Link To This PageContact Us

The Battle of Waynesborough

December 4, 1864 in Waynesborough, Georgia
Sherman's Savannah "March To The Sea" Campaign

Union Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 190 k&w - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 250 k&w - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory


Following his encounter with the troopers of maj. Gen. joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler at Buck Head Creek, Georgia, Brig. Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick spent 2 days resting his 3rd Cavalry Division/Military Division of the Mississippi in the village of Louisville. His respite ended on December 1st when Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman ordered him to attack Wheeler at every opportunity. Sherman wanted the Confederates pressed toward Augusta to creat the false impression that the Union infantry would march there, too.
happy to oblige, Kilpatrick joined some of Sherman's foot soldiers in a limited encounter with the Confederate cavalry the next day at Rocky Creek. At Thomas' Station on the 3rd, Wheeler struck Union infantrymen wrecking parts of the railroad between Millen and Augusta, before Kilpatrick could punish him for his audacity. That night, Kilpatrick issued orders for a march to Waynesborough early on the 4th, "to attack and rout the command of Wheeler."
About 7:30 A.M. on the appointed day, Kilpatrick's leading unit, Col. Smith D. Atkins' brigade, met the Confederate vanguard a few miles below the town. After driving in Wheeler's skirmishers, Atkins discovered hundreds of their comrades ensconced behind barricades just south of Waynesborough. When an initial attack failed to dislodge them, Atkins brought up his horse artillery, which soon silenced the Confederates guns, trained the carbines of his 92nd Illinois Mounted Infantry on the barricades, then charged the Confederate right with his 9th Michigan and 100th Ohio cavalry and the left flank with the 9th Ohio. After stubborn resistence, the Confederates fled north.
A brisk pursuit, punctuated by charges and countercharges, brought the Federals to a second stretch of barricades inside the town. Since the enlongated line prevented another flank drive, Kilpatrick called up Col. Eli H. Murray's brigade and about midday, threw it against Wheeler's front. Charged by Murray's 9th Pennsylvania and 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Kentucky cavalry, supported by the dismounted 8th Indiana, the Confederate line again crumbled. Within 20 minutes, Wheeler was fleeing back across Briar Creek, 4 miles north of Waynesborough.
Wheeler later contended that he had bested Kilpatrick's troopers, falling back, and in good order, only because of the proximity of Sherman's infantry. By day's close, however, his opponents had inflicted more than 250 casaulties, had burned several bridges over Briar Creek, and had thrust Wheeler's men toward Augusta. There, they would remain until well after Sherman turned south toward Savannah.
Site Map | Copyright © 2012,