The Oconee River Railroad Bridge

The Oconee River Railroad Bridge (HM24ZF)

Location: Buckhead, GA 30625 Morgan County
Buy Georgia State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 33° 32.464', W 83° 17.148'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 175 views
Inscription

Blue Springs - Swords

—March to the Sea Heritage Trail —

Just below where the Apalachee River joins the Oconee River the Georgia Railroad constructed a massive bridge in the early 1840s, eventually connecting Augusta by rail to the newly-established town of Marthasville (now named Atlanta). It was "a fine structure about 400 yards long and 60 feet high from the water, and was approached by several hundred yards of trestle-work at each end." This engineering achievement also made the bridge an important military target for the army of Union Major General William T. Sherman during its "March to the Sea."

On Saturday November 19, 1864, the Federal 20th Corps division of Brigadier General John W. Geary had orders to destroy the Georgia Railroad's bridge over the Oconee River. After marching through Madison they continued their previous day's work of 'tearing up and burning all...of the [rail]road." Stopping for lunch at Buckhead Station, soldiers "destroyed the water-tank...and all the railroad buildings." Shortly thereafter Geary sent two separate parties ahead, one to burn the Oconee River railroad bridge and another to destroy all ferryboats and a large mill to the immediate north along the Apalachee River. After "exchanging shots with the enemy's scouts and driving them away Geary reported, "both of these parties were successful" and the railroad bridge



was "thoroughly destroyed." It required months to rebuild the bridge. The Georgia Railroad did not fully operate again until after the war.

Having accomplished their primary mission, General Geary's division marched to the nearby small community of Blue Springs and the plantation of Colonel Lee Jordan. Federal soldiers destroyed almost 50,000 bushels of corn stored at the plantation plus 280 cotton bales. This brought the division's destructive total for the day to over 500 cotton bales, plus several mills, gins, ferryboats, five miles of railroad tracks and numerous other structures...and the Georgia Railroad's bridge over the Oconee River.

The next day, November 20th, General Geary turned his division south, marching hear the Oconee River and generally parallel to the march route of the two other divisions in the 20th Corps. A few miles south of Blue Springs soldiers destroyed Park's Mill (its ruins are now under Lake Oconee). Geary also sent a party across the river to nearby Greensboro to spread a false rumor that General Sherman's entire army was marching east along the Georgia Railroad toward Augusta. By dark Geary's division camped near Denham Tannery northeast of Eatonton.

Blue Springs became known as Swords by 1900, named for local businessman John Buchanan Swords. In 1979 the Oconee River was dammed to form Lake Oconee.
Details
HM NumberHM24ZF
Tags
Placed ByGeorgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 25th, 2018 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 287760 N 3713612
Decimal Degrees33.54106667, -83.28580000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 32.464', W 83° 17.148'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 32' 27.84" N, 83° 17' 8.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1291 Blue Springs Dr, Buckhead GA 30625, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?