|Sunshine Church Battlefield in Georgia|
The Battle of Sunshine Church was one Georgia's most dramatic Confederate victories and also holds note as the event that led to the surrender of the highest ranking Union officer to raise the white flag during the entire War Between the States (or Civil War).
|Maj. Gen. George Stoneman|
At the Battle of Dunlap Hill, just across the Ocmulgee River from downtown Macon, Cobb and his Confederates convinced Stoneman that it would be worse than foolish to try to continue on to Andersonville. After an unsuccessful attack on the Confederate fortifications around the Dunlap farm, Stoneman decided the best course of action would be for him to withdraw from Macon as quickly as possible and get back to the safety of Sherman's main army. To learn more about that action, please see yesterday's post: http://southernhistory.blogspot.com/2013/07/battle-of-dunlap-hill-149th-anniversary.html.
It was too late for Stoneman, who had earned his coming fate with the terror he had inflicted on helpless women and children on his way to Macon. Confederate cavalry was already moving into position behind him to cut off his route of retreat.
|Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson|
Iverson had grown up in the area and knew its every ridge and trail. Outriding Stoneman, he had taken his men all the way around the retreating Union column. By the time the Federals reached Sunshine Church, the Confederates were dug in and waiting on a commanding ridge. They had picked the ground and were ready to make the fight.
In one of the greatest cavalry blunders of the War Between the States, Gen. Stoneman now found himself trapped between Iverson's entrenched men and the forces that Cobb was sending north from Macon to attack him from behind. Left with no choice but to try to fight his way through, the Union commander attacked and was driven back.
|Iverson's Ridge at Sunshine Church|
|Stoneman's Raid Marker|
|Today's Sunshine Church|
To learn more about the Battle of Sunshine Church, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/sunshinechurch.