On Dec. 13, 1864, Murray's brigade of Kilpatrick's cavalry division (USA), scouting in the right rear of Gen. Sherman's army, which was then closing in on Savannah, moved south into Liberty County. After driving back the 29th Georgia Cavalry Battalion (CSA), Lt. Col. Arthur Hood, which was patrolling Liberty County, Murray advanced to Midway Church. The 5th Kentucky Cavalry was sent to Sunbury to open communications with the Union blockading squadron in St. Catherine's Sound. The 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry was sent to the Altahama River to burn the Savannah and Gulf (ACL) Railroad bridge at Doctor Town. Both missions failed.On the 14th, Kilpatrick arrived with Atkins' brigade and the 10th Wisconsin Battery. Establishing headquarters at Midway Church, he sent foraging parties east to Colonel's Island, south below Riceboro, and west beyond the railroad to strip the country of livestock and provisions. On the 15th, with loaded wagons and herds of horses, mules and cattle, he returned to Bryan County and went into camp at "Cross Roads" (Richmond Hill).
On the 17th, Mower's division, 17th Corps (USA), enroute to destroy the railroad from McIntosh to the Altamaha River, halted at Midway Church for the night. Next morning, Mower marched to McIntosh and began his destruction. Hazen`s division, 15th Corps, destroyed the railroad from Ogeechee to McIntosh.