The Battle of Buck Head Creek took place on November 28, 1864 and saw Union forces under the command of Brigadier-General Judson Kilpatrick clash with Confederate forces under the command of Major-General Joseph Wheeler. The main conflict was rearguard action by one of Kilpatrick regiments supported by artillery fire. While Confederate casualties were low, this was an important part of the larger campaign that saw Sherman's army march through Georgia. Confederate casualties were later exaggerated although the research of John Rigdon identified only one Confederate soldier was killed in the skirmish, William Martin of Avery's 4th Georgia Cavalry.
On November 28, 1864,
the Battle of Buckhead Creek took place as a part of Sherman's
March to the Sea. Fighting occurred next to Big Buckhead Church which still stands today. In an attempt to free a
multitude of Union prisoners reported to be at Camp Lawton in Millen,
Georgia, Sherman dispatch a large cavalry force under the command of Union
Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick to the area. The soldiers burned a Confederate railroad bridge at Briar
Creek on their way to Camp Lawton. On November 24, 1864, Kilpatrick drove toward
his objective while also attempting to trick Confederate forces into believe
that Sherman was marching on Augusta to lower Confederacy opposition as Sherman
marched in a different direction.
At first, Kilpatrick’s move successfully diverted Confederate forces to defend
Augusta, but Confederate Major-General Joseph Wheeler quickly realized that the
Union move was a trick and managed to reach Briar Creek just in time to prevent
Kilpatrick from destroying the bridge. During this time, Kilpatrick also found
that the prisoners of war at Camp Lawton had been transferred to other undisclosed
locations, so he decided to withdraw his troops back to Sherman’s main forces.