Battle of Buck Head Creek

Battle of Buck Head Creek

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Buck Head Creek
partof=the American Civil War

date= November 28, 1864
place= Buck Head Creek, Georgia
result=Union victory
combatant1= flagicon|USA|1863 United States (Union)
combatant2= flagicon|CSA|1863 CSA (Confederacy)
commander1= Judson Kilpatrick
commander2= Joseph Wheeler
strength1= Cavalry division
strength2= Cavalry corps
casualties1= 46
casualties2= 600
The Battle of Buck Head Creek (also known as Buckhead Creek) was the second battle of Sherman's March to the Sea, fought November 28 1864, during the American Civil War. Union Army cavalry under Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick repulsed an attack by the small Confederate cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, but abandoned its attempt to destroy railroads and rescue Union prisoners of war.

As Sherman’s infantry marched southeast through Georgia, his cavalry, under Kilpatrick, moved northeastward, on November 24, to destroy the railroad midway between Augusta and Millen, burn the trestle near Briar Creek and, if possible, release Union prisoners confined at Camp Lawton, near Millen, while feigning a drive towards Augusta. Wheeler was fooled and concentrated his cavalry forces around Augusta. When Kilpatrick did not show, Wheeler realized his mistake and rode off in an attempt to catch his Union counterpart. On November 26, Wheeler caught up with two lagging Union regiments, attacked their camp, chased them to the larger force and prevented Kilpatrick from destroying the Briar Creek trestle. Kilpatrick instead destroyed a mile of track in the area. When Kilpatrick discovered that the Union prisoners at Camp Lawton had been taken to other unknown sites, he began to move southwest to join up with Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's headquarters.

Kilpatrick's men encamped near Buck Head Creek on the night of November 27. Wheeler came along the next morning, almost captured Kilpatrick, and pursued him and his men to Buck Head Creek. As Kilpatrick’s main force crossed the creek, the 5th Ohio Cavalry regiment, under Col. Thomas T. Heath, supported by two artillery pieces, fought a rearguard action from behind a barricade of rails, severely punishing Wheeler's troopers with canister fire and then burned the bridge behind them. Wheeler soon crossed and followed, but a Union brigade behind barricades at Reynolds's Plantation halted the Rebels’ drive, eventually forcing them to retire. Kilpatrick rode on to rejoin Sherman at Louisville, Georgia.

Union casualties were reported as 46, Confederate estimated to be 600.


* [ National Park Service battle description]
* Eicher, David J., "The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War", Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
* "The Union Army; A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States, 1861–65 — Records of the Regiments in the Union Army — Cyclopedia of Battles — Memoirs of Commanders and Soldiers", Federal Publishing Company (Madison, Wisconsin), 1908 (reprinted by Broadfoot Publishing, 1997).

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