Sunday, July 31, 2016

Col. Eli Long enters west Cohutta Springs, Murray County, Georgia (North Georgia) - Feb. 1864

This bit of correspondence is significant to my very specific research project, but might be of interest to anyone who is studying the First Battle of Dalton, Georgia, or wanting to know more about North Georgia.

When Colonel Eli Long first entered Murray County, Georgia, en route to the Battle of Dalton, he seemed a bit confused about the location, or at least realized that the orders concerning his mission were ambiguous on a certain point: the location of the roads.

Colonel Eli Long camps at the mill near Waterhouse's Plantation
Long camps at Waterhouse's Mill in Cohutta Springs (west), Murray County, Georgia, February 1864.

Citation: Reports of Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, Second Cavalry Division, Correspondence: Long to Whipple, 22 Feb. 1864, Near Burnt Mill, On Cleveland and Spring Place Road," Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 32, Pt. 1, Report 26.

Report of Brig. Gen. Charles Cruft, U. S. Army, commanding First
Division, Fourth Army Corps, Rept. No. 3., O.R. Series 1, Vol. 32, Pt. 1 (Reports), Ch. 44 ("Demonstration on Dalton, GA"), [Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1891], 423.

Link to a text file of the same communication. Caution! Has errors.


Captain F.R.R. Smith, Confederate Engineer, Captured (probably near Conasauga River); and Captain Herman, almost captured while mapping near Conasauga River.
Two months after Eli Long entered North Georgia, two Confederate engineers were found mapping areas in northern Murray County, Georgia. One of them, F.R.R. Smith, was captured. "Captain Smith says he was ordered to make a survey of the country south of Sumac Creek, west of the Federal road, east of Connesauga Creek, and north of Spring Place" (341-342). He had also made maps of Atlanta. The other one, Captain Herman, who was almost captured, "was evidently making a survey of the country south of the Connesauga River, west of the Federal road, north of Sumac Creek" (341).

It makes me think that there may not have been any detailed maps of the area at the time Eli Long was there. There was a map in draft stages (Map: Mountain Region of North Carolina and Tennessee, which I've cropped to show details of Murray County, Georgia. It wasn't published until 1865, but had two earlier drafts, also on file at Library of Congress). Ref.:  O.R., s1, v32, pt3, 341-342 (McCook to Whipple, 13 April 1864, Cleveland, Tenn.).
Note: The area that the Rebels are mapping, from the description given in this correspondence, only makes sense if it is understood that the portion of the Federal Road mentioned therein refers to the north fork of the Federal Road. The road forked at Ramhurst and went north into Murray County. The other fork went on toward Dalton. Find a description of the route on Georgia USA website.
Eli Long's correspondence is from a Burnt Mill near the Conasauga River. He camped at a nearby house, which he later identified as Mr. Waterhouse's house. Other soldiers identify the camp site as Waterhouse's Mill, which seems more likely. None of the correspondence mentions Cohutta Springs, but a post office existed near that area as early as 1836. It was suspended during the war and re-opened later. Interestingly, it does not appear on the 1865 map that I've found, but does appear on earlier and some later maps of the area. On the 1865 map, Cohutta Springs (the mineral springs) near Summerour, east of Waterhouse's, is designated, but the Cohutta Springs P.O. is not designated. Very importantly, for anyone studying the area: these are really two separate communities, but they are both called Cohutta Springs (or Cohutta Springs P.O.) at various times, and sometimes actually appear in two spots on the same map. The old Waterhouse plantation is west of Sumac Ridge, in the Tenth District, 3rd Section, of Murray County (five miles west of the mineral springs), on modern-day Georgia Highway 225. The mineral springs were east of Sumac Ridge, north of Hickory Ridge, off of modern-day U.S. Highway 411. See my detailed description and maps.

Report: F.R.R. Smith captured. Captain Herman, almost captured mapping near Conasauga River.
Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 32, Pt. 3 (Correspondence, Etc.), [Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Offc., 1891], 341-342 (McCook to Whipple, 13 April 1864, Cleveland, Tenn.).

Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 32, Pt. 3
Title: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Compiled by: Calvin Duvall Cowles
Contribrs: United States. War Records Office, United States. Record and Pension Office, United States. Congress. House.
Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1891
Original from the University of Virginia; digitized Feb 1, 2008

Also see:

1865 MAP - Detail of Northern Murray County, Georgia (Mountain Region Map of North Carolina and Tennessee (detail of N. Ga.), Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division).
The page above has my research and comments about Cohutta Springs, Waterhouse's Plantation, etc.

Full biblio: The War of the Rebellion: v.1-53 [serial no. 1-111] Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern states, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders and returns relating specially thereto. 1880-1898. 111v.

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