Diary of Orrin Brown—Nov 30, 1864

Brig Gen Samuel W. FergusonDiary of Orrin Brown, Louisville, Georgia

Wednesday–Nov. 30th

The weather is beautifull and the roads dry. I got a darkey to do my washing today. Gen. Furgisons Rebbel Cavalry Charged on our Pickets within about 60 rods of where I was and our Pickets killed 4 of the rebs and mortaly wounded another without loss on our side. There were several of our foragers taken prisoner today. Ther have been fighting on our left all day, the day has been very dry and warm and the roads are exelent. Read 4 Chapt. in testament today.

The Second Division of J.C. Davis’ XIV Corps, under Brig. Gen. James D. Morgan, had marched 252 miles in November, from Rome, Georgia, through Atlanta where Pvt. Brown joined his regiment, to Louisville, Georgia.  They had skirmished with Wheeler’s cavalry at Sandersville, Georgia, loosing one enlisted man killed and another wounded.  On November 30th, Confederate Brig. Gen Samuel W. Ferguson‘s cavalry, who had been late to Milledgeville behind Sherman’s advance, attacked Union picket lines at Louisville, with two commissioned officers killed, four enlisted men killed and one enlisted man wounded. Ferguson would harass Sherman’s rear all the way to Savannah, then (spoiler alert) escort that city’s Confederate forces when they abandoned their position.

This day west across the mountains, 33-year old Lt. Gen John Bell Hood was making his best bet on cutting through Sherman’s rear lines at Nashville at the pivotal Battle of Franklin back in Tennessee.  Union troops held the day, then retreated to the state capital, leaving Hood to take the city.  Yet he may as well have coined the term “winning the battle, but loosing the war”, as the battle cost him so many men he was unable to effectively contest further battles (as we shall see in a few weeks).

Meanwhile, across the state line in South Carolina, Union Maj. Gen. John Hatch had launched an expeditionary force from Hilton Head, where the Federal Army controlled the beach.  The force of 5,000 men steamed up the Broad River in an attempt to cut the Charleston & Savannah Railroad at Boyd’s Neck to prevent support against Sherman’s March.  Unfortunately, for the Northerners, their maps didn’t cover the territory.  On the morning of 30 November, the Battle of Honey Hill saw a Southern force of 1,400 regular troops and militia stand their ground through the day.  Union troops included the 54th (featured in the movie Glory for their earlier exploits) and 55th Massachusetts Colored Volunteer Infantry.  There were 47 Confederate casualties to 746 for the Union.



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