Special Orders: 9 November 1864
"For the purpose of military operations, this army is divided into two wings. The order of march will be by four roads, as nearly parallel as possible, converging at points hereafter to be indicated. The columns will start habitually at 7 a.m., and make about 15 miles per day."
-- Major-General W. T. Sherman
On November 15th, Sherman's right wing leaves Atlanta, heads south toward Macon then veers left along the South River. The other departs east toward Augusta, then south. Relentless streams of men and arms merging with the South River, flowing seaward together. Eight days later, all lines of march converge on the state capital at Milledgeville Georgia; citizens surrender peacefully.
The village of Snapping Shoals, at a convenient South River crossing, can be reached in about two army days. I pause there often. It's my kind of place, built specially for tailgate sittin' and quality meditation. Nothing much happens in Snapping Shoals any more, and that's the point.
Saturday 23 March 1991
11:40 am. Turn south on Sr 212 toward Monticello at Wesley Chapel. Shrubs and fruit trees bloom. There's pink garden phlox. Jonquils, wild radish and star-of-bethlehem. Violets, redbud and red maple winglets. Tiny green leaf buds, the Spring Line.
12:10 pm. Snapping Shoals. Photograph the old steel truss over the South River, and a patch of scruffy flowers. I call on an old friend - a gas pump leaning precariously, rusted and completely gutted. The last sale obliterated. I marvel thru the viewfinder. Wishing. What if I could hear clattering cavalry, the stomping of tired feet, groaning wagons and snorting horses. The echo of calls and orders.
12:20 pm. I hear the shuffling of marching feet. A local vagabond stumbles my way down the gravelly road. Very drunk. Trailed by a black 3-legged dog also stumbling and shuffling. "Got his leg shot off by pot growers," he mumbles, flowing to the sea.
Title: © Snapping Shoals Pump. r0417-03
Series: Gas Pumps
Location: Sr 212, Newton County, Georgia
Date: Saturday 23 March 1991