“The Yankee Raiders in Georgia”


August 1, 1864

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: August 1, 1864
Many rumors were afloat yesterday afternoon in regard to
the situation of affairs at Atlanta; but we could not ascertain
that any definite and trustworthy advices had been received
from that quarter. The Augusta Chronicle of Sunday morning,
says that its latest accounts from the front represented that a
heavy fight was progressing, but gave no intelligence regarding
the result.
TheGeorgia papers are filled, however, with accounts of
the doings of the mounted Yankeeraiders, who seem to be
spreading with great activity over the whole Northern portion
of the State, and, like SAMPSON’S foxes, carrying fire and
desolation wherever they go. The Augusta Chronicle of Sunday
gives the following account of
Theraiders made their appearance at Gordon about half-past
ten Friday night. It is supposed they numbered from eight
hundred to one thousand. Several cars were burned, also the
depot. After completing their work of destruction at Gordon,
theYankees proceeded down the road towards Savannah, burning
depots and tearing up the track in their course until they came
to the Oconee Bridge. This, it is reported, they also
destroyed. If the report is correct we have truly suffered a
great loss, as the bridge and trestle work is over a mile in
length. We have not heard what route was taken from this
A large number of troops left Macon in pursuit of the
raiders on Friday. Troops, we understand have been sent after
them from other sections.
It is stated that theYankees have cut the Macon and
Western road in two places, at Griffin and Jonesboro. The
amount of damage done is not yet ascertained. TheYankees hope
probably to interfere with General Hoodcommissary
department. True, they may cause a little inconvenience.
Those who know best say that he is in no danger of wanting
rations, as he has two weeks supply on hand. This is good
news. Before that time expires Shermanraiders will be
disposed of, and communication with our gallant army again
The enemyforce when in Covington amounted to two
divisions, under Guerrard and Tillinghurst – the whole
commanded, by Stoneman, about 8000 strong; four batteries, four
guns each, and two Parrot, 24 pounders, which he saw in
Covington. They said they were en route for Macon, and
expected to make a junction there with Rosseau and march on
Andersonville. Stoneman left Covington on Thursday at noon -
his rear guard marched out on Thursday night on Monticello
road. Guerrard, crossed, with his division, Yellow River, and
marched towards McDonnough. They were making enquiry as to the
distance from Macon to Andersonville and Columbus.
The Augusta Constitutionalist has the following editorial
remarks on the raids:
The news and rumors which come in on us at this time are,
to say the least, startling. Since theYankees have crossed
the Chattahoochee, although they have attempted to enter
Atlanta, their grand object and aim seem to be to convert their
whole army into mounted infantry, and to so override the State.
They have appeared in large numbers on every hand mounted; and
to every place they go, if nothing else is taken, the horse
does not escape.
On theGeorgia Railroad, fifty miles southeast of Atlanta,
they have appeared, cut the railroad and stolen all the horses.
On the Montgomery and West Point Railroad they damaged the road
most seriously, and stole indiscriminately, but never
forgetting the horse. On the Central Railroad, eighteen miles
east of Macon, they now appear in force, burn bridges and
destroy the railroad, and take away all horses, while a still
larger force is reported to the west of Macon, enquiring the
route to Andersonville and Columbus.
Now, the important question, not only for the army, but the
whole people of the State, is – will the enemy be permitted to
raid in this manner unchecked through the State, and thereby
carry off every horse fit for service? The question is, shall
we leave the horses exposed to the seizure of the enemy, and so
mount the whole of Shermanarmy?
That this is the intention of Sherman is plain. The war on
his part, since he has secured his present position, is changed
into a war of raids, the most distressing and destructive of
all wars.
Will the people rest supinely in fancied security, until
the enemy is at their very doors? Send your horses out of
danger upon the report of the advance of theraiders or mount
them and harrass and bushwhack them at every defile, every
cross roads, every bridge.
And unless Gen. Hood has a force of eight or ten thousand
men that can be thrown to Andersonville at short notice, we may
have a whole army of prisoners turned loose upon us, only
wanting guns to become mounted raiders.
Affairs inGeorgia are reaching a culminating point. The
daring of Shermanraiders is beyond all precedent, and his
success in this endeavor, will warrant its continuance.
It is our bounden duty, therefore, to meet them on equal
footing, and in a condition to keep up with them. Let our
authorities, therefore, at once, take all the horses of the
country, of every character, and mount veteran infantry of Gen.
Hoodarmy. This should not be delayed an hour. We must have
more mounted men, or Georgia will be a ruin – the very home of
desolation. Mount men and mount twenty thousand at once. The
horses can be had. We should not stand upon the order of doing
this thing, but do it at once.
The only chance in our humble judgment, for the protection
of Georgia now is an army of cavalry. Our infantry, however
gallant and brave, are useless when once inthe rear of the
We await with anxious solicitude news from Macon concerning
the large force reported passing South of that place.

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