Diary of Orrin Brown—Dec 5, 1864

Gen Sherman Grand March - Harpers

Diary of Orrin Brown, Buck Creek Post Office at mouth of Brier Creek, near Sylvania, Georgia.

Monday–Dec. 5th

We were on the road this morning at 7 AM and marched very buisy all day, we found the swamps blockaded today with fallen timber, we went into camp at about 5 PM.

The Union column was now leaving fertile farm country, which had supplied ample forage, for more sandy, swampy lowlands where rice fields flourished.  In the Official Records (Vol. 44, p.9), Gen. Sherman wrote:

As we approached Savannah the country became more marshy and difficult, and more obstructions were met in the way of felled trees, where the roads crossed the creek, swamps, or narrow causeways; but our pioneer companies were well organized, and removed these obstructions in an incredibly short time.

Rice production was widespread in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, where slaves with knowledge of African rice culture were valued by plantation owners. After the Civil War, rice production died out in the region, and by 1900, 75% of US rice production had shifted to Louisiana and Texas.  According to the Ag Census of 2012, Arkansas leads US acreage today with 1,28 million acres and more than twice the hundred-weight as California, the next highest producer.



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