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by Al Barrs




By G-G Grandson Al Barrs, Jr. Revised October 19, 2005

CSA 1863: James C. Barrs was reported to be age 43, 5' 7" tall with dark skin and hair, and blue eyes.

James C. Barrs was born in 1821 to Arthur Barrs (Born 1792 in Lenoir County North Carolina to John Barrs, Jr. and unknown mother.) and Nancy Campbell-Barrs (Born 1793 in Lenoir County North Carolina of Irish parents. Sarah Campbell was born about 1765.). James C. Barrs was born on the Barrs family's plantation located in Twiggs County Georgia started by his father Arthur Barrs.

James C. Barrs was the second oldest son of six children; three sons and three daughters of Arthur and Nancy Elizabeth Barrs. James C. Barrs grew up on his father's Twiggs County Georgia plantation. In later life he would become and 'Overseer' for another plantation owner in Lowndes County Georgia, a Mr. Samuel Porter, would become a general store owner and started a town named Barrsville in Columgia County Florida.

James C. Barrs’ youngest brother, William W. Barrs, was born in 1824 in Twiggs County Georgia. He and his wife Lauraney Wood-Barrs lived out their lives in The Nankin District of Brooks County Georgia. He was a prominent and prosperous farmer. William and “Raney” are buried in the Columbia Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in The Nankin District, as are many Barrs descendants, relatives and related family members. I believe GGG Grandmother Nanch Campbell-Barrs and her oldest son Isaac L. Barrs are buried in unmarked graves at the head of William W. and Lauraney Barrs.

James C. Barrs’ older brother, Isaac L. Barrs, was born in 1820 in Twiggs County Georgia. 
He married Elizabeth Hinson, had 4 children, lived next door to William W. Barrs in The Nankin District,
Brooks County Georgia until his untimely death at age 30 in August 1850. He probably worked with
James M. Barrs, a cousin to Isaac L. Barrs, James C. Barrs and William W. Barrs and son of their 
Uncle Dempsey Barrs, was born in 1829 in
Twiggs County Georgia. He enlisted in the CSA July 1863
in the 5th Florida Infantry Company 'I',
Wakulla County, Florida (The Wakulla Tigers). He went to
with James C. Barrs to operate Salt Works at the mouth of the St. Marks River and
Gulf of Mexico
. He was listed by the CSA as 5' 9" dark skin and hair, blue eyes and occupation Farmer.
He was wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg July 2, 1863. He mustered out April 26, 1865, returned to
Port Leon in
Wakulla County FL, married Elizabeth Prince in 1865 and returned to a life of farming.
One of three Barrs sisters, the youngest child of Arthur and Nancy Barrs, Juliann (“Julia”) Barrs was 
born in 1938 in
Twiggs County Georgia. The other two Barrs daughter's names are unknown. Since
they were older than Julia I believe the had married in Twiggs County GA before their father Arthur’s
death in 1843 and before the rest of the Barrs family moved to Lowndes County GA after Arthur Barrs
death in 1843 in Twiggs County GA. Julia Barrs married Daniel Farnell in Madison, Madison County
Florida in 1858. They lived in Hamilton and later Lafayette County Florida. Dan Farnell died in Lafayette
County Florida in 1910 and is buried in the Day Lafayette County FL Cemetery.  We are unsure of when
Julia Barrs-Farnell died or where she is buried.

James C. Barrs' father, Arthur Barrs, owned considerable farmlands in Twiggs County Georgia in the 1830s and worked the plantation with sixty-five slaves during the late 1830s. By 1940 all but 4 of Arthur's slaves had been transferred to his youngest brother, James Barrs' (Born 1795 in Lenoir County North Carolina) household. Arthur Barrs was in poor health.

 Arthur's wife, Nancy Campbell-Barrs (Mother Sarah Campbell), had assumed the head of household role by time of the 1840 Federal census enumeration. We believe Arthur Barrs was extremely ill by 1840 and could no longer manage the Barrs plantation and had turned it over to his youngest brother James Barrs. Arthur Barrs died in Twiggs County Georgia in 1843.

We believe the Barrs family of Twiggs County Georgia moved south to Lowndes County Georgia in the mid-1840s and shortly after Arthur Barrs had died in Twiggs County GA.

In 1850 James C. Barrs and his wife, Martha Elizabeth Land-Barrs, (Born 1821 in Lenoir County North Carolina to William Land) and three of his children, including my Great Grandfather Issac Newton Barrs were living in the household of Samual Porter. James C. Barrs was listed as the "Overseer" for Mr. Porter.

James C., Barrs' Mother Nancy Elizabeth Campbell-Barrs and his youngest Sister, Julia Barrs, were living in the household of Nancy's youngest son William W. Barrs, who had not yet married, in 1850.  There was also an Elizabeth Barrs in the 1850 Lowndes County Georgia Federal Census Report who was living next door to William W. Barrs’ home. This Elizabeth was the wife of the first of the oldest son of Arthur and Nancy Barrs, Isaac L. Barrs, born 1820 and died AUG 1850 in Brooks County Georgia. 

This Elizabeth Hinson-Barrs had three sons named Joseph age 4, Francis age 3 and James T. age 3. Francis and James T. may have been twins. This Elizabeth Barrs had one daughter named Martha age 1.

During the mid-1850s James C. Barrs took his family, other family members and slaves to the mouth of the St. Marks River in Wakulla County Florida to manage and operate Salt Works on the Gulf of Mexico.  One son, Henry J. (Andrew or “Ander” to his Grandchildren) Barrs, was born to James C. Barrs and Martha Elizabeth Land-Barrs in Wakulla County Florida in 1857. “Ander” Barrs bought Federal Homestead Act land in Lafayette County Florida and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Day Lafayette County Florida Cemetery. He was married at least twice.

Remnants of these Gulf of Mexico Salt Works still exist even today. These particular ones are located on the southeast side of the St. Marks River at the Gulf of Mexico. The evaporation ponds are still visible on aerial and satellite maps today.

Salt was a valued commodity in the pre war between the states and even more so during The War.  Salt became and invaluable resource for the Confederate States of America military establishment during the War Between the States.

Its primary use was to preserve meats and particularly pork (Salt Pork, Bacon, Shoulder, Ham and Sausage), which was a major food resource for the Confederate States of America soldiers and sailors.  Salting and smoking pork to reduce or postpone decay was the only safe means for preserving meat during this period. The Confederacy had no means to can food as did the Federals. Many Union soldiers died from improper preserved and canned food during The War. Their cans were soldered with lead solder and many unwary soldiers died of lead poisoning, but not from the barrel of a rifle. Many died from food poisoning.

During the fall of the year of 1862 Union gun boats and Union marines shelled and raided the Salt Works along the Gulf of Mexico and destroyed the evaporators and buildings that James C. Barrs, his family, relatives and slaves were working. James C. Barrs, most of his family and slaves returned to Nankin Brooks County Georgia after the Salt Works was destroyed.

On February 1, 1861, probably on his way back from a trip to Wakulla County Florida to Brooks County Georgia, James C. Barrs detoured through Tallahassee Leon County Florida, which is situated north of Wakulla County and bought 320.12 acres of land in northwest Taylor County Florida.

The legal description of James C. Barrs’ Taylor County property follows:





































Brooks County was divided from Lowndes County in 1858 while James C. Barrs and his family were still in Wakulla County Florida. Prior to his return to his home in Nankin there was a state line dispute between Georgia and Florida resulting from issues relating to the Spanish secession of Florida to the United States. The dispute was over about a section wide of land along the Florida and Georgia borders.  We believe James C. Barrs thought he was living in Florida in 1861 when he bought the Federal Homestead land in Taylor County FL because his Land Patent states his home as Lowndes Florida, when in fact it had changed in his absence to Brooks Georgia.  

James C. Barrs volunteered on at least three different occasions to serve the Confederate States of America in a military capacity. He may have also received an exemption early in the War Between the States because of his occupation, supervising the making of salt in Wakulla County Florida. We know James C. Barrs in the late 1850s supervised the making of salt in Wakulla County Florida at the mouth of the St. Marks River and the Gulf of Mexico. Salt was a valuable commodity used to preserve food stocks.

James C. Barrs volunteered in the fall of 1861 for the Brooks County Militia, which became a part of the 81st Battalion in the spring (February) of 1862. He enlisted in the 11th Georgia Calvary State Reserves. He then enlisted again on May 6, 1864 in Quitman, Georgia in Company E, 1st Regiment (Symon's) of the Georgia Infantry State Reserves CSA for the duration of The War. This was to be his final enlistment before his capture by General Sherman’s troops at Ft. McAllister Georgia.

James C. Barrs and his brother, William W. Barrs, served together first in the Brooks County Militia. The Brooks County Militia was called into service during the spring of 1862 and became a part of the 81st Battalion in which officers were elected and commissioned by the Governor on March 4, 1862.

Then James C. Barrs and his oldest son James Henry L. Barrs (Born 1845 in Lowndes County Georgia) along with his brother William W. Barrs rode their horses to Quitman Georgia, 12 miles from their home in Nankin, to enlist in the CSA 11th Georgia Calvary Reserves for a 6- month enlistment. He was 43 years of age when he enlisted.

Finally, James C. Barrs enlisted on May 6, 1864 again in Quitman, Georgia in Company E, 1st Regiment (Symon's) of the Georgia Infantry State Reserves, CSA for the duration of The War. He, along with the entire CSA garrison of Ft. McAllister Georgia were attacked by vastly superior forces of Union General Sherman's army at the end of their "March to the Sea" campaign and were over run after fierce hand-to-hand combat and captured at twilight on December 13, 1864.

He was then assigned to a Union Military Provost Hospital in Hilton Head South Carolina with Typhoid Fever and later was transported to the infamous Union Military Prison (Barracks 14), Fort Delaware for the duration of The War. He was released in 1865 after taking The Oath, "to never aging take up arms against the United States of America."

James C. Barrs, born 1821 and Martha Elizabeth Land born, 1821 had the following children:

James Henry L. Barrs born 1845 in Lowndes County GA d. in Citrus Co FL

William Taylor Barrs born 1848 Lowndes County GA d. in Dade Co FL

Isaac Newton Barrs born 1849 Lowndes County GA d. Lafayette Co FL

Francis Marion Barrs born 1852 Lowndes County GA d. Suwannee Co FL

John Wesley Barrs born 1853 Lowndes County GA d. Columbia Co FL

Henry J. Barrs born 1857 Wakulla County FL d. Lafayette Co FL

Permelia Barrs born 1859 Brooks County GA d. Columbia Co FL


James C. Barrs' CSA Military Service

FROM 1860-1865

James C. Barrs, along with his brother, William Barrs, was in the Brooks County Georgia Militia as part of the 81st Battalion during 1861-62. He then enlisted August 4, 1863 at age 42 in Quitman, Brooks County, GA in Captain Wiley W. Groover's 11th Georgia Calvary, Georgia State Guards of Company "D" Confederate States of America for a regular enlistment of six months, as did his oldest son James Henry L. Barrs (Born 1845 in Lawndes County Georgia.) and his brother William W. Barrs.

James C. Barrs was 5' 7" tall, had a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes. He was admitted to Hospital #2, Savannah, GA on August 18, 1864 for a lengthy illness (Typhoid Fever). He was furloughed home on September 19, 1864. He was "demoted" to Private upon returning to his unit.

He was captured at twilight, along with the rest of the Fort McAllister garrison, on December 13, 1864 and sent to Hilton Head Provost Hospital with Typhoid Fever to be treated and await transport to a Northern Military Prison.

James C. Barrs was 5'7" tall, had dark skin and hair, and blue eyes. James C. Barrs then on May 6, 1864 enlisted again in Quitman, Georgia in Company E, 1st Regiment (Symon's) of the Georgia Infantry State Reserves CSA for the duration of The War. He was appointed 4th Sergeant. His Company served at the City Lines in Savannah, GA from May 6, 1864 through June 30, 1864. They then served at Camp Fleetwood from July through August of 1864. His Company's final billet was at Fort McAllister, GA from September until the fort was captured on December 13, 1864 by Union General Sherman's forces.

James C. Barrs had fortunately not been killed or wounded in battle. All captured CSA troops from Fort McAllister were sent to Hilton Head, South Carolina to await Union transportation to prisoner of war camps in the North. James C. Barrs was admitted to the Union Military Provost Guard Hospital in Hilton Head, SC with Typhoid Fever on January 10, 1865. He survived the Typhoid Fever and was sent to the Fort Delaware Union Prison. He arrived at Fort Delaware Prison on March 4, 1865. He was released from Fort Delaware Prison on June 16, 1865 after signing "The Oath" that he "would not bear arms against the United States of America ever again." He was sent to New York, NY by way of Philadelphia, PA and put on a boat with 500 other released CSA prisoners and sent to Jacksonville, FL. One young CSA veteran, Samuel Lewis Moore, wrote a vivid account of the events that has since become a part of Jefferson County, Florida's history records.

Fort McAllister Battle


Fort McAllister had withstood eight attacks from the Union Navy prior to General Sherman's land assault with overwhelming and superior numbers of troops.

"UNDAUNTED: The History of Fort McAllister, Georgia"

By William Christman


Fort McAllister is an earthwork that was built by the Confederate States of America during the War Between the States. The fort stands near Richmond Hill Georgia and has been cited as the best example of earthworks built by the Confederates. Fort McAllister is located on Genesis Point, a small bluff that overlooks the Great Ogeechee River.

The fort acted as the right flank anchor in the line of earthen fortifications that protected the post city of Savannah Georgia. From its position on Genesis Point Fort McAllister is within ten miles of the Atlantic Ocean and fifteen miles due south of Savannah.

Confederate forces expected Fort McAllister to provide the following services:

●The fort was to deny the Union Navy its passage up the Ogeechee where troops could land and then march on Savannah.

●The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad, a major supply and communications line, crossed the Ogeechee above the fort and needed the protection of the earthwork.

Fort McAllister protected cotton and rice plantations along the Ogeechee. In fact, the fort was named after the McAllister family who owned Genesis Point during the war.

Eight separate naval attacks by Union forces (some intense and some limited to a few shots fired) failed to subdue Fort McAllister or gain them passage beyond the work. Then on 13 December 1864 it was attacked from the rear.

Excerpt: Pg 58 - 72

While Fort McAllister experienced a major refit, the Union Army put a new plan for Southern defeat into action. The 60,000-man Union Army of the Tennessee, under the command of the fiery, red and grey-bearded Major General William T. Sherman, began a march through Georgia and the heart of the Confederacy.

General Sherman intended to capture Atlanta, a railroad and munitions center some 270 miles northwest of Savannah. Once that was accomplished, Sherman then planned to march through the rest of Georgia and destroy both the war making potential of the state and the will of her people to continue the fight.

Sherman captured Atlanta in September 1864 after a grueling campaign. On the following 15th of November, the victorious Army of the Tennessee began its well-known "March to the Sea," cutting a sixty-mile wide path of destruction and desolation through Georgia. At this point, Georgia had given about all she could to the Confederacy in manpower and equipment. The effective Union blockade had almost completely stopped the Confederate blockade-runners, which caused the war-ravaged South great suffering. Additionally, the best fighting men in the state were either dead or too few to put up any effective resistance to Sherman's army. All hope for Georgia and the Confederacy was vanishing fast.

Although Sherman kept the Confederates guessing about his true intentions, they reasoned he would definitely make his way for Savannah where he could hope to be re-supplied by sea. The Southerners began to prepare the city for the attack they believed would happen.

Confederates reasoned that Sherman would approach Savannah from the northwest because his army was located in that direction. Consequently, the Confederates strengthened earthworks that protected Savannah along its western approaches. The large artillery pieces already in place there were augmented by forty-eight field pieces. Additionally, Georgians flooded the low, flat rice lands that lay beyond the western line of defense with two to six feet of water to hinder the advance of Sherman. Finally, the men obstructed or cut all railroad and roadways coming into Savannah from that area as well.

The commander of the forces in Savannah was native Georgian, Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, CSA. Hardee's stellar record of service to the Confederacy certainly inspired hope for their city in many Savannians. However, the less than 10,000 troops that existed to defend the city against Sherman's assembled masses seemed to dim those hopes. To make matters worse, old men, boys, and even convicts and prisoners of war constituted most of Hardee's troops. None the less, the Savannians stood ready to fight; however, Sherman's army wanted food more than a fight. On 10 December 1864, Sherman's army arrived in front of Savannah. The Federal proximity to Savannah did not signal the end of their campaign; Sherman had a sure fight ahead of him no matter how lopsided it seemed. But, before the fight could occur, the Union troops desperately needed food and supplies. The need for supplies and communication lay in the fact that the Federal supply and communications lines back to his base in Nashville were voluntarily cut by Sherman when he left Atlanta. He did this to allow his army to move faster. Sherman and his men marched from Atlanta to Savannah and sustained themselves by living off the land for the most part. But by the time they reached the Savannah area, the Yankees were quite low on food and supplies. This fact, coupled with lack of forage in the Savanna area, forces Sherman to think about how to re-supply his army---quickly.

Sherman was also hampered by severed communications lines. His departure from Atlanta had marked his last correspondence with President Lincoln and the North. During the entire march, no official word on the condition or the whereabouts of the Army of the Tennessee was head in Washington. Sherman, therefore, needed to hear from his superiors and report his won status and intentions.

Sherman knew that Federal ships lay off shore in the waters around Savannah---including Ossabaw Sound---awaiting word for the arrival of the general and his army at Savannah. The most obvious route to Ossabaw Sound was the Great Ogeechee River. However, Fort McAllister stood in the way.

The distance between Fort McAllister and Savannah, coupled with the small number of troops to defend the city, left General Hardee with two choices: Evacuate Fort McAllister, or keep the garrison there in hopes that it could somehow, miraculously, deny Sherman's overwhelming forces access to the Ossabaw Sound. The garrison remained at the fort.

Accordingly, Major Anderson's men took measures to make Fort McAllister a more formidable foe for the Union Army. Troops arrived to assist the Emmett Rifles---Clinch's Light Battery (Captain Nicholas B. Clinch, CSA), and Companies D and E of the 1st Regiment Georgia (Militia) Reserves (James C. Barrs' regiment). The fort's garrison now numbered around 230 men.

The men also cleared the trees behind the fort to a distance of nearly a mile for a clear line of fire, and the wooden buildings were torn down so the Federals could not use then for cover. Now, the area behind the fort would not provide any cover to Union troops. To further impede a land attack, the Confederates laid a row of abattis (A defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches buried in the ground at an angle facing the enemy) in the open area. The most deadly obstruction however was the artillery shells that were placed just under the surface of the ground at the foot of the glacis. (A gentle slope or incline that runs downward from a fortification) Anyone walking over these land mines (or "torpedoes" as they were called) would set off an explosion, severely maiming or killing its victims. Lastly, the Georgians dismantled the mortar battery to prevent its usage by the Federals.

The Southerners also undertook measures that would hopefully allow the garrison to survive a prolonged siege. The fort received 220 pounds of hard bread and 1000 pounds of bacon shortly before Sherman's arrival---enough to supply the garrison for one month. Other supplies include candles, salt, molasses, and 40 gallons of whiskey. On 9 December an additional fifteen days supplies came to McAllister from Savannah.

However determined the Confederates were to deny the Yankees possession of Fort McAllister, Sherman was equally determined to make contact with the Union fleet. On 8 December, Captain William Duncan, USA, of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, with two scouts, boarded a small boat on the Ogeechee at King's Bridge, above Fort McAllister. The Union soldiers intended to make contact with the Federal ships in Ossabaw Sound and convey Sherman's condition and plans. The crew traveled only at night to prevent capture. They managed to pass Fort McAllister unnoticed. After a harrowing experience, Duncan and his men arrived in Ossabaw Sound and boarded U.S.S. Flag on 11 December 1864. Now the Union Navy knew of Sherman's presence near Savannah.

On 12 December, the Union Army rested its left wind on the Savannah River; its right wing lay near King's Bridge on the Ogeechee. General Sherman rode down to King's Bridge, which had been destroyed by the Confederates. The engineers completed a new bridge that evening.

With King's Bridge rebuilt, Sherman intended to use it for his next operation---an assault on Fort McAllister. Sherman decided to give the assignment to one of General Howard's most trustworthy officers; Brigadier General William B. Hazen, USA. Sherman wrote:

        I gave General Hazen, in person, his orders to march

        rapidly down the right bank of the Ogeechee and without

        hesitation to assault and carry Fort McAllister by storm.

        I knew it to be strong in heavy artillery, as against an

        approach from the sea, but believed it open and weak to

        the rear.

        I explained to General Hazen fully on his action

        depended the safety of the whole army and the success

        of the campaign.

Sherman could not have chosen a more capable man. William Babcock Hazen commanded the 2nd Division of General Howard's XV Corps. Hazen, just 34 years old at the time, was a West Point graduate. "On the battlefield," said one account of Hazen, "he was alert, self assured, concentrated, brave and capable."

General Hazen commanded the 2nd Division, which consisted of nearly 4000 men from five states, many of whom had seen action since the early stages of the war. General Sherman felt a special attachment to the 2nd Division. He proudly noted that Hazen's men made up "the same old division I had commanded at Shiloh and Vicksburg, in which, I felt a special pride and confidence."

Early on the morning of Tuesday, 13 December 1864, the 2nd Division crossed the Ogeechee at King's Bridge. Hazen remarked, "The lovely road of shells and white sand under Magnolias and wide branching Live Oaks draped in long, hanging moss."

While Hazen enjoyed some of the sights on his long journey down to Fort McAllister, the Georgians at the earthwork experienced some indications of the forthcoming action. Major Anderson noted: "About eight o'clock, a. m. desultory firing commenced between the skirmishers of the enemy and my sharp-shooters."

Along their route, Hazen reported passing:

        ...the old McAllister mansion, called Strother Hall... There

was their home, but now they had gone. Major General

Judson H. Kilpatrick's Cavalry had been there before us,

and the contents of the house were strewn upon the floors

or scattered about the lawn...The Negro servants showed

no disposition to put things right again, thinking perhaps,

that it would only invite further mischief.

As the Federals passed the old Hardwick town site, they came upon a narrow causeway that was bordered by the Ogeechee on one side and a marsh expanse on the other. Unknown to the Federals, however, the Confederates had planted torpedoes on the causeway. A mounted Confederate picket guarded the causeway. General Hazen wrote of the Union encounter with the picket: "About a mile from the fort we came upon the advanced picket, who, though mounted, was captured by a sudden dash of my topographical officer...and my orderlies..."

Once captured, the Confederate told everything. Major Anderson frustratingly wrote:

        "The picket imparted the fact that the causeway was

        studded with torpedoes in time to prevent their explosion.

        He also acquainted them with the strength of the garrison,

        and the best approaches to it."

After the Federals had removed the torpedoes, Hazen left eight regiments as the causeway and proceeded with the remaining three brigades (nine regiments) toward the fort. During the late morning, some of the Union troops came within sight of the earthworks. During the Union approach, activity between the two opposing forces heated up somewhat as gunfire was exchanged between the two hostile forces.

About two miles across the Ogeechee lay a rice mill owned by D. Cheves. There, General Sherman, General Howard, and Sherman's staff waited for Hazen's attack to commence. Sherman wrote:

        On reaching the rice-mill at Cheeve's [sic], I found a guard

        and a couple of twenty-pound Parrott guns, of Dr. Gres's

        battery, which fired an occasional shot toward Fort

        McAllister, plainly seen over the salt-marsh, about three

        miles distant. Fort McAllister had the Rebel flag flying and

        occasionally sent a heavy shot back across the marsh to

        where we were, but other wise everything about the place

        looked as peaceable and quite as on the Sabbath.

        The signal-officer had built a platform on the ridge-pole

        of the rice mill.

Leaving our horses behind the stacks of rice-

        straw, we all got on the roof of a shed attached to the mill,

        where from I could communicate with the signal-officer

        above and at the same time look out toward Ossabaw Sound

        and across the Ogeechee River at Fort McAllister.

At this point in the day, Major Anderson came to a logical decision. Having heard no word from Hardee in Savannah meant the options for Fort McAllister were few. Anderson concluded:

        I determined under the circumstances and not withstanding

        the great disparity of numbers between the garrison and the

        attacking forces, to defend the fort to the last extremity...

By this time the Confederates began to fire their field guns at the distant Federals, but with little effect. Hazen began to deploy his skirmishers and sharpshooters despite the Southern cannonaded. The skirmishers advanced "at a run [and] readily approached within 2000 yards [of the fort], and by throwing themselves flat on the ground were well concealed by the high grass, and could pick off the Confederate gunners at their leisure, readily silencing the fire of the fort."

Another account of the sharpshooters said:

        I shall never Sergeant J. A. Saunier, when

        we reached a point near enough to fire, said 'Watch me

        make the Jonnies get off the works,' and he brought to

        his shoulder his trusty rifle and open the fire...

The garrison quickly began to feel the effect of the sharpshooters.

Major Anderson noted:

        The guns being en barbette, the detachment serving them

        were greatly exposed to the fire of the enemy's sharp shooters.

        To such and extent was this [the] case, that in one instance,

        out of a detachment of eight men three were killed and three

        more wounded.

The Federal skirmish line was very heavy, and

        the fire so close and rapid that it was at times impossible to

        work our guns. My sharpshooters did all in their power, but

        were entirely too few to suppress this galling fire upon the


As the sharpshooters continued their harassing fire on the beleaguered Confederate work, the 2nd Division slowly deployed around Fort McAllister.

Hazen ordered his men to move no closer than 600 yards to the work---just out of the effective range of the Confederate rifle fire. The Federals were determined to form a semi-circular line around Fort McAllister and pin the fort in against the Ogeechee. The predicament of the Confederate garrison prompted Major Anderson to note:

        It was evident, cut off from all support, and with no possible

        hope of reenforcements from any quarter, that holding the

        fort was simply a question of time. There was but one alternative,..

        death or captivity.

While Anderson contemplated the hopelessness of his situation, the Yankee soldiers continued to envelop the Southern fort. Sergeant Saunier of the 47th Ohio Infantry wrote:

        The 47th Ohio was in the advance of the division...

        At about 12 Meridian, our regiment arrived within

        about one-half mile of the fort, in a piece of timber.

        The regiment formed in a line of battle and was ordered

        to remain there on the banks of the Ogeechee River, and

        the division formed on us.

Another account of the deployment was from Y. R. Davies, of the 70th Ohio Infantry. He wrote:

        In a southerly direction from the fort lay an open field,

1000 yards more or less in width and almost perfectly

level. There was no fence, but it was skirted by a pine

forest, at the edge of which the 70th Ohio was drawn up

in a line of battle, with another regiment on its right and

one on its left.

Hazen deployed his division with the 2nd Brigade on the extreme left,

the 3rd Brigade in the center, and the 1st Brigade on the far right.

While his men enveloped the fort, Hazen decided against an appeal to the rebel's better nature. "I made no formal demand for surrender," wrote Hazen, "believing that it would merely advertise our intentions, and be met by a boastful refusal."

However, the Georgians did their best to hinder the Yankees. A Union soldier's account recalls the effectiveness of one Southern bullet:

        While waiting for the First and Third Brigades to come

        into position about the fort, and while making observations

        as to the ground and fortifications over which we were

        soon to charge, a rebel bullet came flying at us, which

        struck Captain John H. Groce of the 30th Ohio, killing him

        instantly, and wounding Colonel W. S. Jones, commander of

        the 2nd Brigade.

Colonel James S. Martin, leader of the 111th Illinois Infantry Regiment, received orders to assume command of the 2nd Brigade almost immediately after Jones fell wounded.

Although the number of Federal troops may have seemed overwhelming, their assignment to capture Fort McAllister would prove difficult to set up. The difficulty lay in the fact that the immediate territory surrounding the fort was not compatible with large troop movements. The ground to the right of McAllister was "cut through by deep streams" and marshland, which caused the 1st Brigade to experience extreme difficulty in positioning itself to attack the fort. General Hazen wrote:

        The Right Brigade found itself behind a long stream, or

        sluice, and was a long time getting across and into position.

        This was especially annoying, as Gen. Sherman's last injunction

was not to find myself behind any creek, so that we could

get forward.

Meanwhile, across the Ogeechee, and anxious General Sherman watched as the winter sun slowly sank in the west. Sherman feared night would set in before his men could carry Fort McAllister, thus his army would be deprived of much needed supplies for yet another critical day. One account described the scene at Cheves's Mill:

        The sun was now fast going down behind a grove of Water

        Oaks...General Sherman, from his position at the rice mill

on the opposite side of the river, walked nervously to and

fro, turning quickly now and then from viewing the scene

of conflict, to observe the sun sinking behind the tree tops.

No longer willing to bear the suspense, he said: "Signal

General Hazen that he must carry the fort by assault

to-night, if possible." The little flag waved and fluttered

in the evening air, the answer came: "I am ready and will

assault at once!"

While Sherman communicated with Hazen, he was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of a Union vessel down the Ogeechee below Fort McAllister. Sherman noted:

        The sun was rapidly declining, and I was dreadfully impatient.

        At that very moment some one discovered a faint cloud of

        smoke and an object gliding, as it were, along the horizon

        above the tops of the sedge toward the sea, which little by

        little grew till it was pronounced to be the smoke-stack of

        a steamer coming up the river...Soon the flag of the United

        States was plainly visible, and our attention was divided

        between this approaching steamer and the expected assault...

The gunboat pushed its way up the Ogeechee in hopes of finding Sherman's army, since its presence was reported to the Union Navy through Captain Duncan's brave endeavor several days earlier. The crew aboard the gunboat saw a signal platform atop Cheves's Mill and immediately discovered that the men on the building were Union soldiers.

The gunboat's men sent a signal to Sherman:

"Who are you?"

        "General Sherman," came back the reply.

        The boat asked: "Can we run up? Is the fort taken?"

        The signal station sent: "No, Attack underway."


About the time General Sherman and the Navy exchanged signals, the 2nd Division drew up for battle. Shortly before the attack began, the commander of the 70th Ohio gave a pep talk to his men:

        Col. [H. L.] Phillips, standing in front of the regiment, said:

        "My comrades, knowing that you have been prompt in the

        discharge of every duty, I deem it a waste of words to urge

        upon you the importance of continuing to do so." Then pointing

        to the fort, he continued: "You see what is before you, and you

        know your duty."

        These words were hardly spoken when John Compton, the

        color-bearer, who, up to the fall of Atlanta, had been detailed

        as regimental teamster, therefore had never been directly

        engaged in any of the numerous battles, approached Col.

        Phillips and said: "Colonel, you know I am not used to this kind

        of work; please excuse me." He asked "John, were it in my

        power God knows I would gladly excuse every man in this regiment."

General Hazen decided that three regiments from each brigade would actually assault the fort. The other nine regiments were to be held in reserve if needed "---an overwhelming force for the work at hand."

The time was 4:45 p. m. General Hazen felt it was time for the attack to get underway. He wrote:

        I waited until nearly sundown, and then, the Right Brigade

        still being reported not ready, determined to assault with

        the other six regiments. Each officer and man was instructed

        to advance rapidly, but in order until the enemy opened, and

        then to charge with a rush, every man for himself.

The 'assembly' was then sounded by the bugle three

successive times, followed by 'forward', and as with a

great impulse the line advanced. To my great surprise

and joy, the Right Brigade, under Col. Theodore Jones

moved out accurately at the same moment. It had crossed

the stream and formed inline just in time to  receive the order.

The final battle of Fort McAllister had begun. T. W. Connelly of the

70th Ohio described the advance:

        A warning answer came from the enemy in the roar of heavy

        artillery---and so the battle opened. Out from the encircling

        woods our lines moved, with bright bayonets, and our flag

        waving proudly to the breeze. Then the fort seemed alive

        with flame; quick jets of fire shooting out from all its sides,

        while the white smoke first covered the place and then rolled

        over the glacis. Our line moved steadily on with measured steps,

        unfaltering. Now the flag goes down! David Roderick fell mortally

        wounded, with the colors in hand; they are quickly gathered up,

        and a moment longer and our flag is in the front; the line does

        not falter...

Mr. Davies of the 70th Ohio also wrote about the attack. He said:

        When within about 150 yards of the fort we opened fire and

        soon silenced their guns. Some 50 yards from the fort we

crossed a line of torpedoes buried in the sand and John

Compton...stepped on one of them, was instantly killed. His

body was mangled almost beyond recognition.

The torpedoes caused numerous Union casualties. Some died in the explosions, others miraculously survived the blasts. One luck soldier was Sergeant Lyman Hardman of the 30th Ohio Infantry Regiment. Hardman replayed:

        I had arrived near the edge of a small ditch around a mortar

        bed, when I exploded a torpedo that had been place in the

        ground by stepping on it.

On recovering from the effects of

        the shock I found that the shoe of my left foot blown off

        and the foot very badly burned. My left knee was slightly cut,

        the small finger and the one next to it of my left had also cut,

        and the hand burned. My face and one ear [were] considerably

cut and burned. My eyes swelled shut in a short time. The

sufferings of that night were terrible.

As the 70th and 30th Ohio Regiments made their way across the open field in the rear of Fort McAllister, the 47th Ohio advanced toward the earthwork's west face along the Ogeechee River. Sergeant Saunier wrote:

        ...the bugle was sounded, and the division advanced on the

        double-quick; with cheers the enemy opened rapidly with

        his inland guns, but so effective was the fire of our skirmish

        line under Captain Branchmann, that altogether our regiment

        had t pass over the cleared ground and climb the fence; very

        little damage was done, but many in the division were blown up

        with torpedoes, which the enemy had planted around the fort.

        But we went right on and as the 47th regiment approached the

        fort it was discovered by our officers that the enemy had

neglected to construct his line of abattis to low water mark,

and it being ebb tide, there was an unobstructed passage on

the beach.

Colonial A. C. Parry immediately swung the wings of the regiment

together, and the Colonel and Major Taylor leading, we scaled

the parapets from that front with a cheer, and taking the land

batteries in flank reverse; it required two volleys from the

regiment before the enemy abandoned his guns, and he retreated

to the bomb proofs.

The blue line moved steadily forward. General Hazen advanced his men in a single line and noted that "there were not more than half a dozen casualties before reaching the line of torpedoes, which was continuous around the fort and about 100 yards in front of the entanglement.

        The 70th Ohio continued forward. Connelly recalls:

        the enemy's fire redoubled in rapidly and violence; on

        and on we moved across the open field, and through

        their netted abattis work. The daring streams of fire

        alone told the position of the fort. On and on, down into

        the great deep ditch and up the walls of the fort, not

        a man in retreat, not a straggler in the line of blue. The

        firing ceased; the wind lifted the smoke; a few scattering

musket shots, and sounds of battle ceased.

Davies also went with the 70th Ohio onto the walls of Fort McAllister. He Wrote:

        Between this row of shells and the fort was planted a row

        of pine logs pointed outward, the butt end buried in the

        sand and the limb well sharpened. Having shed their bark,

        they resembled a tangle of buckhorns shining in the sun.

        There was no passing this barrier until a few brave men

        bending over their guns crawled under and thru, lifting

        and pushing the logs apart and leaving gaps thru which

        the regiment rushed.

While the 1st and 3rd Brigades conquered Fort McAllister's rear and southern flanks, the men of the 2nd Brigade scaled the walls of the fort. Sergeant Saunier and the 47th Ohio continued their rush into the fort.

        The division was now all within the Fort, and for a short

        time were all engaged in fierce hand-to-hand encounter,

        fighting with the bayonet and the butt of muskets.

An officer in the 47th Ohio explained the scene inside the fort recollecting:

        Colonel Parry's and Major Taylor's brave boys went on

        into the fort with a yell. The Confederates were somewhat

        stricken as the Yanks were coming on in the fort in a

        dozen places on them with bayonets and the butt of our

        muskets, and the hand to hand fighting was terrible for

        a short time, and we drove them from one [bomb] proof

        to the other,

Captain Brown seeing a fine looking Confederate

        officer, and thinking he was the commander of the fort,

        demanded his surrender, (but he was not.) The officer

        handed his sward to the Captain, who asked the Confederate

        officer where the fort flag was, it having been lowered

        from the flag staff; for some reason he said he did not know;...

Captain George E. Castle, USA, 111th Illinois Infantry found the garrison flag, and 1863-pattern "Stainless White Banner". The Georgians tried to prevent the flag's capture by hiding it in one of the bombproof chimneys during the battle. Captain Castle and his family would retain possession of the flag for many years to come (today it hangs in the Fort McAllister Museum). Shortly thereafter, Union soldiers ran "Old Glory" up the flagstaff to flutter in the Georgia twilight. The United States Army now controlled Fort McAllister.

The 47th Ohio, 70th Ohio, and 111th Illinois Regiments all claimed the honor of placing the first United States Flag ever on the walls of Fort McAllister. No one has as yet proven who actually was first.

Major Anderson gave the Confederate report of the action. He reported:

        ...the enemy made a rapid and vigorous charge upon

the works, and, succeeded in forcing their way through

the abattis, rushing over the parapet of the forty,

carrying it by storm, and, by virtue of superior numbers,

overpowered the garrison fighting gallantly to the last.

In many instances the Confederates were disarmed by

main force. The fort was never surrendered! It was

captured by overwhelming numbers.

General Hazen agreed with Major Anderson's account. The general said the Union soldiers fought "the garrison through the fort to their bomb-proofs, from which they still fought, and only succumbed as each man was individually overpowered.

One of those who bitterly resisted the Yankees was Captain Clinch. Major Anderson said of the fierce Clinch:

        ...when [Clinch] [was] summoned to surrender by a

        Union captain[Captain Stephen F. Grimes, 48th Illinois

        Infantry Regiment], [Clinch] responded by dealing

[Grimes] a severe blow on the head with his sabre [sic].

(Captain Clinch had previously received two gun shot

wounds in the arm). Immediately a hand to hand fight

ensued. Union privates came to the assistance of their

fellow officer, but the fearless Clinch continued to

unequal contest until he fell bleeding from eleven wounds

(three sabre wounds, six bayonet wounds, and two gun

shot wounds), from which, after severe and protracted

suffering, he has barely recovered. His conduct was so

conspicuous, and his cool bravery so much admired, as to

elicit the praise of the enemy and even of General

Sherman himself.

General Hazen also encountered the astonishing Captain Clinch. Hazen said:

        As I leaped upon the parapet, the first man I saw was

        Captain Clinch, who commanded a light battery used

        for defense on the land side and temporarily thrown

        into the fort for that purpose. He was lying on his back,

        shot thru the arm, with a bayonet wound in his chest,

        and contused by the butt of a gun. He recognized and

        spoke to me. He was the brother-in-law of the United

        General Robert Anderson, and I had known him before

        the war. Contrary to my expectations, he finally recovered.

From the top of Cheves's Mill, General Sherman and his officers were distracted by the sound of gunfire n the direction of Fort McAllister. A fascinated Sherman wrote about the attack:

        Almost at that instant of time, we say Hazen's troops

        come out of the ark fringe of the woods that encompassed

        the fort, the lines dressed as on parade, with colors flying,

        and moving forward with quick, steady pace. Fort McAllister

        was then all alive, its big guns belching forth dense clouds

        of smoke, which soon enveloped our assaulting lines. One

        color went down, but was up in a moment. As the lines advanced,

        faintly seen in the white sulphurous [sic] smoke, there was

        a pause, a cessation of fire; the smoke cleared away, and

        the parapets were blue with our men, who fired their muskets

        in the air and shouted so that we actually heard them, or felt

        we did. Fort McAllister was taken, and the good news was

        instantly sent by signal-officer to our navy friends on the

        approaching gunboats, for a point of timber had shut Fort

McAllister from their view, and they had not seen the action

at all, but must have heard the cannonading.

During the progress of the assault, our little group on Cheeves's

[sic] mill hardly breathed; but no sooner did we see our flags

on the parapet than I exclaimed, in the language of the poor

Negro at Cobb's plantation, 'This nigger will have no sleep this


After Fort McAllister had fallen, another officer heard Sherman say:

"They took it, Howard...I've got Savannah!" Sherman's statement resonated with accuracy. Now, the Army of the Tennessee had virtually unlimited access to supplies. When Hardee found out later that evening that Fort McAllister had fallen, and hope that he had at all for saving Savannah must have floated away on the winter's night air.

The assault was over in fifteen minutes. The Union soldiers captured the fort so quickly because of their overwhelming numbers (25 to 1) mostly, and because of the weakness of Fort McAllister's rear defenses. Known more appropriately as the 'gorge' wall, the rear of the work did look quite impressive as it bristled with field guns that were protected by an obstructed moat. However, no amount of defense could have made the rear of the fort impregnable to attack. The Confederates had designed Fort McAllister for battling ships and it had successfully done so on many occasions. The large Seacoast guns in the fort were never intended to fire to the rear. Sherman correctly reasoned Fort McAllister 's weakness was its gorge wall. His guess paid off. The "March to the Sea ended with the capture of Fort McAllister.

The casualties were light. Hazen's men suffered 24 men killed, 110 wounded---most of the casualties resulted from the torpedoes. The Confederates lost 16 killed, and 28 wounded.

CSA Fort McAllister fell...

December 13, 1864 at twilight

Hilton Head Union Hospital

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Union Military Provost Hospital

After he was captured at Fort McAllister, Union army doctors hospitalized James C. Barrs with Typhoid Fever in the Hilton Head Union Military Hospital.  Later he was sent to Fort Delaware Military Prison until the end of the war.

South Carolina was among the richest of States, and Hilton Head Island was responsible for several millionaires. South Carolina was the 1st State to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 when Confederate cannonaders firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. In January 1861, General Robert E. Lee was assigned command of the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida. By October of 1861, 77 Union ships sailed from Virginia to Port Royal. On board were 13,000 troops, 1500 horses, 500 surfboats, and 1,000 laborers to build a town and fortress for the blockade of the South.

In November, 1861, after surviving a hurricane off Cape Hatteras, the small armada circled Port Royal Sound, firing at all settlements in the area. By noon of that day, on November 7th, the Confederates knew the battle for the area was lost, and withdrew before the attacking forces of the Union.

The Yankees were here to stay until the War's end. Fort Mitchel was built in 1862. It was named for General Ormsby Mitchel, a well-liked leader, who died of malaria that year.

Eventually, Union Forces reached 50,000 on the Island. The blockade of Savannah was accomplished, preventing the Confederacy from exporting cotton to Europe and importing supplies from France. Hilton Head was Headquarters for the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. The Island became the transfer point for prisoners of war and the wounded as well as Union Soldiers on their way to battle and tons of supplies.


 Fort Delaware Union Military Prison
 Located on Pea Patch Island, Delaware

  "The Andersonville Prison of the North"

Fort Delaware is located on Pea Patch Island, Delaware. It was used as a Union Prisoner of War Prison to house captured CSA soldiers.  It opened for prisoners on April 1862.  More than 22, 700 Confederate prisoners were confined there. 


James C. Barrs was confined in the Enlisted Prisoner's Barracks Number 14 until his release at the end of The War in 1865.


"As the long procession of prisoners staggered out upon the wharf at Fort Delaware, the universal thought was one of Despondency, as if each had been warned like the lost spirits of Dante's Hell, 'Abandon Hope, all ye who enter here!'  The reputation of the place for cruelty was already familiar to all of us and it needed no more than a glance at the massive fort with its hundred guns, the broad moat, the green slime dykes and the scores of sentrys [sic] pacing to and fro in all directions to quench every lingering hope of escape. "

So wrote 2nd Lieutenant Randolph Abbot Shotwell, a Confederate veteran from North Carolina, about Fort Delaware, a mosquito-infested prison camp on a marshy piece of ground called Pea Patch Island in the middle of the river separating Delaware from New Jersey.


Of these prisoners, 2,346 died at Fort Delaware.  It was known as the "Andersonville of the North." 


The dead were transported across the river to New Jersey, near Fort Mott, which is located near Harrisonville, Salem County NJ for burial.  The dead were buried in trenches, and individual identification was lost. 


Today a monument stands at the site of the burials with a bronze plaque listing the names of the interred. Luckily James C. Barrs’ name was not engraved on that plaque.

Great-Great Grandfather James C. Barrs was interned in the 'enlisted prisoner's barracks number 14' after the capture of the Fort McAllister (Georgia) garrison until his release after the War Between the States had ended.

Information supplied to Al Barrs, Jr. by The Ft. Delaware Society 2000

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"History of Jefferson County, FL" pages 79-80

By Samual Lewis Moore, CSA Vetera 


The following story is the account of the personal experience of a living Confederate CSA war veteran, Samuel Lewis Moore. Samual Moore's home at the time was in Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia. He moved to Monticello, Jefferson County, Florida after The Civil War and married Julia Bradley. Samuel Moore was 18 years old when he wrote the following personal account of his military experience.

At the young age of 15 years Samuel Moore followed his brother, Spencer Moore, and enlisted in the army of the South in Savannah, GA. Samuel was sent to White Marsh Island, GA six miles below Savannah, GA. Their duty was to see that no Federal or Union boats came up the river. Young Samuel Moore wrote; "During the last two years of the war the Southern Army was largely composed of untrained boys like me and the officers recognized our mistakes and shortcomings, as a result of our youth and lack of military training, and justice was tempered with mercy. Major Patton Anderson knew that (General) Sherman was marching towards Savannah, so he called in two companies of my Regiment from White Marsh Island as re-enforcements for Fort McAllister, twenty-five miles from Savannah, on the Ogeechee River and six miles below the railroad bridge. Sherman had to capture the bridge up the river before he could get to us.

There was nothing but a marsh between us and the bridge, and we boys stood on the battery walls and saw the fight, which lasted about an hour. We knew that our time would come the next day, and the necessary preparations were made to give Mr. Sherman as warm a reception as we could. The roll was called the next morning and 155 men answered for duty. About 10 o'clock in the morning the enemy entered the woods and begun to form in line of battle. We could see the Yankees behind the big trees near the little dairy (McAllister Dairy) and the dairy itself was as full of them as it could hold.

Our sharpshooters would take a crack at every "Blue Coat" that exposed himself. One of the boys asked permission to put a cannon ball through the dairy, which was granted, and a thirty-pound rifle shot was sent through the center. Then business picked up!" "At 4 P.M. the bugle of the enemy sounded for the charge and it took them exactly four minutes to capture the fort, as we had only 155 men and they numbered 9,000. Our casualties were 55 killed and 60 wounded. The enemy's loss was 200 killed and 250 wounded. The last shot fired was a 12-pound Howitzer cannon. The man who was to fire the cannon had hold of the lanyard and was ordered to let it go by a Yankee officer, before the white flag was raised. The man replied, 'I'm not taking orders from you yet.'

The officer shot him with his pistol and the weight of the body, when he fell, pulled the lanyard. Some of the enemy was not three feet from the mouth of the cannon and the ball opened a space through the crowd. We killed more men than the number on our side at this battle. General Sherman made the McAllister homestead his headquarters and the wounded from both sides were taken there for medical treatment. I was on the sick list and was placed on a bunk with a badly wounded Yankee boy who died before morning. I told the nurse the boy was dead and he said 'Alright I will take him out directly.' I guess he forgot it for the body was still there when I awoke the next morning. The nurse came and said he was sorry he had not removed it. I told him that was alright, it had not disturbed me at all. We, the prisoners, were carried to Hilton Head, South Carolina. All of the prisoners were issued what was called 'Retaliation rations,' which consisted of one part of rotten meat and a pickle per day. They were retaliation for Andersonville (Infamous CSA Prison in west Georgia)." So we were carried back to Fort Delaware, a downcast, disappointed lot of boys. A great deal could be told of prison life, how much I did not gain in weight, on six crackers a day and an occasional rat stew. At one time the prison was guarded by a regiment of United States Regulars, who had been badly cut-up in a battle in Virginia. They were kind to the Southern prisoners and the officers in charge of the Fort decided the Regulars were too good to us, so removed them, putting a Negro regiment in their place.

I was at Fort Delaware when Lincoln was assassinated after which the prisoners were treated worse than usual. The Negro guards would kick and cuff them for the slightest causes.

On July 18, 1865, I took the amnesty oath and was sent, with 500 other prisoners of war, to New York to be transported south." "We went by way of Philadelphia and were marched up into the city and halted by an open square and children were sent among us with baskets of sandwiches and pitchers of lemonade. One beautiful girl sat at a window and dispensed lemonade and it was lucky for me when the supply gave out, for I was near the breaking point. It was like a change from purgatory to the Seventh Heaven. I was ashamed of my personal appearance, but I was not ashamed of the cause that put me there. Finally, we reached New York and while eating at Castle Garden, awaiting orders, I sold the cotton that was between my quilted blankets, and my woolen socks to an Irish woman for $1.50. This dollar was the first green back I saw and I felt rich. After a few weeks in New York, I was sent south. We had some bad times on the boat, for five hundred men were crowded into the hold of the boat, with 'built-in-bunks.' Something got the matter with the drinking water and they had to condense the water for the passengers. We were given one pint of hot water per day. There were no U.D.C. nor Red Cross chapters to look out for the boys in those days, and they had to look out for themselves.

My shoes were lost over board, but I did not feel the loss of them until I reached Jacksonville, FL and had to walk twelve miles, barefooted, where the railroad bridge was torn up. The train took us up, finally, and when we got to Madison, FL, I had to walk sixteen miles with Mr. Jim Barrs (James C. Barrs) to his home where I spent the night. Mr. Barrs was very kind to me and sent me to Quitman, GA, my home, next day with his boy on a mule." "When I reached home, my mother did not know me and I was indeed a sad looking spectacle. I had on a blue United States Military shirt, a pair of pants 44 inches in the waist, buttoned around to the suspender button. One leg of my pants was torn off halfway to the knee, and the other leg rolled up to match it. I had on a Confederate gray cap, the visor was torn off. I was barefooted and my hair was down to my shoulders.

My appearance did not dampen the joy of my mother and the home folks, however, when they finally realized I was home at last. I guess Sherman made a good, off-hand shot at it, when he made his statement about war, but he had never been hungry, nor thirsty, nor in prison or then he would have said 'War is hell' and then some."

James C. (Jim) Barrs' family in The Nankin District of Brooks County, GA had given him up for dead, when in October 1865 lice and vermin ridden he reached home. His son John Wesley said that he stripped outside, bathed, put on clean clothes and burned his old clothing before going into their home.

Barrsville Established 1870-1871

James C. Barrs served on a committee to help destitute widows from The War during April of 1866 that was chaired by his brother William W. Barrs. (See page 8 "Brooks County Georgia: Echoes of Its People.")

Sometime shortly after the 1870 federal Census James C. Barrs sent several of his sons to the region of south Suwannee/Columbia County Florida to purchase land, clear fields and build housing for the family and livestock near abandoned Ellisville Florida, Columbia County Florida.  The following year the entire Barrs family loaded their belongings onto wagons and traveled to the Withlacoochee River where they boarded a Cotton Barge for their trip to their new home and farm.  James C. and Martha Elizabeth Barrs and several of their children left Nankin Brooks County Georgia for good...never to return. We know Isaac Newton Barrs (My Great Grandfather) stayed in Nankin for a time.  He married Mary Elizabeth Boyet of Brooks County Georgia in 1873. Sometime in the early 1880s they moved to Day, a bustling Cotton Gin town located just 5 miles west of the Suwannee River, in Lafayette County Florida and across the Suwannee River from the rest of their family in Suwannee and Columbia Counties Florida.

The Barrs family traveled down the Withlacoochee River on a Cotton Barge to the Suwannee River and then downriver or south to the mouth of the Santa Fe River on the east bank of the Suwannee.  They then traveled up the Santa Fe River and landed near the mouth of the Ichetucknee River where they unloaded their belongings, and wagons, and traveled to their new home in Columbia County Florida.  The exact location of their landing site is lost, but was known for many years as "Barrs Landing."

Shortly thereafter we believe James C. Barrs bought Mr. Ellis' old General Store at what had earlier (1845) been called Ellisville Florida and became a general merchant as well as a farmer. Apparently there were a number of merchants in this little pioneer settlement town.  Anticipations were high that the railroad would be built through these small towns strung along the "Military Road" from Lake City to Fort White Florida and their businesses and the towns along the right of way would prosper.  Unfortunately the railroad was never built and the fledgling businesses and towns fates were cast.  However, the telegraph line was built following the "Military Road" and has come to be named the "Wire Road" today.

Shortly afterward old Ellisville became Barrsville in 1871. In 1871 a United States Post Office was established in Barrsville. Fortunately for we Barrs family history buffs a brief history and timeline of Barrsville still exists in the book “History of Columbia County Florida.”

From a history of Columbia County, Florida, USA  (BOOK)

Page 151: To the south of Lake City, FL lay Mikesville, Leno, Barrsville, Columbia City, and Mount Tabor. Mikesville was about six miles (North) from Fort White.

Page 152: Barrsville, on the Old Military and Telegraph Road, lay some fourteen (14) miles from Lake City and Eight Miles from the Santa Fe River and had originally been settled by Giles Underwood Ellis in 1845 and was first called "Ellisville, FL."

Barrsville, FL was regarded as being in an area suitable for orange cultivation as was Mount Tabor located south of Lake City, FL

Barrsville United States Post Office History:

The US Post Office in Barrsville, Columbia County, FL existed intermittently from June 8, 1871 to March 9, 1882.

The first US Post Office in the area was established on January 29, 1843 as the Ellisville US Post Office. The Ellisville US Post Office was discontinued on September 29, 1843.

The US Post Office was reestablished as the Barrsville Post Office on June 8, 1871 and the name was changed on January 3, 1872, to Barrsville U.S. Post Office.

Barrsville US Post Office was discontinued on December 29, 1872, but was reestablished on February 2, 1875.

The Barrsville US Post Office was again discontinued on Mar 9th 1882 and moved to Mt. Tabor, FL. It was reestablished on March 26, 1883.  

It was discontinued at Mt. Tabor on April 22,1887 then Reestablished July 6, 1903. It was then discontinued on July 31, 1904 and moved to Fort White, FL.

Barrsville Shooting 1872

Little information exists on James C. Barrs and his family until the winter of 1872 when a fatal shooting occurred on the porch (“Piazza”) of the James C. Barrs, General Store in Barrsville Columbia County Florida.



November 24, 1872  

(Please remember that this is not a 'legal transcript' of the trial!)

Mr. John Arthur Carrell personally wrote the following notes of the trial. He was the brother of William Carrell and Charles Carrell, who were put on trial for the murder of Jno. Barrs of SC.  The original copy is in the possession of Mr. J. B. Carrell of High Springs, Florida.  This trial was held in Lake City, Columbia County Florida after Count Pulaski ('Plack') Farnell had died. Mr. Farnell died on August 16, 1887. For authenticity the original interpretation, spelling and structure of Mr. Carrell's notes has remained as close to the original writings as possible. G-G Grandfather James C. Barrs had also died by the time of the trial in Lake city in 1887.

 I want to thank Evie and Sam Lamb for obtaining, keying and supplying a copy for this Barrs History Record. Anyone having the 'official' transcript of this trial is asked to contact or e-mail a copy for posting to Al Barrs, Jr. at

Trial Lake City, Columbia County, Florida on August16, 1887


State vs. Carroll

The State [of
Florida] then proceeded to take the evidence introduced the following witnesses who bring sworn testified as follows:

State witnesses:

Willis Perry



_____Bar  (Brother of James C. Barrs, William W.  Barrs)

(NOTE: James C. Barrs had apparently passed away before the murder trial that took place in Lake City in 1887. The last validated account we have of James C. Barrs and Martha Elizabeth Land-Barrs was in the 1880 Suwannee County Florida Federal Census report. It is stated in Mr. Carroll's notes that he made an affidavit of the incident at his store, but it was misplaced or lost by Mr. Tolbart, Justice of the Peace, before the trial. It is worthwhile to note that Mr. Tolbert was related to the Carroll brothers who did the shooting by marriage and was the Justice of the Peace (community judge) of that district. James C. Barrs did not testify at the trial in 1887 even though he had been himself present during the shooting incident. He acted in apparent self-defense by firing his small derringer and was him self wounded by gunfire [shotgun].)

J. W. Perry sworn says, I was at Ellisville (Barrsville) at the _(time)_ of Jno Barr (Barrs) on Nov 24, 1872 about 2 hours by sun in afternoon.  Plac Farnell came down to store and told me he thought there would be trouble at Barrs’ store.  I went in at the back door - some trouble at the counter and when that got over I went back to my store.  Charlie Carrol, Will Carrol, Dan Wingit, John Barr (Jno Barrs), Jim Barr (James C. Barrs).  I Re that was in some trouble.   It was about 1/2 hour before shooting took place.  I don't recollect anything that was said. Dan Wingit started to strike me with stick. Bill Carrol told him not to do it.  I went back to the store (Perry’s store) about 1/2 hour afterwards.  

Plack came to my store and told me to go back for there was going to be trouble - it was Jim Barrs. store.  I told him to go.  

He said he had rather not go, that Wingit didn't like him very much and might shoot him. He thought I had better go and I went.  

The back part of Barrs’ store was near the front of my store (Parker’s store).  The road that went from our store to their store had a curve in it and I went nearer (short-cut) way by path.  I went in the back door and Jim Barrs and Bill Carrol had hold of each other and I ran right in.  The house had shed room and I went in at door of shed room.  Jim Barrs had Bill Carrol pushed up against a stove.  

When I got to the back door Jim Barr (Barrs) said, “damn your masonary” after that I don't rember what anyone said till the went out (on the) piazza. (I) Don't know as those are the exact words that Jim Barr (Barrs) said as well as I remember there was Beaufort Carrol, Chas Carrol, D. Wingrt and myself there.   

Rack Carrol came out with pistol in hand and Jim Barr (Barrs) turned to him and said "You damn little son of a bitch you try and shoot me?" And, Beaufort Carrol said, "Don't curse my bro (brother) for s of a b."  Beau Carrol jerked out his knife and Jim Barr (Barrs) pulled out his pistol.

There may have had ___ out. I caught hold of Beau with right hand and Jim Barr (Barrs) with other (hand) and held them apart  - while I was holding them a pistol fired off.  (It was) Jim Barrs’ pistol.  I jumped out in yard and fell. When I got up the men (Jim Barrs and Jno Barrs) were shot. The first I noticed was Chas Carrol going towards our store (Parker’s) and Jim Barr (Barrs) going N (north) on piazza.  The (Jim Barrs’) house lay N and S and Jim Barr (Barrs) had his face toward house and when pistol went off I saw bullet in S end of house in piazza plate.   I think he was probably about 12 feet from where bullet went in plate of house.  It was a derringer - it was a single barrel pistol - it shoots one time.  I knew there was trouble between the men and I went there to stop it  - when the pistol fired I knew I couldn't stop it and there was no use to endanger my life.  I didn't see anything but what I knew to endanger my lief - there was a gun passed from one hand to another but am not positive about - think Jim Barr (Barrs) handed it to Chas Carrol saw gun in Chas Carrol hand before shooting.  He was outside the piazza before the shooting.

I don't remember seeing Chas Carrol before I took hold of Beaufort and Jim Barr (Barrs).  I had been there a half hour before and 3 min and knew there was bad blood between em (them) and thought someone was going to be hurt.  John Barr (Barrs) was in the door (of his store).  

I heard shots fired but they were so fast I couldn't distinguish probably a doz guns and the blood was streaming down Jno Barrs side and I ran to him.  

I told him to let me cord his arm and he said no - no he was dead.  I told him I could stop the blood and Bill Carrol said let me help you.  

Willis stop the blood and Jno Barrs cursed him.  Jno Barr (Barrs) said, “no you shot me with my pistol after I was wounded you damned coward” or something to that effect.  He says. “Plac a dead cock in the ___ by God” and Plack told him (Jno Barrs) no how are you shot.  “Chas Carrol shot me with a gun and Bill Carrol shot me 2 with a pistol,” (Jno Barrs said).  I showed him (Jno Barrs) where he was shot.  

I think Jno (Barrs) was in the house before the other action. He was sitting on the counter, or standing on counter it was the last time I saw Jno Barr (Barrs) before I saw (him) standing in the door with blood running down his arm.  I don't think Bill Carrol went out when Beau C to Jim Barr (Barrs) was having trouble.  I was between Beau and Jim Barr (Barrs) my face was turned from house and did not see what was going on behind me.


Witness makes diagrahm of it (buildings and shooting positions) Chas Carrol had a gun in hand when I saw him going towards (James Barrs’) store.  

Wilness explains diagrahm to Jury a min or two.

It hadn't a very short time after the difficulty had subsided in house till I went out on piazza.  After I jumped from piazza I saw Chas Car running with a gun.  Saw Bill Carrol by side.  Bill Car said he didn't shoot him twice with pistol.  (Reply) When _ma(?) Jno Barr (Barrs) in room a man said Jim Barr (Barrs) wanted me Bill Carrol came to
Lake City and went back.  

I didn't see B Carrol do anything else after the shooting that day.  I have no idea how many shoots were fired  - about a doz - rapid succession.  I don't know which was last gun fired in this difficulty.  I think Bill Carrol was there when I first went there. I didn't have any trouble in stopping dif no one asside me.  They were all drinking Jim Barr (Barrs) was drinking a right smart.  Jno Barr was sick.  There had difficult that ___.  They were quarreling Jim Barr (Barrs) was in quarrel - Jno Barr (Barrs) was in room.  Ain't possitive if Jim Barr (Barrs) was in diff.  Present impression was Bill Car stoped Wingrt from hitting me.  

I don't remember what time of day Bill Carrol got there that day.  I saw 3 pis (pistols) immediately after shooting, Beaufort Carrol, Bill Carrol and the small pistol of Jim Barr (Barrs).  Bill Carrol had a big pis (pistol) - Jno Barr (Barrs) said it was his.  Don't know what Bill Carrol did with pistol.  Don't know whether any of em was discharged.  I don't know Chas Carrol shot that day.  I know where he was before and after shooting.  Jno Barr (Barrs)  remarked Bill Carrol shot him twice.

Question:  Did you not use before Judge White in a Habeus Corpus proceeding in this case at this last term this language about the time I saw Jno Barrs was wounded I went to him.  Will Carrol said to me, let me help you.  Barr (Jno Barrs) said to him "no you God damned coward you shot me twice after I was wounded".

I think he said "with my own pistol".  Bill Carrol said, "I did not do it".  Plack Farnell came up and Barr (Barrs) said "Plack a dead cock in the pit by God."  

To which question the state by its counsel objected.  The court then and there made use this remark in the presence of the Jury.

I don't think the present statement of the witness differs materially from the statement embodied in the question of counsels.

Answer:  about the same as I have said here.

Question:  Did you state before Jud Jno F. White in the habeus corpus
proceeding referred to that Jno Barr (Barrs) said to Plack Farnell that Bill Carroll sho (shoot) him twice with his own pistol - ans. (answer) Don't know whether I did or not.  I am not positive - I don't remember that I swore before Judge White or not that Jim Barr (Barrs) held up his hands and showed him where he was shot.  

At the time that Bill Carrol wanted to help me bind his arm that Barr (Jno Barrs) made remark.  I think I put a hand on was not long.  I think he had no coat.  I think Bill Carrol was present at time of remark to Farnell.  Don't remember if Bill Carrol made any reply to (Jno) Barrs remark.  I caught hold of (Jno) Barrs arm and saw it was shot all to pieces. Did not pull off his clothes saw wound of other Barr (Jim Barrs) shot in breast and shoulder.  

Jno Barr(Barrs) was shot in left armpit and hand.  

Dr. Peeler sworn says:  I am a physician.  I was called as a phy before his (Jno Barrs’) death (on) 23-Nov-(18)72.  He was shot in  ___.  I saw him about sundown.  I saw Jno Barr (Barrs).  He was on bed in room in Jim Barr (Barrs) house (with his) arm corded Farnell had a stick in cord.  Found bone in elbow was shevered shoulder to ________.  

They seemed to have gone through his arm gun shot wounds 5 or 6 and did not find any other except in right hand between forefing and thumb did not examine body or breast.  Suppose those on hand and arm was all he had gun shot wounds next morn early I returned and found he ws spitting blood knew it could not be from wound in sholr (shoulder) and arm. The arm was amputated clean clothing upon him.  No sign of hemmorage from arm. Next morning found wound in left side.  I think caused spitting blood - wound were from direct in front  - wound in side seemed to be side shot.

Ball roughed em.  Ball must have entered stomach from way he was spitting blood.  Am satisfied Jno Barr (Barrs) died from those wounds - side wound was mortal.  I was there when he (Jno Barrs) died - know he died from those wounds - died 23 - Nov - (1872).

Columbia Co, State of Fla.

Robt Martin sworn says:
I was at Barrsville Nov 23-72 in ___ par (part) of this co (county) known as Ellisville now Barrsville. Mr. Jno & Jas Barr (Barrs) was shot that day - heard guns fire  - I had seen Bill Carroll at my house prev to shooting.  He said here that Jim Barr (Barrs) had cursed him for a damned thieving s of a b.  

He said it was right hard to take and said nothing farther. And asked me what I though of it.  He used no further words. I am certain that no other words were used.

Question:  Did Carrol not also say that he wouldn't take it? Overruled!

Question:  Are you satisfied that you have stated all the words used by
Carrol at that time?  If not, what other did he use.  

Ans: I think he said I would not stand it.  It was in the morning that the conver (conversation) took place. Shooting took place in mid afternoon.  I was at Perry's store when shoot commenced.  I went up where shooting took place saw Jno Barr (Barrs)  ___. I saw B. Carrol there. He was in room where Jno Barr (Barrs) was in a shed room. I met Chas Carrol as I was going there between 2 stores he had a shotgun - didn't see Bill Carrol have anything at time had a pis (pistol) don't know where he got large pis.

Question:  Did Jno Barr (Barrs) make any remark as to Carrol shot him. Don't recollect whether Barr (Jno Barrs) said Carrol shot him (but) did not hear Jno Barr (Barrs) remark Bill Carrol shot him.

It was about
8 o'clock (in the afternoon) when Bill Carrol was (at) my house. Bill Carrol lives a little SW.  B. Carrol did not have to pass my house to go to Barrsville - by himself -horseback.  I got to Barrsville about 2 o'clock - did not see Bill C (Carrol) when I got there got there 1 1/2 hour - hadn't seen any of Carrol - any Bar (Barrs), D Wigrt (or) Ike Hart - don't know how he went or which direction he went to Barrs’.  I live 2 miles (from) Carrrol –

1 1/2 miles from (Jim) Barrs.  My house wasn't on road to (Jim) Barrs. I know Shep Hodge, Shep Hodge lived a little NE of Barrsville about 6 m (miles). Carrol stayed at my house 1/2 h (hour) got down (off his horse) and came in. I was making sugar - don't remem any other conversation with him. I think he told me something about a bl (barrel) of Fl (Flour) he bought from Jim Bar (Barrs) and Jim B pt (put) it in cart and told him he 'd have to pay for he couldn't have it at that price. He said Jno Barr (Barrs) cursed him for a damed thieves of a b and it was hard to take.  

I am certain he said so I jst (just) said that Barr (Jim Barrs) called him a ther (thieving) s of a b.  (Mr.) Black did ask me if he did say it was right hard to take.  I didn't recollect till Mr. Black refreshed my mind. I can recall it now independent of what has been said here.

J. W. Tolbart sworn says:
I knew Jno Barrs in his lifetime.  I saw him in last sickness he was shot. I
went to see him. I was sent for. He (Jno Barrs) was lying on bed (in Jim Barrs house) suffering from a gun shot (shotgun) wounds and pistols.  I was J of P (Justice of the Peace) at time. I took a statement from him (Jno Barrs) as to how he rec'd wounds   - he detailed to me how it ocured in state'mt he was suffering a good ___ from wnds (wounds).  Best of my recollection he said he was satisfied he wouldn't get over these wounds - I tired to console him. He (Jno Barrs) said there was no chance - con - on Sat night - he (Jno Barrs) died Mon about
10 o'clock. I don't rembr any min having pr- I arrv'd after dark same day he was shot - I went in house as soon as I got there went into his (Jno Barrs) presence (wound man).  I took hold of his (Jno Barrs) arm and held it and told him I had come in cop'y of an officer & to make an inquiry as ____ wanted him (Jno Barrs) to make a statement I don't recolect first words.  

I remained all night and next day - got there a little after dark had been there but little while before he said he was going to die.  He went on to state he was not going to get over (his wounds). I tried to console him - I think that was all about dying he said. When I first went to him he said he had been innocent of the murder - a set of damn cowards (Caroll brothers) - it was to that effect - he appeared to have right smart strength - voice seemed strong - talk rationally & intelligently - Jno Barrs said he felt satisfied he was going to die.  The first words I rember him saying was that he was innocently murdered by a set of damn cowards.  I don't think I was minister of the gospel or exorter - there was an affidavit made by Mr. Barr (James C. Barrs). Don't know what had become of it. I have made diligent search. The affidavit was made in reference to shooting of Barr (Jno Barrs).

Dr. Peeler recalled:  I was with him (Jno Barrs) from dark till
midnight on Sat night.  I was a minister of the gospel. (Jno Barrs) Did not ask for prayer.  I was with him Sunday and made no request for prayer was with him 2 or 3 h (hours) in mor (morning) & and 3 h in aft.  He died between 12 or 1 o'clock - the only remark he made on the subject of dying was on Monday mor (morning) when he said "I'll be game (until) the last.  I carried a minister there he was the regular pastor.

Mr. Tolbart - Mr. Barr (Jno Barrs) swore, “to the best of my memory I was in his (Jim Barrs’) back room of the store preparing to take a shave - there had been some difficulty previous, which I thought was settled.  I heard the fuss & shooting in front of store.”

“I went to the front door - just as I reaced the door I was shot by
Charlie Carrol with a shot gun who (he) was standing on the ground in front of (Jim Barrs’) store - I turned sorter around inside the store & was shot by Wm Carrol. who was inside of store and opened fire on me with pistol to best of my recollection twice.  I had no arms about me and & did not shoot any.”  

I issued a warrant for Bill Carrol (and) he was arrested.  He (Bill Carrol) made his escape after (being) arrested  - Jno Barr (Barrs) died - on Mon about noon. I went by position - about 10 o'cloc I think I was below house & store when I heard he was dead - it was just about that time he, Carrol, made his escape after - I know where (Jin) Barrs’ store was - Columbia Co. St. Fla. - I am satisfied Plac Farnell was present when this statement was made.  I don't recolect (Jno) Barrs said Carrol shot him with his own pistol. I think Barr (Barrs) told me he had a pis (pistol) & it was lying on counter or shelf.  I don't know when Bill Carrol was arrested under pres pros - I had no formal trial when Bill Carrol was arrested by me.  I don't recolect if he demanded a trial.  

I commited him to jail upon evidence of Jno Barr (Barrs) & told him if Judge would get him out on ha cor - he didn't demand an examination.  I don't know if I have assisted in the prosecution - I have the kindest feeling for Mr. Carrol.  

I recolect having met you on certain occasion & told you I didn't dispose to disclose my evidence till required by law I refused to tell anyone what my testimony (would be until) till I went before Judge (John) White.  I did not tell Black ____! Bar (Barrs).  I never told anyone what the declares were - I think I told Judge White that Plack Farnell was there - I am certain he was there. I have talked with Mr. Barr (Jim Barrs) about this case - I've never communicated to defense counsel or any - I gave you (counsel defense) some insight - I've been with Mr. Barr (Jim Barrs), Black and Jud Ashby a good  ___ board at same hotel with Plack Farnell is dead, died last August.

I'm a farmer am not a preacher - used to exhort a little  -  ____ - I was approached that concerning my evidence before Carrol was arrested last time was approached by Mr. Shipling (?)

J. W. Perry recalled says - the store that the shooting took place was in Col. Co. Fla. Barrs dwelling was about 100 yards from (his) store.

James Knight sworn says - I did not know Jno Barrs in lifetime.  I know he was killed and died.  I was at Ellisville when he died.  Bill Carrol was under arrest when Barr (Jno Barrs) died.   He died the day Barr (Jno Barrs) died. Barr (Jno Barrs) died about 10 o'clock.  They held an inquest and directly after that was over he (Bill Carrol) made his escape.  Beaufort Carrol was a juror on the inquest.  He got on his mare and rode off. Beau brought her to him or near him.  Beau is cousin to Bill - was not present at ct (court) Tolbart held.  

I don't know when he (Mr. Talbart) held his court (and) did not hold court before he (Jno Barrs) died - Don't know whether he held commital before inquest. Old man Crepp & Jack Small was guarding him.

Barr (William W. Barrs, Jim Barrs’ youngest brother of Brooks Co GA) sworn says, “I'm a bro (brother) to Jas (Jim or James C. Barrs) & cousin to Jno Barr (Barrs).  I saw Jno B. (Barrs) in last illness.  I was with him (Barrs)  when he died.  Barrsville was not his home.  Was here on a visit from S. C. (South Carolina). He had been. I think. Mon or Tues before that- He made a statement to me Sun. night before he died.  He said he was dieing, vomiting blood phys. unable to stop it hemorage he said as near as I recolect he told me he was dying. I told him I hope not.  He said he was bleeding to death internally. He gave me directions about his bus (business), his fa (father) (and) his body.  He made a statement as to ____. I reached Barrsville about 1/2 hour by sun.  I inquired where the boys were.  I was told they were in the house.  I went in the room where Jno (Barrs)  was first. He recognized me (and) spoke to me and said I'm killed - said he did not know anyone had anything against him.  I told him I thought he'd recover - he said no he could not.  I spoke to him in reference to his wounds.  He called for his arm that was cut off.  Showed me how he was shot and just at that time commenced vomiting.  I left him them and went into the room where Jim (Barrs) was.  

Went back in to the room where Jno (Barrs) was in about 2 hours.  As soon as I went into room he called me to him - says he Jno (Barrs) “I'm dying can’t this bleeding be stopped?”  I told him I could do nothing.  He says, “I have in Ex (?) of (?) at Gains (bank? of $)100.00. I then asked him to tell me the circumstance of the shooting.   He said he knew there was no chance for reco (recovery) & he told me to tell his father the circum & where he wanted to be buried.  He said there had been a fuss in the store betw Jas Barr (Barrs) & the Carrols - he thought it had been settled & he was fixing to shave when he heard shooting in front of house (store). He (said) ran to door & just as he got in the door he was shot by Chas Carrol.  He said he didn't fire but turned sorter & was then shot by Wm Carrol & with his own pistol - asked him why he didn't have his pistol he said it was lying on shlf that was all in reference to dying. I do not know why Jno Barr(Barrs)  was out here hadn't heard him say.  Had been with him previous - so far as I know ws just out on a visit.
State Rests

Defendant Witness

Robt Martin says - I was present went Bill Carroll was commited to jail & come by Mr. Tolbart.  I don't know whether he demanded a trial.  He was brt up for a trail.  He had a trial - on affidavit of Jno & Jim Barr (Barrs). That was all testimony I reccolect in case.  Mr. Tolbart said from the evidence (John and James C. Barrs affidavits) he had in his pocket, which was the affidavit he commited him to jail.  And Mr. Tolbart said, "I am a Barr (Barrs)  man or a friend to the Barrs."

The proceeding twenty-four pages are notes of the trial made by John Arthur Carrell who was the brother of William Carrell and Charles Carrell.  

The original copies are in possession of J. B. Carrell, High Springs Florida. This trial was held in Lake City, Columbia County, FL after Count Pulaski (Plack) Farnell died 16 Aug. 1887. James C. Barrs had also died by 1887.

Thus closed the life story of Great-Great Grandfather James C. Barrs...


James C. Barrs and Martha Elizabeth Land-Barrs'

G-G Grandparents of Al Barrs, Jr.

4731 Georgia Road

Greenwood Florida USA


Family of James C. Barrs

JAMES C. BARRS: Head of Household Son of Arthur and Nancy Campbell - BARRS









James C. (Campbell) Barrs


Abt. 1843-44

Between 1880 & 1887

Arthur Barrs

Nancy Elizabeth Campbell

Martha Elizabeth Land

(Probably buried in Ichetucknee Cemetery Columbia Co. FL)
In: Twiggs County, Georgia

In: Twiggs County, Georgia

In: Suwannee County, Florida



SPOUSE: Martha Elizabeth Land











Martha Elizabeth Land




William Land




James C. Barrs

(Probably buried in Ichetucknee Cemetery Columbia Co. FL)
In: North Carolina

In: Twiggs County, Georgia

In: Suwannee County, Florida


In: Virginia

In: Virginia











James Henry L. Barrs


About 1880-81

Before 1900

Nancy Ann Ramsey (Born 1852 in FL)

(Buried Tampa Bay Area. Site unknown.)

In: Lowndes County, Georgia


In: Hernando County Florida

(Nancy is buried in Pinellas County Florida)









William Taylor Barrs



March 22, 1935

Feareby Jane Hodge

Oct 15 1929

(Buried in Pinewood (Cocoplum) Cemetery)

In: Lowndes County, Georgia


In: Coral Gable Dade County Florida








Isaac Newton Barrs

September 15, 1849

January 29, 1873

October 12, 1933

Mary Elizabeth Boyet (various spellings)

(Buried in Day Lafayette County Florida)

In: Lowndes County, Georgia

In: Day, Lafayette County, Florida

In: Day, Lafayette County, Florida









Francis Marion Barrs

May 2, 1852


May 5, 1894

Adelia Mellisa Pinkham

(Buried Suwannee County Florida)

In: Lowndes County Georgia


In: Shot-gunned in the back off his horse Suwannee Co Fl.








John Wesley Barrs

April 15, 1853


June 11, 1937

Laura Elma Martha Sandford

(Buried in Ichetucknee Methodist Cemetery Columbia Cty)

In: Lowndes County, Georgia


In: Jacksonville Duval County, Florida







Henry J. Barrs (aka
Andrew J. & “Ander”)


Emma Shiver
Adeline Driver

(Burial Day Lafayette Co FL Cemetery)

In: Wakulla County, Florida

In: Lafayette County Florida

In: Lafayette County Florida.

Marriage Unknown
MAR 28, 1901 Mayo








Permelia (aka Amelia) Barrs




John Gilley

(Buried in Suwannee County, Florida)

In: Brooks County, Georgia


In: Hillsboro County Florida

(Buried Santa Fe Baptist Cemetery off US#27N Hildreth)

©Al Barrs Greenwood, Florida USA

CSA Georgia Infantry State Reserves, 1st Regiment, Company “E”

Company E, 1st Regiment (Symon's) of the Georgia Infantry State Reserves CSA

James C. Barrs was 5'7" tall, had dark skin and hair, and blue eyes. James C. Barrs then on May 6, 1864 enlisted again in Quitman, Georgia in Company E, 1st Regiment (Symon's) of the Georgia Infantry State Reserves CSA for the duration of The War. He was appointed 4th Sergeant. His Company served at the City Lines in Savannah, GA from May 6, 1864 through June 30, 1864. They then served at Camp Fleetwood from July through August of 1864. His Company's final billet was at Fort McAllister, GA from September until the fort was captured on December 13, 1864 by Union General Sherman's forces.



Folsom, M.

GA 1st (Symon's) Res., Co. “E”

Barrs, James C.

GA 1st (Symon's) Res., Co. “E”

Confederate Regimental Index

Georgia Infantry

1st Regiment Reserves "Symon's"

1st Regiment Georgia Reserves (Symon's) - 1237 men

Georgia Infantry Units

1st (Symon's) Regiment Georgia Infantry, Reserves

Col. William R. Symons

Co. A

Chatham Siege Artillery, Co. A

W. H. C. Mills 

William R. Symons


Co. B

Chatham Siege Artillery, Co. B

John Cunningham 

J. R. Johnson


Co. C

William M. Davidson


Co. D

John B. Hussey


Co. E

Angus Morrison

Brooks, Chatham

Co. F

Benjamin Milikin

Brooks, Chatham

Co. G

R. A. Peoples

Pierce, Chatham

Co. H

William C. Allen 

Francis Olmstead


Co. I

James M. Dye


Co. K

Citizen No. 8 Infantry 

Pioneer Infantry

Charles W. Hersey


This company was originally Co. A, 18th Battalion Georgia State Guards. It was transferred later supposedly to Co. B (later Co. A) 1st Regiment Georgia Local Troops (Augusta) although there is no record of this transfer in the compiled service records.

This regiment was organized in July 1863 to serve as local defense for six months service. The regiment was originally known as the 1st Battalion Georgia Infantry, Reserves.

11th Cavalry Georgia State Guard

In service to Georgia and the

Confederate States of America (CSA)

A Partial Regimental History

NOTE: For the entire history go to

NOTE: James C. Barrs and his oldest son, James Henry L. Barrs and brother William W. Barrs enlisted in the 11th Cavalry Georgia State Guard in 1863 and after James and his son returning to their home in Tallokas District in north Brooks County Georgia from the Wakulla County Florida Salt Works. Tallokas is north of the Nankin District. James M. Barrs, a 1st cousin of James C. Barrs was born to Dempsey Barrs in 1829 in Twiggs County Georgia.  James M. enlisted on March 14, 1862 at the CSA Camp Anderson. He was discharged August 27, 1863 and was 5'9" dark skin and hair, blue eyes, occupation Farmer. James M. Barrs enlisted in "The Wakulla Tigers" in July of 1863 and was wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Brothers James C. and William W. Barrs served in the Brooks County GA Home Guard, which became the 81 Battalion. Note: All early Barrs had blue eyes, as did my father Fonso Barrs. Scandinavians and Vikings did also!

NOTE: In Sikafis Compendium of Confederate Armies-South Carolina and Georgia, this regiment is listed as #185 11th Georgia Infantry-State Guard. This is probably because Captain MacIntyre was in command of a State Guard Infantry Battalion (69th Georgia Militia) and in the summer of 1863 because of a man power shortage, it was changed to a Cavalry regiment. To further expand on the origins of this unit these notes on their officers prior assignments are given: Maclntyre's Battalion, Georgia State Guards, A. T. MacIntyre, Maj., Decatur Squadron, Georgia State Guards: Patrick A. McGriff, Capt., and a company appears to have served in an independent company of infantry and rolls have been so filed. It is believed the regiment was mustered out by spring of 1864.

James C. , James Henry L. and William W. Barrs' commanding officers (bold)

Field and Staff

Colonel: Archibald Thompson MacIntyre

Lieutenant Colonel: William Godfrey

Major: Patrick A. McGriff

Companies and Officers

Officers of Company D-Brooks' Cavalry

Captain: Wiley W. Groover

1st Lieutenant: Asa Kemp

2nd Lieutenant: C. E. Groover

2nd Lieutenant: L. R. Edmondson 

Stationed at Quitman in 1863

August 4, 1863:  Company muster-in roll of Captain Wiley W. Groover's Company, in the Battalion Regiment commanded by Major MacIntyre, called into the service of the Confederate States for local defense under the provisions of the Act of Congress on requisition of the President by Joseph E. Brown, Governor of Georgia, from August 4, 1863 (date of this muster) for the term of six months, unless sooner discharged, and to serve in the southwestern quarter of the state of Georgia, and west of the Altamaha River. (This is when, where and the unit James C. Barrs, his  son and brother enlisted after returning from the Wakulla County, Florida Salt Works.) The 3 Barrs served in the same company, company “D”.

I certify, on honor, that I have carefully examined the men whose names are borne on this roll, their horses and equipments, and have accepted them into the service of the Confederate States for the term of six months from August 4, 1863. B. W. SINCLAIR, Colonel, Eighty-first Regiment, Georgia Militia, Mustering Officer

Again adding to the confusion in researching this regiment, the 11th of Colonel McIntyre is referred to as Infantry. We researching this unit, it is advised to look at all information that can be found on any regiment bearing the 11th designation for State Guard or Militia regardless if it states infantry or cavalry.


General Information on the Georgia State Guard

The need for Governor Brown to call up a State Guard, Militia, Home Guard, Georgia Troops or other designation of troops raised to defend Georgia (which separates them from regular troops raised from Georgia for Confederate Service) was because of the invasion of the state.  As Federal troops under General Rosecrans were pushing into Georgia in September 1863, and until their defeat at Chickamauga.  Georgia State Guard regiments were called to duty in the Confederate army's rear. From that point until they mustered out on or about 4 February 1864, the State Guard outfits helped garrison Savannah and other places.  The siege of Northern Georgia and Atlanta in 1864 was an emergency that unfortunately, allowed little in the way of formal record keeping.  Many of the men, who fought in Militia and Home Guard units, remain unrecognized for their services.  Some are listed in the military records.


The only way to find out about such service is often through family oral histories, county histories, obituaries, and newspaper accounts of the time. It is estimated that about 5000 of these men fought in the trenches around Atlanta for a couple of months, then saw extended field service against Sherman's march of devastation and destruction across Georgia.  Some were captured when Fort McAllister Georgia was over run by superior numbers of General Sherman's troops. (James C. Barrs was among the CSA soldiers captured by attacking Union troops at Fort McAllister Georgia.)


A large proportion of the officers and men in all the reserve regiments and battalions were exempts from the regular Confederate service, many of them having been honorably discharged on account of wounds or failing health; many others were employees in government workshops, and some were State and county officers, while still others were either too old or too young for the regular service or had occupation beneficial to the CSA.


And, some like James C. Barrs were exempt because of their operating of the valued Salt Works of the Gulf of Mexico cost, which they operated until destroyed by Union gunboats and Marines.


Fortunately Confederate Military History has been preserved in the following information on the Georgia State Guard and Reserves.


More on the 11th Georgia State Guard

The 11th Georgia State Guard is only a month old when the need for a strong defensive posture in North Georgia, particularly Atlanta was seen. Special Orders #213 established General Cobb as the general officer in charge of organizing the Georgia men in what became a desperate attempt to thwart the invading army of Union General Sherman.


The headquarters of the Georgia State Guard in the autumn of 1863 was near Atlanta Georgia as evidenced by this correspondence.  The Official Records list the 11th Georgia State Guard as being camped near Savannah Georgia under command of General Henry R. Jackson.




Governor Brown made his appeal to the remaining men in Georgia to take up arms to protect themselves, their homes and families against the invading Yankee army. This call underscores the desperate situation facing the people of Georgia and the Confederacy.


Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Southwestern Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, West Florida, And Northern Georgia.- #27 HEADQUARTERS GEORGIA MILITIA, Atlanta, GA, May 28, 1864.



Your State is invaded and a portion of its most valuable territory overrun by a vindictive enemy of great strength, who is lying waste and devastating the country behind him. Unless this force is checked speedily, the property and homes of thousands must be destroyed, and they driven out as wanderers in destitution and beggary.

Our noble army needs further re-enforcements until the emergency has passed. I have summoned the civil and military officers of the State to arms, and they are promptly and nobly responding. If any of those who are subject to militia duty are remaining at home, who are able to do service, I desire the old men to report the facts to me immediately, that courts-martial may be ordered, or other proper steps taken to compel them to do their duty, or suffer the penalties. When all the officers shall have responded, more men will still be needed.

I do not order out the reserve militia except at the most exposed points, because some must be left at home to make bread; and the old men from fifty to sixty and the boys under seventeen are not able, as a general rule, to endure hard service in the military field. But I do call upon all who are able for service, and can possibly be spared from home, to hasten to the field till the great battle is fought. Many have Confederate contracts, details, and exemptions who are stout and able to do military duty, and can go to the field for a time without serious detriment to the public interest. All such, with all others able for duty, are earnestly requested to fly to arms as the State officers have done. Let each report to General Wayne, at Atlanta, and bring with him a bed quilt or blanket and rations to last him to camp, and a good double-barreled shotgun if he has one. If not, he can be armed by the Government.

Georgians, we are now in the crisis of our fate. The destiny of our posterity for ages to come may hang upon the results of the next few days. He who remains at his home now will soon occupy it as a slave, or be driven from it.

Rally to the rescue, and till the danger is past let the watchword of every patriot be, "To arms, and to the front;" and the vandal hordes will soon be driven back. JOSEPH E. BROWN.

General Sherman prepares to further push his invasion into Georgia with 100,000 Federal troops. Sherman gloats at the misery and destruction he is causing in Georgia as seen in a memo to General Grant



As soon as I hear from Stoneman I will shift all of McPherson to Roswell and cross Thomas about three miles above the railroad bridge and move against Atlanta, my left well to the east, to get possession of the Augusta road about Decatur or Stone Mountain. I think all will be ready in three days. I will have nearly 100,000 men. I feel certain we have killed and crippled for Johnston as many as we have sent to the rear. Have sent back about 6,000 or 7,000 prisoners, taken 11 guns of Johnston and about 10 in Rome.

Have destroyed immense iron, cotton, and wool mills, and have possession of all the niter country. My operations have been rather cautious than bold, but on the whole I trust are satisfactory to you. All of Polk's corps is still here; also Hardee's and Hood's, and the Georgia militia, under G. W. Smith. Let us persevere and trust to the fortunes of war, leaving statesmen to work out the solution. As ever your friend W. T. SHERMAN

There is apparent disagreement as to which units, how, and when Georgia Militia shall receive supplies and rations.



Your telegram of yesterday is received. When I assumed command of this army General Johnston had accepted the services of the Georgia militia. Since that time they have been under my orders as much as any other troops in the army.

Rations and forage have and are now being issued to them. They furnish now about 5,000 muskets in the trenches here. If it be required of the State to ration and forage these troops it is important that officers of the Confederate States should continue to issue such supplies now, and that the State return the supplies hereafter to the Confederate Government, either in kind or value.

J. B. HOOD, General.

Union reports tell of the movement by rail of Georgia troops and by a skirmish near Macon.




On the 19th of November General Sherman was near Greensborough, GA, on railroad connecting Atlanta and Augusta, GA November 20, eighty-five carloads of Georgia militia were ordered to Savannah, GA General Hardee also started for same destination with his staff, to assume command. O. R.- SERIES I -VOLUME XLI/4


UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS OF NOVEMBER 15 TO DECEMBER 21, 1864: The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign, No. 3 - Itinerary of the Union Forces, November 1 December 31, 1864.


November 22: Part of the division (Second Brigade) was attacked by three brigades of Georgia militia near Griswoldville Georgia some ten miles from Macon. The enemy was repulsed and left the field with dead and wounded in our hands. Loss on the Union side was 13 killed, 69 wounded, and 2 missing. Enemy's acknowledged loss, 614. O. R. -SERIES I - VOLUME XLIV


Late in November (1864)1200 men of the Georgia State Troops arrived in Savannah to defend that portion of their state.




The enemy yesterday landed at two points, threatening Grahamville and Coosawhatchie, on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. All available forces have been drawn from Charleston for defense of those paces, and General Smith, who arrived in the night with 1,200 Georgia State troops, was sent at once to the threatened point. Operator at Grahamville this morning reports enemy 5,000 strong and still landing from transports. W. J. HARDEE, Lieutenant General. O.R.- SERIES I - VOLUME XLIV




SIR: In accordance with instructions from General McLaws I proceeded on yesterday to this point. Ogeechee Bridge with instructions to hold that and King's Bridge.


I have made my headquarters, with two regiments, on the island on the east side of Morgan's Lake. I have a company posted at the eastern trestlework of this crossing, a guard at the east end of the main bridge. At Johnston Station there is a militia company from McIntosh County, picketing down the river. At Doctor Town, on the west side of the river, there are three small companies of militia; they have sent a scouting party up the river on the east side, and have mounted pickets, one at Clark's Bluff and one at Pinhominy, both below on the west side of the river. My position here is such that I can go easily to either side of the river. My force is, however, not large; the brigade is a small one at best, and many of the men dropped out at home on their way here. I have aggregate, at Ogeechee, 147 men; at Altamaha, 220 men. I could not make a more equal distribution without breaking the regiments, which, in consequence of the want of field officers, I did not think wise. We are now on the second day without regular rations. Respectfully, H. K. McKAY, Brigadier-General, Commanding. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV


General Smiths report to General Hardee dated 6 December 1864 from Savannah Headquarters gives insight to the operations from October to December involving Georgia state troops. Actions, movements, and deployments are described.


NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 21, 186: The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. No. 158: Report of Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, C. S. Army, commanding First Division, Georgia Militia, of operations October 12-November 30, including engagement at Honey Hill, S.C. HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, GEORGIA MILITIA, Savannah, December 6, 1864. Lieut. Gen. W. J. HARDEE, Commanding Department


GENERAL: On the 12th of October last I received at Macon a telegram from General Hood directing me to assemble as rapidly as possible all our available forces in that vicinity and make a demonstration on Atlanta so soon as the necessary transportation could be procured.


Under this order, I in a short time had at Lovejoy's Station a force numbering about 2,800 effective muskets, three batteries of Confederate artillery, and between 200 and 300 local reserve cavalry.


The whole force was under my command, much the larger portion of infantry belonging to the First Division of Georgia Militia. Finding this force inadequate to make a direct assault upon Atlanta, garrisoned as it then was, General Hood suggested that I should, if practicable, cross the Chattahoochee and destroy the line of railroad between that river and the Etowah. For various reasons, which were submitted to Generals Beauregard and Hood (and by them approved), it was deemed neither practicable nor expedient to make a direct attack upon Atlanta, or upon the railroad line, as suggested; so my command continued in observation near Atlanta, preventing the enemy from foraging and keeping them in their line of works, supporting Brigadier-General Iverson, who had just in advance of us two brigades of cavalry.


The cavalry, reached my headquarters, and soon after the advance of his forces from Alabama began to arrive. On the 15th of November the enemy moved out from Atlanta and advanced upon us with his whole force, viz, the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, with artillery and cavalry, which was soon after joined by the Fourteenth. Our cavalry were driven that afternoon from Jonesborough to Lovejoy's, and at dark I moved my force back to Griffin, at which place we had fortifications, and I felt we could there check the enemy should he advance directly upon us.


On the afternoon of the 16th it was ascertained the great mass of the enemy's forces had moved through McDonough, on the direct road from Atlanta to Macon, at which latter place there was at that time no garrison. At dark on the same day I left Griffin and marched my command to Forsyth, a distance of thirty-five miles in twenty-four hours. Learning that the enemy was crossing to the east bank of the Ocmulgee River I moved the command to Macon and about those time-received orders from General Beuregard to report by letter to Lieutenant-General Taylor. A copy of that letter is herewith transmitted.


All of my command except the Georgia militia and two regiments of State Line troops, which reported to me just before leaving Lovejoy's, were at this time turned over to Major-General Cobb. The defense of a portion of the line around Macon, on the west bank of the Ocmulgee, was assigned to the force still left in my command. Before the troops were fairly in position orders were received to cross the river and occupy a position covering East Macon.


This movement occupied the whole night. Soon after daylight next morning my five brigades were in the respective positions assigned them, no two being in the same part of the field.


During the morning of Monday, the 21st, the First Brigade, under your own personal instructions, given direct to the colonel commanding, were sent along the line of the Central railroad, with orders to move as rapidly as possible, either by rail Or otherwise, to the city of Augusta. In the afternoon of the same day Anderson's battery of artillery was assigned to the militia, and you directed me to move as soon as possible, with this battery, the Second, Third, and Fourth Brigades of militia, and the two regiments of the State Line, to Augusta.


They moved Tuesday morning in the direction of Griswoldville, with orders to halt there and await further instructions from me. You also informed me that you had ordered Major Cook, with the Athens and Augusta battalions, to proceed to Augusta, and directed me to take them in my command if I came up with them on the route.


Arrangements for transportation of ammunition and supplies detained me a few hours in Macon, which place you had left on the evening previous. Lieutenant-General Taylor arrived there on the morning of the 22d.


Information having been received showing very clearly that a much larger force of the enemy was near the city than was supposed when you gave the orders for my troops to move, he authorized me to direct them to return. My order reached them on the eve of an engagement with what was supposed to be a small force of the enemy. Notwithstanding my order to avoid an engagement at that place and time, a collision occurred, we being the attacking party; and though the officers and men behaved with great gallantry, they failed to carry the works of the enemy, but held a position within 150 yards of their line until after dark, when they were withdrawn to Macon by my order.


The First Brigade of militia were not engaged, having passed that point in the execution of orders given by yourself Major Cook, commanding the Athens and Augusta battalions, moving under orders direct from yourself, was upon the ground and engaged in this action.


Our loss was a little over 600, being more than one-fourth of the effective muskets we had in the engagement. Several of the best field officers of the command were killed or wounded.


It is evident now that our men were opposed by the larger portion of one corps of the enemy, while another was marching from Clinton in their rear and I consider the troops were very fortunate to be withdrawn without disaster.


Lieutenant-General Taylor, having become satisfied that the enemy was leaving the vicinity of Macon, directed me to move my command on Friday morning by rail to Albany; thence march to Thomasville; thence by rail to Savannah.


We arrived in Thomasville by noon Monday, having marched from Albany, a distance between fifty-five and sixty miles, in fifty-four hours. At Thomasville instead of finding five trains, the number I had requested to be sent, there were but two, and these could not be started until after dark, and did not arrive here until 2 o'clock Wednesday morning, occupying twice the time necessary between Thomasville and Savannah, and leaving the Second, Third, and Fourth Brigades at the former place. Upon arriving here, almost broken down by fatigue and want of rest, with officers and men similarly situated, I received before leaving the cars a peremptory order from your requiring me to take the militia of Georgia beyond the limits of the State, which was in direct violation of the statute organizing and calling them into service.


Considering the jaded condition of both officers and men, I determined not to move the militia or the State Line beyond the limits of Georgia until satisfied in my own mind that absolute necessity demanded it.


In a personal interview with yourself you informed me that the enemy had moved out from Broad River; were encamped within a few miles of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, threatening Grahamville and Coosawhatchie, and unless vigorously opposed would undoubtedly break the road at one or both of these points soon after daylight; and that the only force you had in your whole command which could by any possibility be brought upon the ground in time was two regular Confederate regiments from Charleston, and you believed these would be there too late; and that if I could hold the enemy in check until 2 p.m. and prevent their cutting the road before that time, several thousand re-enforcements from North and South Carolina, intended for Savannah, would arrive.


In this interview I showed you my qualified authority from the Governor to withdraw the Georgia State forces under my command from Confederate service in case they were ordered beyond the limits of the State. After a full conference with yourself I was perfectly satisfied that for the purposes intended it was right and proper the movement should be made, and I gave orders accordingly. Notwithstanding some objections made by a portion of officers and men, the order was willingly obeyed.


The leading brigade arrived at Grahamville about 8 o'clock Wednesday morning, the 30th of November. You kindly tendered me the services of your chief of artillery (Colonel Gonzales), who, upon our arrival at Grahamville, introduced me to Colonel Colcock, commander of the military district; Major Jenkins, the commander of the immediate vicinity, and Captain De Saussure, Colonel Colcock's adjutant-general.


To these four gentlemen particularly, and other officers acquainted with the locality, I am indebted for the information upon which I based the directions of the whole operation for the day.


Colonel Colcock reported the enemy rapidly advancing, skirmishing with some companies of his cavalry and a few pieces of artillery. He was just starting to the front, and I requested him to select a position for my leading brigade so soon as I could dispatch it to him. I awaited the arrival of the second train of my own troops and the Forty-seventh Georgia, which was momentarily expected from Charleston.


Having given the necessary orders to these forces, I joined Colonel Colcock a few minutes after 10 o'clock some four miles from the Grahamville depot and about one-half mile beyond the position we finally assumed. Colonel C. informed me the enemy had already occupied the position selected by him as the best for defense before my troops arrived. This made it necessary, in my judgment, that the leading brigade should be countermarched at once and placed in position on a line with our main battery. The troops in rear were hurried up and placed upon the same line, to the right and left of the road. The enemy in the meanwhile steadily advanced along the main road upon our position. After a proper disposition of our forces had been made and a skirmish line ordered forward, Colonel Colcock, the commander of the district and next officer in rank upon the field to myself, was assigned to the immediate executive command of the main line; Colonel Gonzales was placed in charge of the artillery, and Major Jenkins of all the cavalry; Captain De Saussure, who was thoroughly acquainted with the whole country, remained near me.


The Forty-seventh Georgia had not yet reached the field. Within five or ten minutes after these dispositions had been made the battle began by an advance piece of our artillery firing upon the enemy.


Their line of battle was soon formed, and from that time until near dark made continuous efforts to carry our position. We had actually engaged five pieces of artillery, and it is due to the South Carolina artillerists that I should say I have never seen pieces more skillfully employed and gallantly served upon a difficult field of battle.


In an hour the enemy had so extended and developed their attack that it became absolutely necessary for me to place in the front line of battle my last troops (the Forty-seventh Georgia Regiment), making in all about 1,400 effective muskets on the field, and all engaged.


From time to time alterations had to be made in our lines, by changing the positions of regiments and companies, extending intervals, &c., to prevent being flanked; and while we could not from the dense wood accurately estimate the number of the enemy, it was very clear their force largely exceeded ours, and I awaited with some anxiety the arrival of the Thirty-second Georgia and the forces expected from North and South Carolina.


Too much credit cannot be given to Colonel Colcock and Colonel Gonzales, Major Jenkins, and Captain De Saussure; to all the officers of my own staff; to Colonel Willis, commanding First Brigade of Georgia Militia; Colonel Wilson, commanding State Line Brigade; Major Cook, commanding the Athens and Augusta battalions of reserves; Lieutenant-Colonel Edwards, commanding the Forty-seventh Georgia Confederate Regiment; and to all the officers and men of every arm engaged upon that field. In short, I have never seen or known of a battle-field upon which there was so little confusion, and where every order was so cheerfully and promptly obeyed, and where a small number of men for so long a time successfully resisted the determined and oft-repeated efforts of largely superior attacking forces. The flight of the enemy during the night and the number of their dead left upon the field is evidence of the nature of the attack as well as the defense.


About 4.30 p.m. Brigadier-General Robertson arrived with a portion of the Thirty-second Georgia from Charleston, a battery of artillery, and a company of cavalry. These constituted an effective reserve, but came up too late to be used in the action. During the night the enemy retired rapidly in the direction of their gunboats. Our loss in every arm of service was 8 men killed and 42 wounded.


The enemy left over 200 of their dead upon the field, and their whole loss in killed and wounded is believed to be upward of 1,000.


At midnight Brigadier-General Chesnut arrived at Grahamville Station with about 350 effective muskets of South Carolina reserves, and a little before daylight upon the morning of the 1st of December Brigadier-General Baker came up with 860 of his brigade from North Carolina; the remainder of his command (about 1,100) reached Coosawhatchie at 9 o'clock. Lieutenant-General Hardee arrived at Grahamville Station between 8 and 9 o'clock of morning of the 1st of December.


The enemy having been beaten back on the 30th of November, and the Confederate forces having now arrived, there was, in my judgment, no longer any necessity for retaining the State troops of Georgia beyond their legal jurisdiction. I therefore asked and obtained permission to bring these exhausted troops back to their own State. They arrived here, by Lieutenant-General Hardee's order, about 10 o'clock that night.


For full particulars of the engagement near Grahamville, S.C., I refer you to the reports of subordinate commanders, which will be forwarded as soon as furnished. G. W. SMITH, Major.-General


The above copy is transmitted to General J. B. Hood because most of the operations referred to be by his direction while the militia formed part of his command. G. W. S.


, November 19, 1864. Lieut. Gen. RICHARD TAYLOR, Commanding, &c., Selma, Alabama


GENERAL: General Beauregard has informed me by telegraph that you will take the immediate command of the forces in Georgia, and directed me to report to you by letter. My own proper command consists of one division of militia, four brigades of infantry, numbering in all 1,900 effective muskets when we left Lovejoy's. I have not yet received the return since their arrival here yesterday afternoon.


Besides the militia, there was temporarily assigned to me by General Cobb one regiment and two battalions of reserve infantry, numbering about 900, some 300 reserves and local cavalry, and one battalion of Confederate artillery. The forces other than the militia proper will, I take for granted, be now placed under some other commander.


The enemy moved their strongest column through McDonough, and when I was at Griffin they had passed through McDonough, and were nearer Macon than I was. When I reached Forsyth, having made fifty miles in forty-eight hours, they were reported crossing the Ocmulgee, and could, by a rapid march, reach Macon by the left bank of the Ocmulgee without opposition. General Cobb ordered the cars to Forsyth for the infantry, and directed me to move the whole command to this place without delay. General Wheeler was the senior officer on this theater of operations, and without giving direct orders to the infantry and artillery, strongly advised so soon as he developed the strength of the enemy, that I should move to Macon at once.


I fully concurred in opinion with both General Wheeler and General Cobb. General Wheeler is confident that Sherman has with him in this movement at least 35,000 effective men, and informs me that the Fourteenth Army Corps is moving in addition to join Sherman.


Since I commenced this letter Lieutenant-General Hardee has come in. I will show him this letter before mailing it to your address. I remain, general, very respectfully and truly, yours, G. W. SMITH, Major General, First Division, Georgia Militia.


P. S: General Hardee has just shown me his orders from Richmond, dated 17th instant, stating that he commands all Georgia south of the Chattahoochee, and directing him to gather convalescents, local troops, &c., to garrison this place. G. W. S.


In the above I omitted the two regiments of State Line troops; they joined us the day before we left Lovejoy's. The two together number about 400 muskets. G. W. S. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV


NOVEMBER 15 through DECEMBER 31, 1864: The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. The Report of Brig. Gen. C. D. Anderson Georgia Militia, commanding brigade of engagement at Griswoldville, Georgia on November 22nd.


HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, East Macon November 24, 1864. Major General PHILLIPS, Commanding First Division, Georgia Militia


GENERAL: Below please find a report of the casualties of the Third Brigade, which would have been forwarded sooner had I not been too unwell since my return to camp to do any business until this morning: My brigade went into the action on the 22d instant, I suppose about 2 o'clock, as you are aware, on the extreme left of the command. After driving the enemy through the field, across the ravine to the edge of the woods, about 100 yards beyond the ravine, I halted them, and although our ammunition was nearly exhausted I held that position, firing slowly, until dark. The enemy having ceased firing, and having been informed that our forces were being withdrawn on the right, I withdrew my brigade slowly and in good order, and reported to you at Griswoldville. I am glad to be able to say that the men and officers of my command, although they suffered severely, as the list of casualties will show, acted well. Respectfully submitted: C. D. ANDERSON, Brigadier-General, Third Brigade. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LIII


A report detailing the move from East of Macon to Griswoldville and the ensuing fighting that took place, involving men of the Georgia Troops.


NOVEMBER 15 through DECEMBER 31, 1864: The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. Report of Brig. Gen. Pleasant J. Phillips commanding Second Brigade, Georgia Militia, of engagement at Griswoldville November 22 HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, GEORGIA MILITIA, December 8, 1864. Col. THOMAS HARDEMAN, Assistant Adjutant-General


COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the four brigades under my command on the 22d of November last:


The command left East Macon at about 8 a.m. and arrived without incident at 12 or 1 o'clock within about one mile of Griswoldville, where I found the Athens and Augusta battalions (under command of Major Cook) drawn up in line of battle. I also met a number of cavalry at and near this point, all of whom informed me that the enemy was in Griswoldville and had been engaged with some of our cavalry. He was represented to be about 800 or 1,200 strong.


I formed a line of battle, with General Anderson's brigade on the right, the Athens and Augusta battalions on his immediate left, and Brigadier-General McCoy's brigade on the left of the line. The Second Brigade, under Colonel Mann, was formed in the rear as a reserve. The State Line, under Lieutenant-Colonel Evans, was deployed as skirmishers and advanced on Griswoldville, where the enemy had just burnt some buildings and retired before we arrived, of which facts I informed the major-general commanding at about 2 p.m.


Whilst in Griswoldville Major Cook withdrew the Athens and Augusta battalions from the line, informing me that he was ordered by Lieutenant-General Hardee to proceed to Augusta and proceed down the Central railroad. I soon ordered the command to move down the Central railroad until it should clear the village, and halt to await further orders from Major-General Smith. The rear of the column had not cleared the village when firing of small arms was heard some half a mile in advance of our column, which was between the advance and rear guards of Major Cook and the enemy.


I ordered an advance of the command, and on arriving I met Major Cook, who pointed out to me the enemy posted on the opposite eminence in line of battle behind some temporary entrenchment’s and fortifications. Major Cook's skirmishers were then engaged with the enemy on his left.


I disposed of the forces represented by the accompanying diagram, viz: The Athens and Augusta battalions on our right (owing to the position they then held), making rather an obtuse angle, with the State Line on their left, and General McCoy's brigade on the left of the State Line, General McCoy's left resting near and south of the railroad. General Anderson's brigade was formed on the north side of the railroad, his left resting parallel with the railroad, and posted Captain Anderson's battery of four guns at an eligible site on the railroad on the north side. The Second Brigade, under Colonel Mann, was drawn up in rear of the State Line, and General McCoy's brigade in a secure place to act as reserves.


In this position an advance was ordered. General Anderson, with the brigade, to attack the enemy on his right flank; Major Cook, with his, to attack him on his left flank, whilst Captain Anderson, with his battery, the State Line, and General McCoy's commands attacked him in the front.


The State Line and General McCoy's brigade moved forward in fine style under a heavy and galling fire until they reached within some fifty yards of the enemy's works, which position they maintained during the contest, and from which position they delivered a telling fire. Colonel Mann, deeming that his brigade could be of more service near the lines, advanced it to near the same position, where it participated in the general action. From some misconception of orders, when the general advance was being made General Anderson's brigade faced to the right and swept across the railroad (save a small detachment on his extreme left that was cut off by a deep cut in the railroad) and participated with the State Line and General McCoy's brigade in the direct attack, where they, both officers and men, sustained themselves with decision and gallantry.


After the action had progressed for some hours General Anderson took the detachment of his men that had been cut off, went round to the enemy's right flank, when a most spirited and desperate fight ensued, lasting some hour and a half or more; but the enemy was too firmly established and the general's force too small to dislodge him.


The order to Major Cook (from some cause of which I am not aware) to turn the enemy's left was never carried out, yet his command participated fully in the action, deported themselves gallantly, and, I regret to say, suffered much from wounds and deaths. Captain Anderson, with his battery, did good and valuable service, soon silencing the enemy's battery and forced upon him many telling shots. He is a skillful, brave, and meritorious officer. The officers and men deported themselves well during the entire action, which lasted from 3 p.m. until dark; held their positions and retired in good order to Griswoldville, where I had intended to encamp and bring off those of our wounded and dead that had not been removed from the battle-field, but on my reaching Griswoldville, I received an order from the major-general commanding ordering me to fall back to the trenches at Macon, where I arrived about 2 a.m. I can but believe if the flank movement had been carried out with all the forces assigned to that duty that it would have resulted in dislodging and probably routing the enemy, notwithstanding he was, I am satisfied, fully equal, if not superior, to our forces.


Whilst we have to regret the loss of many gallant officers and men, yet we cannot but hope that they died not in vain. Accompanying please find a diagram of the field and position of the forces and the reports of all the officers that I have been able to procure. I am, with high regard, your obedient servant, P. J. PHILLIPS, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division, Georgia Militia. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LIII


Another Yankee report details the movement and possible strategy behind the move of Georgia State Troops.




DALTON, GEORGIA December 31, 1864. [Capt. H. A. FORD] Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, District of the Etowah:


One of my scouts from Spring Place informs me that General Runnells, commanding Georgia State troops, has ordered them all to Murray County, with a view of capturing Dalton and Cleveland.


General Findley, C. S. Army, commanding in Lumpkin County, is to have immediate command, and is probably at Carter's plantation, on the Coosawattee, the general rendezvous. One regiment, 500 strong, is now encamped at Carter's. J. B. CULVER, Colonel Thirteenth Michigan, Commanding. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLV/2


Confederate correspondence places members of Georgia State troops in the area of Savannah 1 February 1865.




The governor of South Carolina (General Bonham) had ordered his South Carolina State troops back from Georgia, where they had been sent to assist in the defense of Savannah. General Hardee had complied with the order, so that the Georgia State troops, of which Col. Cumming's command formed a part, thought it but just that they should not be sent across the Savannah River to assist in the defense of South Carolina soil. General Cobb, to whom they appealed, has given his views on that question. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVII/2


Governor Brown orders a last ditch effort to defend Columbus.

Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Southwestern Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, West Florida, And Northern Georgia: #33 EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Milledgeville, Ga., April 15, 1865. Major-General SMITH:


The movements of the enemy in Central Alabama indicate an intention on their part to make an early movement upon Columbus and other points in Georgia. To enable us to meet this successfully, it will require the united efforts of all who are able to bear arms, whether they belong to the State or Confederate service.


You are, therefore, hereby directed to order out the militia of the State, subject to your command, to rendezvous at Columbus, as fast as possible.


All who, re subject to your command under your former orders from these headquarters are embraced in this call, and all subject to militia duty under fifty years of age who fail to respond will be turned over to Confederate service. I regret exceedingly to have to require them to leave their crops at this important period, but the movement of the enemy leaves no other alternative. JOSEPH E. BROWN.


GENERAL ORDERS No. 1. HDQRS. FIRST DIV., GEORGIA MILITIA, Macon, Georgia April 15, 1865.


1. In obedience to the above directions from the Governor and commander-in-chief, the militia of the State of Georgia, except those between fifty and sixty years of age, are hereby ordered to rendezvous, without delay, at Columbus.


2. The publication of these orders will be considered sufficient notice to all subject to militia duty in this command. Officers and men will observe that not only those under fifty years of age, who have previously reported, but all others subject to militia duty are embraced in this call, and all must report accordingly or be dealt with as deserters.


3. Captains of companies will send their men forward immediately, and will themselves be allowed three days, if necessary, to gather and send to Columbus all who fail to start. General, field, and staff officers and detachments will report at the rendezvous immediately. Captain Pruden's battery of artillery is included in this call.


4. No excuse will be accepted from those who carried their arms home with them in case they fail to bring them back. All are enjoined not only to obey this order promptly, but they are authorized and directed to bring out all who owe service in the militia, and all public arms not in public use in their respective districts must be brought to the rendezvous.


5. The militia between fifty and sixty years of age in each county are required to hold themselves in readiness to respond at a moment's notice to future orders of the Governor calling them into active service. G. W. SMITH, Major General. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LII/2


Yankee orders of 3 May 1865 call for Governor Brown to surrender the Georgia State troops and their supplies.


Union Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, Tennessee, Northern And Central Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, And West Florida, From March 16 To June 30, 1865: #24 HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Macon, Ga., May 3, 1865. Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding Department of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tenn.:


I have sent Majors Williams and McBurney, of my staff, to Milledgeville to receive the surrender of troops there, and to direct the transportation of the Confederate stores to this place.


I have also demanded of Governor Brown, commander-in-chief of the Georgia militia, the surrender of his troops and the military stores pertaining to them. He is to meet me in person at this place to-morrow afternoon for the purpose of arranging the details of the capitulation. I have already conferred with General H. C. Wayne, adjutant and inspector general, who assures me that the terms prescribed will be carried into effect. General McCook will start to-morrow with a small force to Tallahassee, FL., to receive the surrender of the troops under the command of General Sam Jones in that district. As you doubtless know General Cobb surrendered this place with its garrison to me on the 20th of April, immediately after the appearance of my advance before it. Since then he has put my officers in possession of all Confederate supplies within our reach by rail in Central and Southwestern Georgia. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIX/2 [S# 104]


Union Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, Tennessee, Northern And Central Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, And West Florida, From March 16 To June 30, 1865: #24 HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Macon, Ga., May 3, 1865. JOSEPH E. BROWN, Commander-in-Chief of the Georgia Militia, Milledgeville, Georgia:

SIR: In accordance with the terms of the convention between General Sherman and General Johnston, C. S. Army, similar in all respects to that between General Grant and General Lee, I have the honor to request that you will take the necessary steps to surrender the troops under your command, with all the arms and military stores pertaining thereto. The terms of the convention are as follows:


First: Bvt. Maj. Gen. J. H. Wilson, U.S. Army, or such officer as he may appoint, is designated to receive the surrender.


Second. Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer designated by General Wilson, the other to be retained by such Confederate officer as may be designated by the Confederate commander at the time of the surrender.


Third: The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the United States Government until properly exchanged, and each company, battalion, or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men under his command.


Fourth: All arms and public property to be stored and packed and turned over to an officer to be named by Brevet Major-General Wilson to receive them. This will not embrace the side arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage.


Fifth: This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the military authorities of the United States, so long as they preserve their parole and obey the laws which were in force previous to January 1, 1861, where they reside. For the purpose of arranging the details, I will meet you on your arrival at this place Thursday afternoon. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. H. WILSON, Brevet Major-General O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIX/2


It has been my attempt to get as much specific information about the men of the 11th Georgia State Guard Cavalry. Because of the state of reporting of State Guard, Militia and Reserve regiments, or at least in records that I have found or have access to, much general information about the overall movement and deployment of the militia has been compiled.


Without further research and the coming forth of letters and diaries from the very men themselves, it may be difficult to pinpoint more information about the actions of this specific regiment. 


Questions that linger are "How many men re-enrolled following the mustering out of February 1964?" "Where were these men specifically assigned?" "What was their designation?" Certainly thoughts of turning back the Yankee invasion and protecting the home state became mixed with the concerns of the family and farms back home. "At what point did men leave to protect their own counties, farms and homes?" 


One can only speculate at this time. As we reflect on the 11th regiment’s story and in fact on the entire story of the Georgia State Guard and Militia, it brings forth visions of honor and terror at the same time.


Perhaps, we the descendents of these brave men best appreciate this split sense of duty to state and family. This was certainly no "Civil War" and most certainly not a war fought to keep black men slaves. Perhaps the entire country would do well to learn of these men’s stories as it most likely more accurately defines the reason Georgia men, young and old, took up arms in defense of their homes and families.

Fort where G-G Grandfather James C. Barrs was captured by overwhelming Union troops

At Twilight on December 13, 1864


1st Regiment Georgia, Local Defense Troops (Augusta)

Col. George W. Rains

Co. A

Silver Grays

William T. Gould


Co. B

Augusta Volunteers

George T. Jackson


Co. C

Thomas H. Holleyman


Co. D

Rains Guards

Albert Hatch


Co. E

Forest City Guards

O. H. Lufburrow


Co. F

F. L. Markey


Co. G

Augusta Sharpshooters

C. Shaler Smith


Co. H

Cornelius B. Veronee


Co. I

H. Caminade


Co. K

Jacob W. Adams


Barnes' Co. 

Barnes Light Artillery 

Augusta Volunteer Artillery

George T. Barnes


Dearing's Co.

Wheeler Dragoons

W. E. Dearing


This regiment was organized in September 1862 to serve as local defense for the duration of the war. Some of the companies became a part of the 2nd Battalion Georgia Local Defense Troops (Augusta).

1st Regiment Georgia Militia, Infantry

Col. Thomas J. Pilgrim

Nothing else is known about this unit.


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