Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bound for Beaulieu

  Bound for Beaulieu
On April 29, 1862, Charles R. Russell placed the above advertisement in the Columbus Daily Enquirer (Columbus,GA). By the first week in May a company of men had been recruited and on their way to Savannah, GA to join Colonel Charlton Way's Regiment at Beaulieu Battery just below the city.
In November 1861 General Robert E. Lee visited Savannah and the surrounding area to establish defenses around the city. He established Beaulieu Battery on the Vernon River. Directly across from Beaulieu Battery was Fort McAllister, at Genesis Point on the Big Ogeechee River. Beaulieu Battery was armed with one 8 inch Columbiad cannon, two 10 inch Columbiads, two 42 pounders and three 31 pounders. The defenses were constructed of earth, though not as extensive as Fort McAllister.
The Joe Thompson Artillery commanded by Capt. Cornelius Hanlieter was already established at Beaulieu when the Russell Guards arrived. Marcus (Marcus Ely) often mentioned him in his letters. For the next two years the Russell Guards called Beaulieu Battery their home away from home. The battery was described in a letter written by Arthur Hutchinson, a private in Hanleiter's Company, Georgia Light Artillery (Jo Thompson Artillery) to his father in February 1864. " I arrived here and found the men  hospitable and obliging. The fare is good for camp. We have biscuit and coffee and sausage and light bread. The coffee has long sweetening. We have good quarters. Each mess has a house to cook in and a house to sleep in with bedsteads of  our own. Everything is conducted with system. We have the most beautiful camp in the Confederate States."
   In late April 1864 the unit received word they were to join forces in North Georgia with General Joe Johnston.
Beaulieu Battery was occupied until December 1864. Bombardment of the battery began on December 15th. General William Hardee, preparing to evacuate Savannah in the wake of Sherman's march to the sea, ordered the destruction of the carriages and ammunition and the spiking of the guns. The men left Beaulieu and marched to Hardeeville, S.C.
After the war, Julian Schley, the owner of Beaulieu Plantation, decided to sell all but four acres to several parties, including Col. Charles Olmstead and Col. Charlton Way (both men had been at Beaulieu Battery during the war). Provisions in the deeds stated that they would leave space around the bluff and would not develop the land as a resort, or establish hotels or bars within one mile of the Vernon River. Thus the Beaulieu area today is essentially still undeveloped.

  "Beaulieu Plantation,"Robert Walker Groves   The Georgia Historical Quarterly

Vol. 37, No. 3 (September, 1953), pp. 200-209 
“Company Wanted,” Daily Columbus (GA) Enquirer, 29 April 1862, 2.  

Georgia Virtual Vault photos

Smedlund, William S. Campfires of Georgia Troops, 1861–1865. Kennesaw GA: Kennesaw Mountain Press, 1995

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