Civil War Engagement
At Bethel, Glynn Co., Georgia
|Many people are not aware of the little town of Bethel that was once located
here in Glynn County, or of the fact that Union soldiers sailed up the Turtle
River and shelled at the plantation homes. When war came to Brunswick,
many of the citizens removed to, among other areas, the interior of Glynn
County, namely the town of Bethel.
In early newspapers you will find mention of meetings being held in this town and correspondence from citizens like Job Tison, Thomas Dover, and Robert Hazlehurst. There were several plantations located here, namely the Hazlehurst family's Anguilla, Job Tison's plantation, and Thomas Dover's Dover Hall. One of the most interesting things I learned was of a small skirmish during the Civil War that happened here, in our community, at the small town of Bethel, Glynn Co., Georgia:
“Boat expedition under Commander Colvocoresses, U.S.S. Saratoga, composed of men from Saratoga, U.S.S. T.A. Ward, Acting Master Babcock, and U.S.S. Braziliera, Acting Master Gil-lespie, engaged Confederate pickets along Turtle River, Georgia. The expedition aimed at the capture of an encampment at Bethel, Georgia, but the Confederates there were alerted by the firing downstream and escaped. On 15 September the daring and resourceful Colvocoresses was commended by Secretary Welles for his three successful forays into Southern territory.”
(<www.historycentral.com> under “Naval History”)
While talking with Patricia Barefoot at Fort Frederica, she showed me an interview that they have in their extensive data collection about a personal experience of one of the citizens of this small town. This interview is from “Reminiscences of Georgia” by Bessie Wright (copyright April 1962).
Ms. Wright tells of her father, George Washington Wright, being in the Army during the War Between the States, and that her mother was home alone at Dover Hall, which her parents bought with every gold piece that they had saved since they were married, from Robert Hazlehurst. Mrs. George Wright was home with her---
"---three little boys when the gunboats came up to shell Dover Hall and that was the time that she gathered the three little boys and ran across Cabbage Bluff to a farmer’s home, whose name was Blount, and when she got there she fainted dead away.”
Dover Hall Plantation is now paper company land and a hunting club. My cemetery buddy Chrissy Chapman and I went out there to see what we could see, and we found two graves. One for Thomas Dover, the founder of Dover Hall Plantation, who died on 13 June 1845, and another for John Vickery. The graves were bulldozed over and pieces of Thomas Dover’s stone are about 200 feet away from the original grave! See Dover Cemetery.
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