GA-117-5 The Stoneman Raid


Closing in on Atlanta in July, 1864, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, USA, found its vast fortifications Òtoo strong to assault and too extensive to invest.Ó To force an evacuation, he sent Maj. Gen. George StonemanÕs cavalry (2112 men and 2 guns) to cut the Central of Georgia R.R. by which the cityÕs defenders were supplied. Retreating from an attempt on Macon, Stoneman was intercepted on the 31st at Sunshine Church (19 miles NE of Macon) by Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson, Jr., who, with only 1300 cavalry, deluded him into believing that he was being surrounded. Stoneman covered the escape of AdamsÕ and CapronÕs brigades, then he surrendered, with about 600 men and his artillery and train, to what Iverson had convinced him was a superior force.

Clear of the field, both brigades marched toward Eatonton. At Murder Creek (8 miles SW), Capron moved toward Madison and camped north of the Monticello road. Adams continued toward Eatonton, but paused here only to loot food and grain stocks, aware of probable pursuit. Late that night, he camped about five miles north.

Beyond Madison (22 miles N), where he burned large stocks of army supplies, he was joined next afternoon by Capron, who had marched via Rutledge (9 miles W of Madison). They made camp Òtwelve miles from the bridge crossing the Oconee River near Athens.Ó Separated near Athens, Adams reached the Union lines safely; but Capron, resting for two hours near Winder, was surprised before dawn on August 3rd and lost his entire command.

Georgia Historical Commission, 1957

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