During the Civil War, Covington, Georgia had a lot of brave citizens stand up for their beliefs. Many of them were the men who left to fight, however, the town citizens who stayed around contributed to the fight, too. Some women became spies like Zora Fair, while others sewed and knitted. The story of Old Presley Jones is an example of a Covington, Georgia citizen standing up during the Civil War.
Covington, Georgia was home to women, children, and the sick/injured soldiers during the Civil War. This left it open to be easily attacked.
On July 20th, 1864, General William Sherman ordered General Garrard to take troops to Covington. He wanted Garrard to destroy storehouses and strategic locations. On July 22nd, 1864, Garrard and his cavalry rode into Covington, Georgia.
When they rode in there was no one there to oppose them. That’s where Presley Jones comes in.
Jones was an elderly man living in Covington, Georgia, but to him age didn’t matter. He was not going to allow his town to be taken without a fight.
Jones was able to take down two union soldiers before being apprehended and killed.
He didn’t deter Garrard’s plan too much. Garrard still took out three bridges, two supply depots, and a plethora of army supplies.
Garrard’s raid came to be known as The Capture of Covington. A historic marker in front of The Newton Chamber of Commerce now tells the story of it.
Many of the men and women of Covington, Georgia, contributed in their own way to the war. Some gave their lives like Presley Jones. We are honored to be able to remember them as part of our history.