Civil War Sesquicentennial
Battle of Dunlap Hill
In the summer of 1864, during the siege of Atlanta, Union Cavalry General George Stoneman conducted a raid on Central Georgia cutting the Confederate supply line and the Central Georgia railroad. Stoneman and his troops destroyed everything in their path on their way to Macon. Stoneman's personal mission was to destroy the city and free Union officers imprisoned at Camp Oglethorpe. Fighting took place on July 30th when Stoneman ordered the city bombarded and his troops to advance. One shell that was fired struck the home of Judge Asa Holt, now known as the Cannonball House. Confederate troops under General Howell Cobb, formed in East Macon, and repelled the Union attack. Unable to take the city, Stoneman retreated, and was stopped in an all day battle at Sunshine Church, near Clinton. There, Stoneman was captured and taken to Camp Oglethorpe becoming the highest ranking Union officer to be captured in the war. After the battle, the Confederates constructed a U-shaped earthwork in the yard of the Dunlap house to protect the Walnut Creek railroad trestle from future attacks. During November 20-21, 1864 the earthwork served its purpose during the Battle of Walnut Creek. Today, the earthwork is still visible.
Battle of Walnut Creek
In early August1864, Macon authorities began to build fortifications around the city. On November 15, General William T. Sherman burned Atlanta, and divided his army into two wings and began his destructive "March to the Sea." Sherman's Cavalry division, commanded by Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was given the task of screening the march of the Right Wing. Sherman ordered Kilpatrick to make a feint against Macon by sending his troops to strike the Georgia Central Railroad as close to the city as possible. Confederate General Joseph E. Wheeler moved at daylight on November 20th with all his available troops to meet the Federals. The Confederate infantry was supported by artillery, including gun emplacements, at Fort Hawkins, the Garrison Road, and covering the railroad bridge over Walnut Creek from the rear of the Dunlap House. Determined attacks by the Federal 10th Ohio were repelled, and they withdrew across Walnut Creek. Major Lewis Bowlus, of the 9th Ohio was sent to burn the Georgia Central Railroad Bridge, over the Ocmulgee River at Macon. Bowlus found the bridge to be guarded with Confederate artillery, which opened fire on him, and prevented him from carrying out his mission. Bowlus, however, succeeded in destroying the railroad within several hundred yards of the bridge. Skirmishing occurred during the night of the 20th and early morning hours of the 21st, but no major fighting took place. Late on 21st, the armies moved on to Griswoldville. Casualties for both armies were one killed; eleven wounded.
Did You Know?
The clay floor inside the Ocmulgee Earth Lodge is the original floor constructed by people of the Mississippian culture. This floor is 1000 years old. The bird effigy and circle of seats contained in this reconstructed building are evidence of the social ideas of the Mississippian people.