Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Evacuation of Gordon

Marker ID: GHM 158-8
Location: Ga 243 near Ga 18 in Gordon, GA
County: Wilkinson
Coordinates: N 32° 52.979    W 083° 20.565
  32.88298908    -83.34275378
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM7TBA
The Evacuation of Gordon Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


On Nov. 20, 1864, Maj. Gen. H. C. Wayne, Adjutant General of Georgia, found that telegraphic communications with Macon had been cut by the Right Wing of Gen. Sherman´s Army [USA], which had left Atlanta on Nov. 15th on its destructive March to the Sea. The only troops here were the Corps of Cadets (Georgia Military Institute), Factory and Penitentiary Guards, the Roberts Guards (paroled convicts), and three small militia units (Williams company of Infantry, Talbot´s company of cavalry, and Pruden´s battery of artillery) all under Maj. F. W. Capers, Superintendent of the Georgia Military Institute. Total strength: 460.

That night, Wayne learned that the railroad had been destroyed east of Macon and that large forces [UAS] were approaching Gordon and Milledgeville, Gordon being no longer tenable, he decided to withdraw to the east bank of Oconee River and defend both the railroad bridge and Ball´s Ferry, four miles downstream, the only practicable wagon road crossing within a day´s march.

Although criticized by local citizens for evacuating Gordon, Wayne´s decision saved Caper´s small force and enabled him to use it at the river where, with another small force under Maj. A. L. Hartbridge, it held the railway bridge, forcing the entire Right Wing [USA] to cross Ball´s Ferry after losing three days spent skirmishing in the swamps for possession of the site.


The Evacuation of Gordon
Photo by Ken Moser