The British Army Crossing & Paris Mill in Screven County GA


On the morning of march 2nd, 1779, the British Command of Lieut.-Col. Prevost reached the west bank of the creek here after an all night march from Hudson’s Ferry. The bridge had been destroyed by Col. Leonard Marbury’s Dragons guarding the rear of Gen. Ashe’s troops bivouacked at Freeman-Miller Bridge 15 miles south.

Infantry and horse forded the stream, engaged and defeated Marbury’s Dragons, capturing some while others escaped over Burton’s Ferry. Marbury’s message to Ashe was intercepted. Prevost’s troops and artillery crossed on pontoons before day of the 3rd, and arrived at the surprised Ashe’s rear by 3:00 P.M.



On January 4, 2009, we went on an outing into Georgia.  We visited the Lawton Cemetery, and I wrote about that part of the day in an earlier post.  After leaving that cemetery, we drove further on to an area known as Millhaven. 

The Millhaven plantation is an old historic one.  Brier Creek runs alongside or perhaps through it – it’s hard to say without further investigation, and sometimes you just can’t let truth interfere with a good story.  Anyway, the entranceway to Millhaven was, of course, gated with a high brick wall.  I held the camera aloft over the brick wall and snapped a few shots to see what lay beyond. 

Over the brick wall to the right of the gate

Trespassers not welcome

More of the same

There was a long drive which cut through the underbrush and trees, and there might have been some buildings waaaaay back in the distance, but you couldn’t tell what they were.  Sugar and I joked about boosting each other over and just strolling down the driveway, acting like we were lost.  We didn’t, but we thought about it.  Good thing we didn’t.

The entrance is near the bridge that crosses Brier Creek.  Along one side of the road, right before you get to the bridge, there are two historical markers.  One is for Paris Mill and the other for the British Army Crossing.  We parked off to the side, with the car facing the signs.  The first one was Paris Mill.  I snapped a photo.  The next was the British Army Crossing.  I snapped another photo.  Beyond the signs was the sign for Brier Creek.  I snapped a photo, and then we walked to the creek’s embankment to see the tiny little creek below.  Sugar was in front of me, and he turned to say something to me.  He had a look of horror on his face as he looked past me back toward the car.  I snapped a picture – which I will not post here – because I thought it was a funny shot.  He breathed out, “Ohhhh, noooo….”

I turned and saw the police car pulled in behind the car.  We met the nicest officer who explained that there had been an arson in the area, and they were inspecting all visitors that weren’t local.  I explained that we were touristing about, and the Sugar’s ancestor was Seaborn Jones, the second owner of Paris Mill (and if my memory serves me, Seaborn Jones was also the father of Elizabeth Jones who married a Lawton.  I’ll get that straightened out later.  I’m supposed to be writing, right now, an assignment for class tomorrow.  Heh.).  The nice officer gave us some locations for some other places we might like to visit in the area.

Mr. Officer let us off the hook for just gawking about.  Talk about a close call.  If we had actually boosted over the fence, the officer would have seen our unoccupied car, inspected it, and found the empty beer bottles (only two) from where we sat at the Lawton Cemetery and drank a beer.  Then we would have been rounded up for trespassing.  Hard to explain that to the children.


Yes you are under the bridge.

See the nice officer's car door. He is coming to arrest us.


“The earliest trade center and industrial development in interior Georgia was established here before the Revolutionary War by Francis Paris, Senior.

A rock dam was constructed across the creek, of which it is said that the 400 horse power developed for the saw and food mills was by far the greatest in the colony.  The rock foundations of the old dam are still embedded in the creek about 300 yards above the present bridge.

Paris sold the land, mills, and appurtanances to Seaborn Jones of Augusta on February 8th, 1796.”

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6 Responses to “The British Army Crossing & Paris Mill in Screven County GA”

  1. Debra Haley Says:

    I have found you blog quite interesting! Being an ancestor of the Lawton family would you happen to have any pictures of the Bethel Brick Church on Wade Plantation in the 1700’s?
    If so would you kindly share it or any other pictures you may have of Wade Plantation back in the time? Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person


    Hi interesting blog. Where is the locations the officer said would be of interest?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale E. Reddick Says:

    In a court case involving the contested inheritance of Millhaven by Seaborn Augustus Jones (son of Seaborn Jones), there was a court appearance by a Mrs. Reddick in Augusta. I’ve done my share of genealogical research into my Reddick family, and the only then living Mrs. Reddick (mid-1810s, in that area) was my ggg-grandmother Mary Ann Ivey Reddick, wife of John Reddick. John Reddick was the son of Nicholas Reddick, whose land abutted against the millpond along Brier Creek formed by Francis Paris’ 1768 & ’69 construction of a dual purpose mill at Pine Log Landing. Paris called his business and the surrounding settlement Milltown. Most folks in the surrounding countryside simply called it Paris’ Mill. It was after the sale of the mill and surrounding plantation by Francis Paris, Sr. and Francis Paris, Jr. that the name Millhaven came to be attached to the site. Much later in its history is was temporarily renamed Garnett. That name didn’t stick.

    Liked by 1 person

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