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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Bulloch County citizens in the Civil War
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(Note: This is the first of a three-part series about Bulloch County residents who fought in the Civil War.)

    In Georgia, communities were divided up for military purposes during the Civil War, and then were split even further into Bailiwicks or Parishes. Once an area had between 125 and 150 men between the ages of 16 and 50, it formed a company of armed militia.
    The first such militia unit in Bulloch County was the 44th (Sinkhole); then the 45th (Club House, commanded by Captain Benjamin Atwood); the 46th (Lockhart); the 47th (Briar Patch, commanded by Captain W.D. Brannen); the 48th (Hagin, commanded by Captain George R. Hagin); and 1209th (Statesboro, commanded by Captain Solomon Akins).
    A specific site was chosen as its muster ground, where the men of the company would gather to drill with wooden rifles and bayonets. Once trained, the state armory would provide them with real weapons. New districts were formed out of existing ones, and each new unit was assigned the next number available by the secretary of state.
    This happened with a number of Bulloch County companies, including the 1320th (Laston, cut from Club House and Lockhart); 1523rd (Brooklet, cut from Briar Patch and Hagin); and 1435th (also cut from Briar Patch and Hagin). This explains why the numbers are so far apart.
    Their duties were to keep the peace and defend the residents, maintain the public roads and bridges, and see to the education of the areas poor children at the state-supported “Poor Schools”.
T    hese small companies evolved into three “Captains Companies” on March 14, 1864. They were: First Company, commanded by Major L.E.M. Williams and Captain Jacob Ellis; Second Company, commanded by Captain M.I. McElveen; and Third Company, commanded by Captain Samuel Harville.
    The 17th District Georgia Militia was formed from these three companies on May 24, 1864. The ranks of these companies were filled with men who lived in Bulloch, Burke, and Screven Counties. The commanding officer of the entire 17th District Militia was Colonel W.J. Armstrong, assisted by Lieutenant Colonel E.R. Lassiter and Major Thomas Pierce.

'Bulloch Volunteers'

    This unit of men from the Wiregrass started out as the “Bulloch Volunteers” of the Georgia State Guard. As the War Between the States became a reality, this unit was merged with other State Guard forces to become the Twentieth Battalion of the Georgia State Guard on Aug. 4, 1863.
    The 20th Battalion then merged with the 21st Battalion to form the new 12th Regiment of the Georgia State Guards. The 75 men from Bulloch County were put into Company K., and were known now as either “Brannen’s Company” or the “Bulloch Volunteers.”
    The 12th Regiment, commanded by Colonel Henry G. Wright, was also called “Wright’s Regiment” of the Georgia State Guards Cavalry. The commander of Company K. was Captain William Alexander Brannen
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger

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