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My screwing about in Milledgeville.

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Aug. 14th, 2009 | 08:36 pm

In the midst of last month I went on a trip to Milledgeville, Georgia. Milledgeville was once the capital of Georgia, but that title was denounced during reconstruction, and now it lies as a sort of out of the way college town with some historic shit, some fun and trendy shit, and a whole lot of country folk and rich people with vacation spots in the outlying area.

Anyway I went up there and then drove north to the edge of Lake Sinclair where I stayed for a week painting a log cabin. It was pretty awesome, especially because it was work, but a break. This was 16 miles from much of anything like a city, so the seclusion and nature-ly part of it made for a grand week.

So on my way into and out of town a few times I noticed a strange building poking out from behind a bunch of trees when I was passing the Oconee River.

On the day I was finished and leaving, I gave in to the itch, and found my way to the park upriver. its at this point that I notice the old Oconee River Bridge that was on the other side of the crossing bridge.
map.jpg Map picture by atomdari
I hopped into the river and took my things that I had to carry and put them in my shirt pockets, then waded up to each.

So here's what pictures I took and what research I could find about them. Its a little speculative, but its the best I could find with internet only research.

Oconee Mill, Treanor's Mill

Peter J. Williams, Hugh D. Treanor owners.

Act to build mill on the town commons at the first shoal on the Oconee River. established 1821-1823, still operating in early 1900s. Part of the brick work is visible from the Oconee River bridge. William H. Jewell, manager in 1910.


Info from here.

And here's a possible shot of the original wooden mill building, before the newer masonry structure was built.

There's a excerpt mentioning it during the civil war in this book here.

Old Oconee River Bridge

November 25, 1864

Following the battle of Stockbridge, Georgia, in which the mounted infantry troops of the Orphan Brigade gave Sherman's March to the Sea its first real resistance, the Kentuckians fell back in front of Sherman's Right Wing, toward Milledgeville. The Federals bypassed Milledgeville, and found themselves at the crossings of the Oconee River, south of Milledgeville, on November 24, 1864. These crossings consisted of the main road, which crossed via Ball's Ferry, and the railroad bridge, some three miles to the north.

Captain John Weller, Acting Major of the Fourth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, described the defense of the railroad bridge. The Fourth Kentucky was joined in this action by a unit of convicts from the Milledgeville penitentiary and a battalion of cadets from the Georgia Military Institute at Milledgeville. The Fourth Kentucky had previously crossed the river at Ball's Ferry, headed north to the railroad bridge, and recrossed there, to set up a defensive position blocking the bridge. The Fourth Kentucky was in the center, protecting the bridge, with the convicts and cadets on either side. Let us join Capt. Weller's narrative:

Oconee River Bridge

"The convicts were dressed in prison garb, and were hardened in appearance, but calm and brave. The cadets were, of course, very young, some of them certainly not over fourteen years of age. The Federals advanced their line of skirmishers, and firing commenced. The bravery of the school boys was the glory of this fight. Several of their number were carried off wounded and dying. I can never forget the looks of one little boy as four convicts carried him on a stretcher to the rear. His handsome young face, with the flush of fever on it, and the resolute expression of his eyes, indicated that he fully realized the situation."

The skill of the Fourth Kentucky, and the bravery of the cadets and convicts notwithstanding, the Confederate force (probably numbering not over 400 total) was facing an entire Army Corps (probably the 17th) of Sherman's force. As at Stockbridge, there was little the gallant Southerners could do to stop the Federal juggernaut. When Federal artillery began to fire at the bridge, the Confederates withdrew and recrossed the river. The Federal 15th Army Corps had already crossed further down, both by the main road at Ball's Ferry and by a boat crossing, so the force at the railroad bridge would soon have been cut off. Once again, the Orphans had delayed Sherman's March, but could not prevent it from reaching Savannah.

--- Geoff Walden

Info from here.

so that's what i found, and i hope to start posting more of these sorts of finds.
GPS Coordinates, 33.082717,-83.214464

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from: geekblood
date: Aug. 22nd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)


i am jealous.

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