Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at places and events of interest in Bulloch County history.
On the Lexington Court House Road, Brevet Capt. Willard W. Glazier of the Union Army’s 3rd New York Volunteers and his companion ran into three slaves who were returning from Columbia to their master, a Mr. Steadman.
The escaped Yankees and the slaves stopped to talk.
The slaves led them to a branch leading to the Savannah River, where they crossed the river in a leaky cypress canoe that had been hidden under some brush. They headed to a group of slave huts in the woods not far from Millen.
Here, Glazier wrote, they quickly devoured a meal of hot griddle-cakes that was prepared for them by the residents. At Little Ebenezer Creek, they stumbled onto a Confederate guard and were taken captive again.
After being threatened with hanging as a Yankee spy, Glazier admitted that they were escaped prisoners of war. Transported to Gen. Wheeler's headquarters in Springfield, where Wheeler ordered them confined in the Springfield jail.
On Dec. 18, 1864, a hurriedly convened "military commission" ordered them to be taken to Waynesboro. When they stopped in Sylvania, Glazier decided to escape again.
The men simply jumped over the side porch railing of the house where they were staying, and ran into the woods. The guards borrowed some hound dogs from a nearby plantation, and then the search was on for the "Sylvania Spy."
Staggering through the swampy marsh until they knew they must have thrown off the hounds, the escapees soon ran into another slave, a man named March Dasher.
Dasher informed them the Union forces were now only eight miles away at Cherokee Hill on the Savannah River Road, and guided the two men later that night to the Yankee encampment.
They ran into members of the 101st Illinois Volunteers, the rear-guard of Gen. Sherman's Army. They arrived in Savannah on Christmas Eve 1864, where they were feted by the headquarters of the Union forces.
Glazier acquired the necessary papers to travel to New York. He boarded the ocean steamer "Ashland" bound for New York, and arrived at midnight on Jan. 4, 1865.
In his book, Glazier wrote that his experiences as a prisoner of war being hauled about throughout the south had convinced him that "Georgia troops seemed to be by far the most civil and gentlemanly of the southern army."
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.