Talk:Battle of Griswoldville

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Coordinate error[edit]

{{geodata-check}}

The coordinates need the following fixes:

  • need to change the coordinates to 32:52:09.68N, 083:27:35.68W for the actual site of the battlefeild.

--205.175.225.22 (talk) 16:21, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. The old coords were of the village of Griswoldville, which was also incorrectly shown in Wikimapia as the battlefield. The coords given by the requester — 32°52′10″N 83°27′36″W / 32.869356°N 83.459911°W / 32.869356; -83.459911 — are, I have reason to believe, the location of the current-day battlefield markers, which are on the far eastern edge of the battlefield. I have both corrected the Wikimapia polygon and, rather than using the suggested coords, put the Wikipedia coords centered between the main lines of battle, per the maps of the battle available here. Regards, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 20:40, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Why were they there?[edit]

Griswoldville wasn't a village, but a siding along side the Central of Georgia Railroad about 15 miles east of Macon — my great, great-granddaddy was KIA there. I can't give references as I'm presently 180 degrees out from Macon where the archives are kept (which is where I got my info, not from family lore.) These accounts say that a displaced Yankee named Griswold had located a factory there, to use slave labor to make knock-offs of the Navy model Colt revolver — the factory which the Union cavalry had been sent to destroy. They then dismantled a Negro church to use the timbers for breastworks on a commanding knoll surrounded by blackberry brambles — foreshadowing concertina wire.

Meanwhile, back in Macon, when it had become obvious Sherman wasn't to attack the city, the Georgia militia was ordered to make their way along railroad track to Savannah, to mount a defense of that city. As they were the one remaining organized militia unit, they were under strict orders to avoid battle — orders which were repeated by a despatch rider sent by their commander who had remained in Macon for one last fling with his mistress — right before they stumbled upon one in progress. They might not have been able to make their way around it, but in any case, contemporary accounts say that they died mounting five assaults on that knoll, trying to expunge the infamy of the refrain from Eating Goober Peas: There sat the Georgia Militia, eating goober peas! In the words of the Union commander, they left the field littered with graybeards and boys: John Lowe Montgomery, age 46, was one of the former. Mary Jane, his wife, bore his daughter the following Christmas Day. (While Confederate records are skimpy, a study of a million Federal enlistments turned up only 16,000 as old as forty-four, and only 46,000 of twenty-five or more.)

Also worthy of note:

Battery B, 1st Michigan, ordered to make a demonstration, embedded a shot in Macon's Cannonball House. A battery of artillery was also brought up on the Confederate side. Though accounts don't say where it came from or where it went, they do say the battery swiftly set up, then fired four rounds that took out two Yankee artillery pieces and two caissons; whereupon, having run out of ammunition, they packed up and left without a trace. --Pawyilee (talk) 12:15, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Pawyilee: Your point, including specifically the age distribution of the two forces, is right but your web site source is inaccurate.
Check out page 34 at this web site: http://books.google.com/books?id=FTYAAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA87&dq=Ages+of+U.S.+Volunteer+Soldiers,+1866&hl=en&ei=nG_OTNCrLMG78ga6mIH2Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CFgQ6AEwCTg8#v=onepage&q&f=false This is the 1869 study of over one million Union Army enlistments by the actuary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Doing approximate math in my head, I calculate about 12,000 enlistees under the age of 18 and about the same number over the age of 44. Another 16,070 were listed as exactly age 44. The big error, however, is in the number of soldiers between the ages of 25 and 44. The Sanitary Commission showed 46,626 men who were exactly 25 years old. Again, doing approximate math by quick eyeball look, about 350,000 men were between the ages of 26 and 43 inclusive. Either the Photographic History (some of the volumes of which are online) or the source you quote made an erroneous interpretation of the Sanitary Commission's age distribution table.
Also, the total number of Union soldiers who were under certain ages shown on this web site can not possibly be right. Only about 400,000 of the over one million enlistments studied by the Sanitary Commission were of men age 21 and under. To reach 2,000,000 men age 21 and under for all soldiers in the Union Army during the war, every man in the Union Army whose enlistment papers were not part of the study would have had to have been age 21 and younger. This is not likely. In fact, since some sources assert the total number of Union soldiers may have been more like 2.3 million because of re-enlistments and multiple enlistments by men looking to collect multiple bounties, there might not have even been quite enough additional soldiers to reach the 2 million mark for young soldiers even if they were all that young.
None of this detracts from your point, however. You note that the Georgia militia at this date and in this battle consisted largely of boys under age 18 and old men over age 45. Indeed, there are sources that support this and most people familiar with the subject would readily agree on that point. Indeed, there were many soldiers of these young and old ages in the Confederate Army by this date. In turn, these boys and old men had to face well trained, veteran Union volunteer forces of prime military age. This statement holds true even though they were apparently somewhat older on average (about age 25 or 26 on average, it seems) than the figures on the web site you cited suggests. I guess the bottom line is that your point is valid but your source for the age of the Union forces has too many errors to use for support. Nonetheless, the Sanitary Commission report itself seems to be a good source for the same point.Donner60 (talk) 08:44, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Added comments at Talk: Georgia Militia During the War Between the States. --Pawyilee (talk) 13:11, 1 November 2010 (UTC)