Historic Markers Across Georgia

Prater’s Mill and The Civil War

Marker ID:  
Location: Prater Mill Road NE (Georgia Route 2), Varnell, GA
County: Whitfield
Coordinates: N 34° 53.732    W 084° 55.219
  34.89553333    -84.92031666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Prater’s Mill and The Civil War

January 19, 1861 – Georgia secedes from the Union.
October 1862 – The first Confederate troops arrive in Whitfield County.
1826 – 1864 – Benjamin Franklin Prater sells corn, hay, fodder, bacon, split rails and planks to the Confederacy for $1,591.17 Confederate dollars.
February 23, 1864 – Union forces under Colonel Eli Long camp at Prater’s Mill with 350 mounted infantry, 250 cavalry and 12 prisoners.
April 13, 1864 – Confederate General Joseph Wheeler’s Cavalry camp at Prater’s Mill.
May 9, 1864 – Battle of Varnell’s Station. General Joseph Wheeler, CSA, with 900 men, routed 5,000 Federals under Brigadier General Edward McCook. Ten Confederates and 150 Federals are killed. Wheeler takes over 100 prisoners. During the battle, Ben Prater’s slaves were gathered on the porch of the mill. They could hear gunfire in the distance.
May 1865 – The war is over. Ben Prater’s seventeen slaves are freed and live at Stockburger Crossing.
On Some Civil War maps, Prater’s Mill is listed at Barrett’s or Russell’s Mill. Barret was a former owner of the property while Russell was a Prater relative hired as the miller.

Erected by Prater’s Mill Foundation.