The Battle of Griswoldville

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  • Fields of Gray, Battle of Griswoldville, November 22, 1864.

Warned that a Union force of around 1, men was just ahead, Philips formed a line of battle and moved into the ruined town. No Union force was found and the general decided to continue moving up the road, assuming that the Federals had also withdrawn. His route put him on a collision course with Walcutt's brigade, which had arrived and taken up a position on the ridge at today's Griswold Battlefield State Historic Site.


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  5. Neither side knew the other was there. As Philips and his men marched forward, they began to encounter Union skirmishers who fired and fell back slowly to their main line on the ridge. Now alerted that enemy infantry was approaching, the Federals began desperately piling fence rails, logs and anything else that might stop a bullet along the length of their line atop the ridge.

    Battle of Griswoldville

    Surveying the situation and deciding that he outnumbered the Federals on the ridge, General Philips decided to attack. The Confederates who fought at the Battle of Griswoldville were, with the exception of their artillerymen and a few others, not seasoned regular soldiers. They were men ranging in age from their early teens to their 60s who had turned out to defend their homes and neighbors against Sherman's invasion. At Griswoldville they became heroes.

    As the Union soldiers watched from atop the ridge, the Confederates emerged from the trees in three sweeping lines and began to advance across a fallow field. It was an open field attack not unlike Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. When the Confederates came within killing range, the Federals opened fire with deadly effect.

    The Battle of Griswoldville near Macon Georgia

    The courageous Georgians went down in waves, but continued to fight with a desperation that surprised both Union troops then and modern historians today. When asked why, one mortally wounded Southern soldier told his Federal captors that the men beside him were his neighbors and they were fighting for each other. Before night fell and the firing ended, the Confederates made seven distinct attacks across the open ground, but were driven back each time. In the process they suffered horrendous casualties. More than men and boys fell dead or wounded on the field at Griswoldville.

    Trying to help the living after the battle, Union soldiers found one year-old boy still alive under a pile of bodies. He had been wounded in the arm and leg and near him lay his father, two brothers and an uncle, all dead.

    Among the dead and wounded were found several black men who had fought in the battle along side the white Southern soldiers. Little is known about them.

    Quick Links

    Union losses in the battle totaled 13 killed and 86 wounded. Confederate losses are estimated at 50 killed and wounded. It is said that the water in the branch that runs through the ravine on the battlefield was turned red with blood. Directions to the park are not well marked by highway signs, but from Macon go east on U.

    The Battle of Griswoldville: An Infantry Battle on Sherman's March to the Sea

    Highway 80 for about two miles and turn left onto State Highway Follow Highway 57 for 4. The intersection will be just after cross the line into Twiggs County. Follow this road for just over a mile and a half to Baker Road and turn left. The battlefield will be just over a half mile ahead on your left. November 22, Battle Facts. Forces Engaged. Total Estimated Casualties.


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    Historical Map. Copy of official plan of the siege of Fort Pulaski. Cockspur Island. Savannah Georgia April Animated Map. The Civil War Animated Map. Explore Griswoldville. Official Correspondence. Military Engagements of the Civil War.

    Battle of Griswoldville: The Big Picture

    The Atlanta Campaign. Join t Fight. Military Units. Abraham Lincoln. Photography in the Civil War. Battlefield Archaeology. Soldier Life.

    The Battle of Griswoldville

    Women in War. See more Topics. Related Battles. Fort McAllister. As Maj. John Bell Hood still had hopes of Peach Tree Creek. Weary of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's pattern of retreat through northwest Georgia in the face of Maj Rocky Face Ridge.