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Civil War Tours: Garrard’s Cavalry In Covington


For anyone interested in Civil War Tours, you would like to learn that on July the 20th, 1864 Sherman ordered a march on Covington, Georgia to destroy bridges, burn supplies, and appropriate food and livestock from local residents.

I’m Bill Blair from Moments in Time.

On July the 20th, 1864, Major General William T. Sherman, located just somewhere North of Atlanta, ordered his headquarters Calvary division under Brigadier General Kenner Garrard, to march on Covington to destroy road and railroad bridges, burn Confederate supplies, and appropriate food and livestock from local residents. Covington and Oxford had become a large center for convalescing Confederate soldiers. Prominent buildings such as the Methodist and Baptist churches, the old chapel in Oxford, and many stores around the Covington Square, were serving as hospitals for the more than one thousand sick and wounded soldiers overflowing from Atlanta hospitals. A new general hospital facility was being built just south of town, Jackson town, just south of the highway, consisting of thirty buildings designed to handle ten thousand more patients. But Covington’s primary importance was its position on the main Eastern supply line, between Augusta and Atlanta. For Sherman to more easily capture Atlanta, food, troop, and munitions supply lines, from Augusta, the Carolinas, and General Lee, must be cut off.

The war had actually come to Georgia in May, of 1846, when Sherman entered the State with a hundred and ten-thousand men, comprising of three Federal armies: those at the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio. Sherman moved South through the State until mid-June, when the sounds of gunfire at Kennesaw Mountain could be heard in Atlanta for the first time. The citizens of Covington and the surrounding villages had been apprehensive for some time about the possibility of a Union raid into their communities. But the first thing Covington and Oxford new about the whereabouts of General Kenner Garrard’s raiders, was when a vanguard of his Calvary, four-thousand strong, rode down on hot, lathered horses around noon day into the center of town on July the 22nd, 1864: today a Newton County, moment in time.

Newton County Moments in Time is a production of Blair on the Square, which is solely responsible for its content. For information on this topic, go to Blaironthesquare.com

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