On the night of Nov. 17, 1864, the Right Wing (15th and 17th Corps) of General Sherman's army [US], which had marched south from Atlanta on Nov 15th on its destructive March to the Sea, reached Jackson and camped in and around the town. Hq. Right Wing, Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard, USA, and the headquarters of both corps were established in Jackson. Elements of the 17th Corps (Blair) moved forward to Iron Springs and camped here on the road to Planter's Factory (Ocmulgee Mills) at Seven Islands (5 miles SE), the point which had been selected for the passage of the Right Wing over the Ocmulgee River. G. A. Smith's Division of the 17th Corps, with the pontoon bridge of the Right Wing, camped near Worthville (7 miles NW). That night, the 29th Missouri Mounted Infantry seized the ferry at Seven Islands and secured both banks of the river for the passage.
Next morning, the 1st Missouri Engineers passed through Iron Springs with the pontoons and, by 1:00 P.M., two bridges were ready and crossing operations had begun. Late that night, the 17th Corps having cleared Iron Springs, the Artillery Brigade arrived and went into camp. Although both bridges were in use day and night, heavy rains had made the roads so difficult that the passage was not completed until the afternoon of the 20th.