Battle of Dunlap Hill (Dunlap's Farm) - Macon, Georgia
Battle of Dunlap Hill (Dunlap's Farm),  Macon, Georgia
Battle of Dunlap Hill
The historic Dunlap House, a landmark of the battle,
stands just inside the entrance to Ocmulgee
National Monument in Macon, Georgia.
Copyright 2010 & 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: May 28, 2013
Battle of Dunlap Hill
Confederate earthworks still
guard the grounds of the
Dunlap House at Ocmulgee
National Monument.
Cannonball House
The historic Cannonball
House in Macon was struck
by Union cannon fire during
the Battle of Dunlap Hill.
(Click Photo for More Information)
Fort Hawkins at Macon
Confederate officers directed
artillery fire by using the watch
post atop a blockhouse as an
obvservation point. Southern
cannon fired from the old fort.
Battle of Dunlap Hill (Dunlap's Farm) - Macon, Georgia
Stoneman's Attack on Macon
Confederate Fort at Macon
Only small parts of Macon's
line of defenses survive today.
This earthwork at Ocmulgee
National Monument is the
easiest to visit.
The Battle of Dunlap Hill (sometimes called
Dunlap's Farm) was fought at
Georgia on July 30, 1864. An important action
of Stoneman's Raid, it was the first in a
series of reverses that would lead to the
defeat and capture of the Union general.

Hoping to write his name in the history
books, Gen. George H. Stoneman had
convinced his commanding officer, Maj. Gen.
William Tecumseh Sherman to allow him to
attempt a daring cavalry raid to free the Union
prisoners of war held at Camp Oglethorpe in
Macon and
Camp Sumter at Andersonville.
Wary of the idea, Sherman agreed but
warned that Stoneman should only attempt to
undertake this objective if conditions looked
favorable after breaking the railroad between
Macon and Atlanta. The Atlanta Campaign
was then at its height.

Leaving Decatur on July 27, 1864, with 2,104
officers and men and two pieces of artillery,
Stoneman stormed south down the railroad,
spreading his forces out to inflict as much
damage as possible. Not only were the
tracks torn up, but houses were looted,
livestock taken or killed, barns destroyed and
civilians generally terrorized.

Skirmishing intensified as the Federals
approached Macon. This growing fighting
would lead to the Battle of Dunlap Hill on July
30, 1864.

Approaching via the Clinton road, Stoneman
ran into a heavy line of Southern skirmishers
three miles out from Macon. As the Federals
pushed forward, the Confederates slowly fell
back on a main line of earthwork fortifications
that ringed the city. Southern troops also
posted a battery of field artillery at
old Fort
Hawkins, a former U.S. fort built in 1808.

Although most of the old fort no longer stood,
Confederate officers were able to use a
lookout post atop one of the old blockhouses
as an observation point to direct the fire of
their artillery. As a result, their shells rained
heavily on the Union lines. Because of the
terrain from which they were fighting, the
Federals were unable to position their own
guns to reply.

Instead, according to Lt. Col. Robert W.
Smith, the detachment of the 24th Indiana
Battery attached to Stoneman's command
was ordered to direct the fire of its two 3-inch
rifled guns on the city itself. Confirming that
the fire on civilian targets was not accidental,
Smith wrote, "We threw a few shells into the

In doing so, the Union officers intentionally
targeted women, children, slaves and other
noncombatants instead of the Confederate
soldiers arrayed directly before them. In
modern times this would be considered a
war crime.
One of the rounds fired by the Union cannon
struck a sand sidewalk on Mulberry Street
and bounced up into the front of the home of
Judge Asa Holt. The structure, now known as
Cannonball House, was damaged when
the iron ball crashed through one of its
columns and passed through a parlor before
landing in an interior hallway. No one was

Other shells rained down on other civilian
targets, but the Federals were unable to
break through the Confederate lines to
capture the railroad bridge that had been
their primary target. As a result, Stoneman
ordered his forces to withdraw. The Battle of
Dunlap Hill came to an end.

The Union column would be cornered the
next day north of Macon at the
Battle of
Sunshine Church and Stoneman himself
would be forced to surrender as that battle
ended two days later. His raid ended in one
of the great cavalry disasters of the Civil War.

Much of the site of the battle can be explored
today at
Ocmulgee National Monument. A
walking trail leads from the visitor center to
surviving Confederate earthworks and the
scene of the fighting at Dunlap's House. The
Cannonball House still stands on Mulberry
Street and is also open to the public.
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