Excerpt from Chappell's Mill by Letty Carswell Dooley, Middle Georgia Magazine, Summer '92
"Legend has it that Chappell's Mill, a target of destruction by Sherman's
army, which was ransacking its way through Wilkinson and Laurens Counties,
was resecued from seizure by Dr. James Barnes Duggan, a Confederate
Major surgeon on furlough and an elderly black lady.
According to the story, as Sherman's troops neared from the north, Duggan cleverly contrived a plot that would create a grand illusion in the eyes of the Yankees.
He dashed off to pound on the door of an aged black woman living on the south side of the Sandy Creek bridge. A quick explanation of the grave situation Duggan convinced the woman to willingly assist Duggan in the plan to deter Sherman's troops. As instructed, she set ablaze the wooden bridge and then retreated. Shortly, four Union soldiers with troops trailing several hundred yards behind them approached the bridge, quickly dismounted and attempted to put out the raging flames.
Meanwhile, a uniformed Dr. Duggan mounted his steed and positioned himself beyound the bridge at the curve of the road. As the Yankees gazed through the flames they beheld his commanding figure in the distance. At that moment a shot rang out from that very spot. Duggan beckoned his Confederate "troops" from beound the curve in the road and more gunfire was discharged toward the four-man detachment. The soldiers, believing they had encountered the young merciless General Wheeler and the Confederate Calvary, scurried back to their mounts and flew back to their main troops who then retreated based on the words of the eyewitnesses. The story has it that Sherman's troops anxiously waited a day and half for Wheelers attack!
Major Duggan, who was a native of Wilkinson County, died in 1915 and was buried near Chappell's Mill in the old Stanley family cemtery."
James B. Duggan
Residence Wilkinson County GA;
Enlisted on 3/4/1862 as a 1st Lieutenant.
On 3/4/1862 he was commissioned into "A" Co. GA 49th Infantry
He was Surrendered on 4/9/1865 at Appomattox Court House, VA
* Capt 9/9/1862
* Major 6/11/1864
Intra Regimental Company Transfers:
* 6/11/1864 from company A to Field & Staff
Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.:
- Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia 1861-1865
- Southern Historical Society Papers: Appomattox Paroles ANV
(c) Historical Data Systems, Inc. @ www.civilwardata.com
CONFEDERATE GEORGIA TROOPS
49th Regiment, Georgia Infantry
49th Infantry Regiment was organized in November, 1861, with men from
Wilkinson, Talfair, Washington, Irwin, Laurens, Pierce, and Pulaski counties.
After serving in Georgia and North Carolina, the regiment moved to Virginia.
Here it was assigned to General J.R. Anderson's and E.L. Thomas' Brigade,
Army of Northern Virginia. The 49th took an active part in the campaigns
of the army from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, fought in the Petersburg trenches
south of the James River, and was involved in the Appomattox operations.
It reported 68 casualties at Second Manassas and 61 at Fredericksburg.
The unit lost thirteen percent of the 280 at Chancellorsville and more
than twenty-five percent of the 329 at Gettysburg. It surrendered with
8 officers and 103 men. Its field officers were Colonels John T. Jordan,
A.J. Lane, and Samuel T. Player; Lieutenant Colonels Oliver H. Cooke, Seaborn
M. Manning, Jonathon Rivers, and Wiley J. Williams; and Majors James
B. Duggan, John A. Durham, and John H. Pate.
source; Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
"The corps was to cross Oconee River, at Ball's Ferry, consequently
the four divisions marched early on November 25 from their respective camps
toward that point. Hazen and Woods arrived at the ferry; Corse and Smith
at Milton and Irwinton, respectively. In order to protect the right flank
of our column during its crossing of the river against some rebel fo be
at Big Sandy Creek, the Twenty-ninth Missouri (mounted) was stationed along
that stream, with orders to destroy all bridges and guard all such points
where crossing could be effected. They found some opposition at the Light
Wood Knot bridge, but succeeded in destroying it, notwithstanding. "
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 44, Part 1 (Savannah)