Historic Markers Across Georgia

Sandy Springs and the Civil War

Marker ID:  
Location: Next to the parking lot of the Sandy Springs Public Library located at 395 Mt Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA.
County: Fulton
Coordinates: N 33° 55.448    W 084° 22.491
  33.92413333    -84.37485
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMJ6KC
Sandy Springs and the Civil War Marker  


The summer of 1864 brought changes to Sandy Springs that no one living at the time could have imagined. For a time, during the first weeks of July, 1864, the fields and farms of Sandy Springs became the location of the second largest city in the south. Only the city of New Orleans could boast a larger population. Under General Sherman's command, it is estimated that between 60,000 and 80,000 men, their equipment, supplies and support flooded into a community of only around one thousand people remaining after most of the men had left to fight the war.

After the first Union Troops crossed the river on July 8th, 1864, General Schofield's troops marched from around the area of Heard's Ferry and Holy Innocents School through Sandy Springs, headed for old Cross Keys (now the intersection of Johnson's Ferry and Ashford Dunwoody Roads). Part of Schofield's troops (Hascall's Division) went south from Mount Vernon Hwy. along Long Island Drive to Mount Paran Road, where they camped for the night near Burdett's farm. They then headed east to rejoin Schofield's other troops (Cox's Division), who had gone eastward on Mt. Vernon Hwy. past the Sandy Springs Methodist Church and Campgrounds into the very heart of Sandy Springs. At the intersection of Mount Vernon Hwy. and Johnson's Ferry Road, near today's library they turned south.

Gen. McPherson's Army, most to crossed into the northern edge of Sandy Springs starting on July 9, 1864, headed south following the newly graded bed for what would become the Roswell railroad after the war. They headed towards to Decatur to cut the railroad line between Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy.

Gen. Garrard, after capturing and crossing at McAfee's bridge (today's Holcomb Bridge) on July 10th, 1864, ultimately headed for the train lines between Decatur and Stone Mountain, to choke Atlanta by cutting the supply lines.

Gen. Thomas's 4th Corp., led by General Howard, crossed into Sandy Springs on July 12th, 1864 at Powers Ferry. They eventually left the Crossroads area in headed south on Powers Ferry Road, across Long Island Creek and on towards Buckhead. These Union Soldiers next met a small contingent of Confederates who tried making a stand it Seaborne, GA, but to no avail. The community of Seaborn was located around the intersection of Mount Paren Road in Power's Ferry Road.

Once Sherman's three armies were across the river, rested and re-supplied, the majority of them marched onwards towards Atlanta and Decatur on the 17th and 18th of July, 1864. Many had been in Sandy Springs for over a week plundering food, water, and fuel supplies and destroying much that they could not cart off.

While the majority of the troops headed for Atlanta, Sherman left units behind to protect the river crossing and guard his rear. The troops left behind occupying Sandy Springs became marauders who would terrorize the few remaining citizens until many of them were forced to flee.

The exodus of the majority of the Federal Army brought no relief to those remaining in Sandy Springs. Hunger, death and desperation became part of every family's legacy.

Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism
Sandy Springs Historic Preservation Society
Heritage Sandy Springs
Georgia Civil War Commission


Sandy Springs and the Civil War


More Information:
Wikipedia - Atlanta Campaign Union order of battle
Wikipedia - Battle of Peachtree Creeks
Wikipedia - Battle of Atlanta
Wikipedia - Atlanta Campaign