December 9, 1864 – Ebenezer Creek Massacre

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Legal Legacy

On this day in history, the African Americans who helped push Sherman’s army through the swamp territory during his famous March to the Sea were betrayed at Ebenezer Creek, only some twenty miles from the city of Savannah, Georgia.

One of Sherman’s brigadier generals, the ironically named Jefferson C. Davis, commanded Sherman’s Fourteenth Corps. In spite of the fact that black refugees who joined the march were supplying a great deal of the labor for making the sandy roads passable for the army, Davis wasn’t fond of them. He saw them as exacerbating the food shortage problem, and slowing down the march. He was also an unrepentant supporter of slavery.

Union Army Fourteenth Corps Commander Jefferson C. Davis Union Army Fourteenth Corps Commander Jefferson C. Davis

As the troops approached Ebenezer Creek, Davis issued instructions that the black refugees remain behind until the Army had crossed the pontoon bridge. As soon as the Army and their workers were…

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