the
View of Marker and former Conyers Train Depot (Now the Conyers Welcome Center). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 24, 2018
2. View of Marker and former Conyers Train Depot (Now the Conyers Welcome Center).
route slaves saw the march as their chance for freedom and many joined the column.

As General Sherman and the 1st Division of the 14th Corps marched east toward Covington the 2nd and 3rd Divisions moved into Conyers under Brigadier Generals James D. Morgan and Baird respectively. On orders to Georgia Railroad, soldiers pried up the rails and ties. "I attached much importance to this destruction of the railroad, gave it my own personal attention...," wrote Sherman. Ties were placed in great piles and burned, while red-hot rails were twisted around tree trunks. These fires and the countless campfires of Federal soldiers were in stark contrast to the darkened homes of Conyers. "That night the army was encamped here the people were afraid to have light in the houses lest the Yankees come in," wrote Mrs. Julia Ann Stewart of Conyers. "I sat up all night long with matches and candle ready to light at the first alarm."

Other fires were not numerous because the depot building of Conyers Station had already been torched a few months earlier, on July 22nd, during a Federal cavalry raid commanded by Brigadier General Kenner Garrard. The remains of a Confederate locomotive and train, captured and burned in that raid, were still standing in the station yard as Sherman's troops arrived. The present depot was built in 1891 just east of its original
Conyers Welcome Center (former train depot) along railroad tracks. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 24, 2018
3. Conyers Welcome Center (former train depot) along railroad tracks.
site.

On the morning of November 18th, with the railroad destroyed, the 2nd and 3rd Divisions marched out of town. The Georgia Railroad, which had put the town of Conyers on the map, had now brought the war right through her front yard.
 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number L2.)
 
Location. 33° 39.987′ N, 84° 1.074′ W. Marker is in Conyers, Georgia, in Rockdale County. Marker is at the intersection of Railroad Street NW and Stewart Alley NE, on the left when traveling south on Railroad Street NW. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 Railroad Street NW, Conyers GA 30012, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sherman at Conyers (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler (about 400 feet away); Rockdale County (about 500 feet away); Rev. Henry Quigg, D.D. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Conyers Methodist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Hightower Trail (approx. 5.2 miles away); The March to the Sea (approx. 6.7 miles away); Rebecca Latimer Felton (approx. 8.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Conyers.
 
Regarding Conyers Station. The current depot succeeded one burned by Union Brigadier General Kenner Garrard’s cavalry on July 22, 1864. Then on November 17, 1864, the Federal 14th Corps was accompanied by Major General William T. Sherman as it marched through Conyers destroying rails.
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 97 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 25, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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