Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Warner Robins, Georgia
P.O. Box 1823, Warner Robins, GA 31099 -

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Secession Meetings - Rutland District

Southern Bibb County Georgia

Following the election of Abraham Lincoln (November 1860), there was great concern in Georgia and across the south that southern states could not safely remain in the union AND preserve their rights and honor. The Georgia general assembly (state legislature) had called a special convention to be held in January 1861 to discuss the secession question and Georgia's best course. The following clippings from the Macon Daily Telegraph from November and December 1860 illustrate the discussion locally.

Stephen Woodward [age about 53] owned a 1000 acre plantation in southern Bibb County (off what's now Hartley Bridge Road) in addition to others in Lee County1 and elsewhere. His eldest son, John Hartwell Woodward [age 30], was also a Bibb County leader in these secession discussions. Stephen's son and John's younger brother, James Thomas Woodward [age 23], had moved to Calhoun County2 in 1859 with his wife and infant son, Stephen N. Woodward3.

Macon Daily Telegraph 28-Nov-1860, page 3, column 1

From the Macon Daily Telegraph - November 28, 1860 - Page 3, column 1

Public Meeting regarding the Secession Convention of Georgia
Rutland District, Bibb County Georgia


At a meeting of the people of Rutland District assembled pursuant to a previous call, on motion of R.A. Cain, the meeting was called to order. S.[Stephen] Woodward being requested to act as Chairman and J.H. Woodward [John Hartwell Woodward] as Secretary.

On motion of C.B. Bond, a committee of five was appointed to report business for the action of the meeting. The committee consisting of C.B. Bond, R.A. Cain, James Tinley, Wm. Newman and J. Woodward.

The committee retired, and during their absence John R. Hill, Esq., being called for, addressed the meeting in a stirring Southern Rights speech, in which he counselled that the measures to be adopted should fully meet the emergencies which the North has forced upon us.

The committee returned and made the following report:

Whereas, the Legislature of Georgia has called a Convention for determining what course she shall pursue in the present emergency--- Be it Therefore

Resolved, That we aprove of said call, and we also highly appreciate the bold and fearless stand taken by the Military Convention at Milledgeville.

Resolved, That we invite and form ourselves into a volunteer company to be called the Rutland Guards4 or Minute Men, as a majority may hereafter direct. And we hereby tender our services to his Excellency the Governor, to protect and defend the rights, interest and honor of the State at any and every hazard.

Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the Telegraph and Examiner.

John Patton, Esq., was then called on made a brief but eloquent and effective speech, after which the resolutions were passed unanimously, and the meeting adjourned sine die.

J.H. Woodward, Sec'y


From the Macon Daily Telegraph, November 28, 1860, page 3
A letter to the editor from "BIBB" and a response from the editor, Joseph Clisby

Mr. Clisby:
I read your leading editorial of Saturday with pain and surprise. It was unexpected. It is not usual to send delegates to any ordinary convention, without some assurance that they will represent the views of their constituents. Then how astounding is the proposition to send men wholly unpledged and uncommitted to this, the most important assemblage of men who ever met in Georgia since the day Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton were sent to Philadelphia.

Your proposition is, that our delegates be sent to Milledgeville "free to entertain, consider and be influenced by the state of facts and the arguments and suggestions which may there come before them."

All the facts that can influence the mind of any one whose proclivities are not in favor of submission, are before the country. No one has to find out that we are to be forever excluded from the common territories; that our christians are considered unworthy to sit at the communion table with their Northern brethren; that if you follow your property into any of nine of the Northern states your brothers there will put you in prison and fine you; that the Executive power of the Government and the army and navy will pass into their hands on the 4th of March; that the elections to be held under the late census will give them next year and forever after, a majority in the House of Representatives; that new States now applying for admission will give them the Senate in two years; that the few remaining days of the aged Judges stand along between them and the Supreme Court; that there is a proposition for Georgia to delay her action, which, if listened to, will embolden our adversaries and dishearten and demoralize our own people, while the new dynasty will be sleeplessly engaged in building up a party in our midst; that if we mean ever to assert our rights, the time is now when we have the power and while our hands are yet untied, which they will never be again. Never! Never! if we submit to Black Republican rule for one day.

Such are the facts; what new ones do we want? Is it a manifesto from Lincoln to the purport that he will not consider it politic to assail our rights openly, for the first year or two of his rule? This may probably be wrang from him for temporary effect. Is it the proceedings of a Mass Meeting of New York Merchants, assuring us of their sympathy? This may be anticipated. Is it telegraphic dispatches from Washington city and all the commercial centres, to be read out in the convention, telling of the extraordinary reactions going on in New England, the North and the West? Such dispatches will be there of a certainty, the rough draft of them already stowed away in pigeon holes.

Then as to the "arguments and suggestions," which are to influence our delegates after they get to Milledgeville, I protest against sending any man whose vote is to be "secured on the day" by an eloquent speech from some man who would sell his birthright, and ours, for a mess of pottage he has seen in some dreams, for the chance of a Federal office. "The floating vote" of Bibb may be large but this is no time to send a delegation from it to Milledgeville. A man who is unable to form an opinion, on the source Georgia ought to pursue, or is too timid or time serving to express it, cannot represent me by my consent.


A Word Responsive to Mr. Bibb---
The suggestion of the Telegraph complained of was the one, and the only one, named to us by secession men of this county---named because an overwhelming majority of the county were secession men---would select a secession ticket, but at the same time challenge no popular issue with the anti-secession men, if any such there be, unless a conflict should be proposed by the latter. THAT we understand to be the idea.

If there be any "timed" or "time serving" in it, all we have to say is, it came from quite as resolute secession men as bibb himself. We are in favor of Georgia's declaring for secession distinctly and unequivocally.

We are in favor of her sending delegates to a Convention of the Southern States armed with all the authority of the People for the purpose of consolidating a Union between the seceded States, then and there represented, by corresponding delegates. We expect to support and vote for delegates of like opinions, and it is immaterial to us how they are brought out, so they be fit men to be entrusted with such grave responsibilites. Bibb himself may nominate them in any way he chooses, for all that we personally care about the matter.



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Macon Daily Telegraph 24-Dec-1860, page 1, column 2

From the Macon Daily Telegraph - December 24, 1860 - Page 1, column 2

Public Meeting regarding the Secession Convention of Georgia
Rutland District, Bibb County Georgia


Pursuant to previous notice, there was a meeting of the citizens of Rutland District, Bibb county, on Wednesday last, at the Academy, for the purpose of ratifying the nominations of the secession candidates for this county, and of hearing them upon the subjects which are now agitating the country. The day being rainy there was not a general turnout of the people, which was very much regretted. The meeting was organized by calling Rev. R.A. Cain to the Chair, and Wm. Ryder to act as Secretary. The Chairman having explained the object of the meeting in a few brief remarks, on motion of J.H. Woodward, a committee of seven was appointed to draft resolutions to be submitted for subsequent action, whereupon, the Chair appointed the following committee, viz: J.H. Woodward, Jas. H. Cowart, J.W. Stubbs, Wm. Shinholder, Wm. Carloss, J.J. Allen and Thos. Stubbs.

Judge Nisbet being called for, rose and addressed the meeting in his usual characteristic manner, calm, clear, argumentative and conclusive. He was followed by Washington Poe, Esq., in a no less eloquent and admirable address. Col. John B. Lamar7 being next called for, rose and said that after having been so well and ably entertained, it was needless to add anything more. Endorsing heartily what they had said, his own speech might be embraced in five words---- "I am for immediate secession."

The following resolutions were submitted to, and adopted unanimously by the meeting:

Resolved, That, whereas in the judgment of this meeting, in the election of Abraham Lincoln, the spirit of the Constitution of the United States has been prostrated, in order to elevate to the presidency a man who has publicly declared principles hostile to the vital interests, safety, honor and happiness of the Southern States, and an "irrepressible conflict" against domestic slavery, thus embodying in him, on this important question to the South, an eternal hostility to all their constitutional guarantees and safe guards; it is therefore our deliberate opinion that his administration ought not to be submitted to.

Resolved, That the only security of Southern property, and the only preservation of Southern honor is in immediate secession, and separate, independent State action.

Resolved, That the North has forced on the South the alternative of secession of degradation. The crisis has come, and it remains for Georgia to choose between secession and dishonor.

Resolved, That we cordially approve of, and indorse the nomination for the Convention of Hon. E. A. Nisbet, Cols. Washington Poe and John B. Lamar7. They are gentlemen of known ability and influence, and are every way worthy of our confidence and support, and that we pledge ourselves to use all honorable means to secure their election.

S. Woodward moved that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Macon papers. The meeting then adjourned.

R. A. CAIN, Chm'n
Wm. Ryder, Sec'y

From the Macon Daily Telegraph - December 24, 1860 - Page 1, column 1

Macon Daily Telegraph 24-Dec-1860, page 1, column 1
Macon Daily Telegraph 24-Dec-1860, page 1, column 1

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Notes & Sources:
1. Stephen Woodward advertised his 1215 acre plantation in Lee County Georgia, six miles east of Starkville, GA as FOR SALE in the Macon Daily Telegraph dated October 22, 1862, page 2, column 3.

2. J.H. Woodward advertised Calhoun County property (503 acres) for sale from the estate of James T. Woodward (KIA 8-May-1862 at McDowell) in the Macon Daily Telegraph September 21, 1864, page 2, column 5. The sale was to be the first Tuesday of November next at the court house door in Morgan, GA, for distribution to heirs of the deceased James T. Woodward. J.H. Woodard published notice (sixty days) of intent to apply to Calhoun County Court of Ordinary, for leave to sell property from the estate of James T. Woodward deceased, published in the Macon Daily Telegraph on 12-Dec-1862, page 2, column 6.

3. Stephen Nathaniel Woodward (listed as "Stephen N."), age 11 in 1870, is on the 1870 Dooly County Census (page 407A) as living with Stephen [63] and Jane [62] Barnett Woodward. James T. Woodward's widow, Louisa Melvina Respess Woodward, remarried in 1867 to James Willis Dickey and they lived in Upson County Georgia (both Dickeys buried at Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Upson County GA).

4. The men of the Whittle Guards wanted to elect John Hartwell Woodward as Captain, but he declined and was instead elected First Lieutenant of the company named in honor of Lewis N. Whittle, officially organized March 4, 1862. The Macon Daily Telegraph published a muster roll April 2, 1862 with an error: John Hartwell Woodward was listed incorrectly as "John H. Underwood." The Whittle Guards were mustered into Confederate service as Company D, 10th Battalion Georgia Infantry.

5. The Woodward brothers served in various units of the Confederate military:
1st Lt. John Hartwell Woodward - Co. D, 10th Batn GA Inf., 'Whittle Guards'6
Lt. James Thomas Woodward - Calhoun Rifles (Morgan, Georgia) Company D of the 12th Georgia Infantry (published Macon Daily Telegraph, June 28, 1861.)
William Washington Woodward - Co. B, 27th GA Inf., the 'Rutland Grays'
William W. Woodward was wounded at Sharpsburg, MD, September 17, 1862, and captured. An account of William's wounds and capture was published in the Macon Daily Telegraph June 17, 1863, page 2, column 2. The 27th GA regiment suffered 15 KIA and 89 wounded in the Maryland Campaign.

6. John H. Woodward was forced to resign due to illness June 11, 1862, not long after retrieving his brother's body from McDowell, Virginia. He again tried to make a go of it in the army by enlisting as 3rd Lt. Co C, 14th Batt Ga State Guards Aug 4, 1863, but again resigned due to disability. He would later serve two terms as Dooly County Court Judge, Representative in the Legislature in 1871-1872 and Senator in 1880. Born 16 Jan. 1831, died in Dooly County Oct 17, 1918 and buried at Vienna City Cemetery (Dooly County Georgia).

7. Col. John B. Lamar, was nominated and elected as a delegate from Bibb County to the Secession Convention in Milledgeville in January 1861. He was also noted in the article about secession demonstrations(Dec. 24, 1860, page 1, col 1), where his friend and brother-in-law, Hon. Howell Cobb, came outside to speak to an assembled crowd since Col. Lamar was ill. Col. Lamar served as a "volunteer aide" to Brig. General Howell Cobb and was attempting to "rally the men" at Crampton's Gap (near Burkittsville Maryland - aka Battle of South Mountain) when he was mortally wounded on September 14th, 1862. See General Howell Cobb's report dated Sep. 22, 1862.

Excerpt: "...All of the members of my staff were on the field, and did all that could be done under the circumstances. One of them, Colonel John B. Lamar, of Georgia, volunteer aide, whilst near my side, earnestly rallying the men, received a mortal wound, of which he died the next day. No nobler nor braver man has fallen in this war. There were many other acts of personal courage which circumstances prevent me from mentioning at present. The remnant of my brigade marched with the rest of your division from Harper's Ferry, and was engaged in the battle of the 17th, at Sharpsburg." [**Original Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, Vol 19, Part 1 (Antietam - Serial 27) , Pages 870 - 871] [ More on Crampton's Gap ]

John Basil Lamar is buried at Macon's Rose Hill Cemetery.
Howell Cobb was a five term member of the US House and Speaker of the House 1849-51. He served as US Secretary of the Treasury under President James Buchanan (1857-60) and was the 40th Governor of Georgia (1851-53) - he left the US House to serve as Governor. He wrote the Confederate Constitution and was President of the Confederate Congress. He married Mary Ann Lamar, sister of John B. Lamar, May 26, 1935. He died in New York City in 1868, and was buried in Athens GA at Oconee Hill Cemetery.

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