Historic Markers Across Georgia

He Wouldn't Run

Marker ID: GHM 158-1
Location: Ga 243 near Ga 18 in Gordon, GA
County: Wilkinson
Coordinates: N 32° 52.984    W 083° 20.572
  32.88307484    -83.3428689
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM7TAV
He Wouldn't Run Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


J. Rufus Kelly, 18, was a member of Co. B. 14th Ga. Infantry, Confederate Army. At Jericho ford, when the 14th had orders to fall back, young Kelly kept advancing, waving his hat and rifle and urging his comrades to come on. When the retreat continued, Kelly teamed up with another brigade, losing a leg in the battle. Back home at Gordon, on crutches he voluntarily spied on Sherman´s Army advancing from Macon. Dashing into Gordon on horseback, he warned Georgia´s Adjutant General Henry C. Wayne that the federals were coming, then roundly cursed the [CSA] Officer for entraining his 700 cadets and paroled convicts for flight from the 100,000 oncoming [USA] marchers.

"I will defend the women and children of Gordon alone," Kelly told Gen. Wayne on the porch of the old Solomon Hotel here. Aided by one man, John R. Bragg, Kelly went out to meet the advancing Union forces and killed one soldier. The advance was delayed until the Union forces deployed around Gordon. They captured Kelly when his horse staggered, and sentenced him to be shot, but he wasn´t. He escaped from a wagon rossing the Ogeechee Swamp and lived for many years after the war. He is buried at Liberty Hill Church near Myrick´s Mill Pond in Twiggs County.


He Wouldn't Run
Photo by Ken Moser