Company C 44th Regiment
"Johnson Guards"

What is now Oconee County, but was a part of Clarke County until 1875, sent one military company to Virginia to fight with General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. This was the Johnson Guards, which became Company C of the 44th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. The company was organized March 15, 1862, in Wakinsville, Georgia, and was commanded by Dr. Samuel P. Lumpkin, a Watkinsville physician, with James S.Griffeth, lst lieutenant, and William B. Haygood and John W. Reaves, 2nd lieutenants. The enlistees were farm boys from in and around Watkinsville. The company went to Griffin, Georgia, where it joined the rest of the regiment for training. On its way north the company had a short stay at Goldsboro, North Carolina, then moved to Richmond on June 1, 1862. Before the end of the month, the company saw action near Mechanicsville, and eleven members of the company were killed on their first day of battle. John F. Stegeman, in his well-documented book These Men She Gave: Civil War Diary of Athens, Georgia, gives a detailed description of the action of each of the Clarke County companies that went to Virginia, including the Johnson Guards. He shows that the Johnson Guards participated in most of the battles of the Army of Northern Virginia; Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Petersburg, and Appomattox. This is Stegeman's moving description of the Johnson Guards' last battle:

"There was one more battle in store for the Johnson Guards. During the night the Confederate command decided to send the remnants of Gordon's Corps to try to force their way through the Federal lines and cut an escape path. The troops marched forward and the enemy was driven back. For a time the men of the Johnson Guards fought as they had done in days gone by, at Sharpsburg, at Gettysburg, at Spotsylvania. And what company ever fought harder, or suffered more, than this unit of former farm boys from the neighborhood of Watkinsville? These were the men who, in their first battle three years before, had charged up the slope of Beaver Dam Creek in the face of point-blank Federal musketry that killed three hundred comrades in their regiment; who had marched around an entire Federal army at Chancellorsville; who had invaded Maryland three times; who had fought to the very gates of Washington. But now, at Appomattox, with empty stomachs, they reached the point where they could fight no more. With the other units it was the same: the end of human endurance had been reached and the troops were forced to yield. General Gordon sent back word that further attack was out of the question. When the message came, General Lee prepared to ride between the lines to meet General Grant. It was Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865." Stegeman, pp.139-40 (Quoted by permission of Janet A.Stegeman, widow and executor of John F.Stegeman.)

Adams, Joseph A. Lester, Elijah S.
Adams, William T. Lester, Lewis, Jr.
Allen, Andrew J. Lester, Lewis, Sr.
Allen, Charles H. Lester, Patman
Anderson, Emory F. Lester, Tolbert N.
Autry, George W. Lowe, Isaac
Autry, Willis Norris Lumpkin, Samuel P.
Aycock, A.. J. Malcolm, David H.
Aycock, John R. Malcolm, John H. C.
Bearden, William P. Malcolm, William T.
Beavers, Alfred L. Maxey, Henry
Biggs, James P. Maxey, Stephen T.
Biggs, William L. McRee, Francis M.
Biggs, Wilson L. McRee, Jacob R.
Bishop, William H. McRee, James H.
Brewer, S. W. McRee, Joseph Henry
Burger, Alexander McRee, Richard B.
Burger, Charles Lindsey McRee, Wiley B.
Burger, William Dawson McWhorter, W. P.
Burgess, John Alexander Miller, Francis Y.
Butler, Doctor R. Miller, John William
Butler, Jesse M. Miller, Pendleton M.
Carter, Henry F. Miller, Wiley J.
Carter, W. T. Montgomery, William
Connelly, George R. Mooney, Marshall
Cooper, Levi C. Mooney, William J.
Craft, Jeff V. Moore, Joseph K.
Daniel, F. M. Moseley, Thomas J.
Daniel, John B. Moseley,William P.
Daniel, Josiah H. Murray, Joseph Hunter
Daniel, Nathaniel J. Murrough, John
Davenport, James W. Nolan, George A.
Dicken, Calvin A. Nunnally, George W.
Doggett, John W. Nunnally, William C.
Doolittle, Howell J. Osborn, Augustus C.
Durham, Milledge L. Osborn, William T.
Durham, N. B. Owens, Benjamin F.
East, William Owens, John, Jr.
Edwards, William B. Pickerell, Andrew, Jr.
Elder, David S. Poss, Henry C.
Elder, William E. Poulnott, Jabez
Elder, William M. Poulnott, John B.
Fambrough, James Poulnott, William B.
Fullilove, John Reaves, John W.
Gardner, Silas Richardson, David Richard
Gleason, Edward Robertson, William A.
Glover, James Royster,.J. Elmer
Griffeth, Allen W. Sanders, Charles A.
Griffeth, David W. Simonton, Henry T.
Griffeth, James A. Simonton, Thomas J.
Griffeth, James S. Smith, Sanford M.
Griffeth, John J. Spinks, E. B.
Hall, Thomas M. Spinks, John C.
Haygood, Orion S. Stewart, Levi L.
Haygood, William B. Jr. Stewart, Phineas M.
Haygood, William B. Sr.. Stewart, Silas C.
Hewell, Nathaniel H. Thomas, John Edwin
Hinton, William B. Thompson, Benjamin S.
Hix, Thomas J. Thompson, Thomas J.
Huff, Doctor E. Thurman, George H. L.
Huff, Doctor M. Thurman, Richard O.
Huff, John P. Tiller, Gilmer
Hunt, John H. Vickers, John W.
Hunt, Needham F. Whitehead, Aaron
Hunt, Wilborn Whitehead, Henry
Hunt, William Wiley Whitehead, James Edward
Jackson, Asbury H. Whitehead, John James
Jackson, James H. Whitehead, Lewis
Johnson, Newton Louis Whitehead, William J.
Jones, William B. Wilcoxen, Samuel J.
Kidd, Hezekiah M. Williams, Robert T.
Kittle, Joseph Williams, William C.
Klutts, George W. Willoughby, David J.
Landrum, James T. Willoughby, William R.
Langford, Benjamin Cicero Winn, Crawford A.
Langford, Joseph B.

Stegeman, p. 156. (Quoted by permission of Janet A. Stegeman.)
Bibliography: John F. Stegeman. These Men She Gave: Civil War Diary of Athens, Georgia.
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1964.

Contributed by Lawrence Huff, grandson of D.M. Huff, who served in the Johnson Guards.