Historic Markers Across Georgia

Crossing the Ocmulgee

Marker ID: GHM 018-3
Location: Courthouse in Jackson
County: Butts
Coordinates: N 33° 17.000    W 083° 58.012
  33.283333    -83.96686
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM2DX0
Crossing the Ocmulgee  Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


On the night of Nov. 17, 1864, the Right Wing (15th and 17th Corps) of General Sherman´s army [Union], which had marched south from On the morning of Nov. 18, 1864, the Right Wing (15th and 17th Corps) of General Sherman´s army [Union] 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 difficulty, 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.