Sherman’s army crossing the Ocmulgee river

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These are pictures of the Planters Factory/Ocmulgee Mills mill that made goods for the Confederacy

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Marker Text: On the morning of Nov. 18, 1864, the Right Wing (15th and 17th Corps) of General Sherman’s army [US] moved from its bivouacs in and near Jackson toward Planters’ Factory (Ocmulgee Mills), on the Ocmulgee River at Seven Islands (9 miles SE), to effect a passage at that point on pontoon bridges to be laid by the 1st Missouri Engineers, the pontoniers of the Right Wing.

Smith’s division, 15th Corps (Osterhaus), which had camped near Flovilla, moved first. Upon arrival, the 1st Brigade (McCown), with the 4th Minnesota Infantry in advance, crossed on the ferry and entrenched on high ground east of the river. At 11:00 A.M. the pontoons arrived and, by 1:00 P.M., two bridges were ready.

That afternoon, Smith completed his crossing and camped two miles from the river on the Hillsboro road, to wait for Woods’ and Hazen’s divisions and to permit the cavalry to pass to the front. During the night, Blair’s 17th Corps crossed and moved via Monticello and Blountsville to avoid the Hillsboro road.

On the 19th, Kilpatrick’s cavalry division crossed, followed by Woods and Hazen and several wagon trains. Heavy rains having made the steep hills on the east bank extremely difficult, the passage was not completed until the afternoon of the 20th, when Corse’s division of the 15th Corps cleared the bridge site and, with the bridge train, followed the 17th Corps to Monticello.
 
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There are two Hollifields listed as having joined the 3rd. Mtd. Inf. Both Joel A. Hollifield (Rutherford County) and William H.Hollifield (Caldwell County) joined Company A, June 11, 1864. For one of the Hollifields, his service would be brief. His first name wasn't listed by Barrett.

Enlistment information for Joel A.Hollifield -- page 64. Enlistment information for William H. Hollifield –page 38.
Terrell T. Garren, Mountain Myth, Unionism in western North Carolina.

“The next morning, the twenty-ninth [June 1864], Kirk resumed his march, crossing John's Creek. At Moore's Crossroads, in Burke County, his rearguard was overtaken by a small scouting party headed by George W.F. Harper of Lenoir. Harper and his “party of nine men” charged the Federals, capturing one prisoner (Hollifield), 2 mules, two carbines, two pistols, and a lot of cotton yarn, tobacco, shoes, etc.,... and [then] fell back to avoid capture from [a] flanking party.”
John G. Barrett, The Civil War In North Carolina, p. 235.



Here are two more
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This is all that is left of the Smith mill on the east side of the river. I have read somewhere that the mill was left untouched , which doesn’t make since to me because Sherman’s army burned down the Lamar mill at planters factory on the west side of the river. The Smith Mill was clearly destroyed, if it wasn’t for the stone wall that remains. You might not know it was ever there.
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O' Be Joyful

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Thank you for this story and the accompanying pics @Pvt. Hollifield . Can you or someone else explain the reason/need for the openings at the base of what I assume to be a bridge abutment or possibly a part of the factory?

These are pictures of the Planters Factory/Ocmulgee Mills mill that made goods for the Confederacy




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OBJ
 

WJC

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Can you or someone else explain the reason/need for the openings at the base of what I assume to be a bridge abutment or possibly a part of the factory?
Good question, @O' Be Joyful! I took them to be the original windows/doors to the building, now partially submerged. Looking forward to an answer....
 
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I’m thinking that it was a door and windows at one time and over the last 150ish years the river has changed course and buried some of the mill. I’m 5’10’’ and I have to bend down to walk inside. There seems to have been a hinge near the top making me think it was a door at one time. There is a lot more stone foundations around the mill and a long stone wall that runs over 100yards long that is about 4 to 5 feet tall for directing water into the mill. It was a very large place but 99% of it is in very thick brush. My understanding is riverboats would bring cotton up from Macon and the mill would in turn make the cotton into goods to be sent back to Macon. Durning the war they made clothes, tents, blankets, etc for the confederacy. There is a sharp bend in the river south of the mill that I’ve camped out on when the river is down. It is covered in small pieces of coal and Ive found broken pieces of stoneware jugs.
 

Lubliner

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I cannot help my curiosity about who owns the property now? It looks to be in an amazing state of preservation; i.e., no graffiti or ransacking depredations committed against it. Whoever watches over it deserves a medal!
Lubliner.
 
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Not sure who owns it but I met a older gentleman named Aaron who is a member of the hunting club that leases the land. He showed me a hand full of horse teeth that he found on 40 acre island. The Union Cavalry had a lot of older/spent horses that they didn’t want to fall into the hands of the Confederacy, so they took them there and shot every one of them. It was last summer when I 1st tried to find the Mill and the only way there is by kayak unless your a member of the hunting club. The mill is pretty hard to get to because of its location, thats probably why it’s still in good shape to have been built in the 1840’s. If you travel by the river it’s at the bottom of some class 2/3 rapids. So the only time to go is when the water is down due to drought.
 

Lubliner

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Not sure who owns it but I met a older gentleman named Aaron who is a member of the hunting club that leases the land. He showed me a hand full of horse teeth that he found on 40 acre island. The Union Cavalry had a lot of older/spent horses that they didn’t want to fall into the hands of the Confederacy, so they took them there and shot every one of them. It was last summer when I 1st tried to find the Mill and the only way there is by kayak unless your a member of the hunting club. The mill is pretty hard to get to because of its location, thats probably why it’s still in good shape to have been built in the 1840’s. If you travel by the river it’s at the bottom of some class 2/3 rapids. So the only time to go is when the water is down due to drought.
And it sounds like it is harder returning back. Thanks,
Lubliner.
 
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No doubt, you have to carry, drag, or tow your kayak over the rocks heading back up stream till you can put in in deeper water.
These are some pictures from last week on what I call the point. Found some bigger pieces of coal and what I think is a ladder.
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