Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman departed from Atlanta, Georgia November 15, 1864, on a march towards the Atlantic coast at Savannah. The right wing of Sherman's 60-mile wide column was the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard. On November 21st, a screening column of Union cavalry captured a train full of military supplies near the industrial community of Griswoldville and, in accordance with Sherman's desire to "make Georgia howl," burned some factories there as well. The next day, a brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. Charles Walcutt from Howard's army wing was ordered to make a demonstration toward Macon, Georgia to ascertain the disposition of enemy troops in that direction. That morning, after a short march, Walcutt ran into some of Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry and, after some fighting, drove them beyond Griswoldville. Walcutt retired to a position at Duncan’s Farm and fortified it to meet an expected Rebel counterattack. Around 2:00pm, a passing column of Georgia Militia under Brig. Gen. Pleasant Phillips, marching to Augusta, attacked Walcutt's brigade without orders to do so. Walcutt withstood three determined charges before receiving reinforcements to protect his flanks. Phillips did not attack again and withdrew after dark. The industrial facilities at Griswoldville were some of the first targets of Sherman's march to the sea, and the action there was the only pitched battle to oppose Sherman's march. The town was not rebuilt after the war.