"Forage Liberally: The Role of Agriculture in Sherman's March to the Sea." Thousands who had been deceived by their lying papers into the belief that we were being whipped all the time, realized the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region. Sherman's march to the sea brought the Civil War home to Southern … According to Sherman’s own estimates, his armies seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle in addition to confiscating 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of livestock fodder. Sherman swore to “make Georgia howl,” and in his Special Field Order No. Confederate Maj. Gen. Wheeler's cavalry struck Brig. We stood upon the very ground whereon was fought the bloody battle of July 22d, and could see the copse of wood where McPherson fell. Eventually, Sherman left Major General George H. Thomas to chase Hood and returned to Atlanta to begin his march to Savannah. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages, but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole - Hood’s army - it brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light. Meanwhile Thomas crushed Hood at the battle of Nashville on 15 December 1864. They often felt betrayed, as they "suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops". It was, however, at a terrible price. Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted around Georgia during November and December 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The documentary I saw showed the Home Guard, made up of wounded soldiers, boys, and old men, being mowed down. Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith's Georgia militia had about 3,050 soldiers, most of whom were boys and elderly men. The Cavalry Corps of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, reinforced by a brigade under Brig. In early October, Hood moved north of Atlanta to destroy Sherman's rail lines, invade Tennessee and Kentucky, and draw the Union Forces away from Georgia. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Burning Atlanta and the Start of the March, American Civil War: Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, American Civil War: Andersonville Prison Camp, American Civil War: Major General George H. Thomas, Sherman's March to the Sea in the American Civil War, American Civil War : War in the West, 1863-1865, American Civil War: General William T. Sherman, American Civil War: Major General John Buford, American Civil War: Major General John C. Frémont, American Civil War: Major General Carl Schurz, American Civil War: Major General Patrick Cleburne, American Civil War: Battle of Bentonville, American Civil War: Battle of Jonesboro (Jonesborough), American Civil War: General Joseph E. Johnston, American Civil War: Major General Joseph Wheeler, American Civil War: Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, "'We Have Surely Done a Big Work': The Diary of a Hoosier Soldier on Sherman's 'March to the Sea. Slocum's wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. '", "Sherman's March Through Georgia: A Reappraisal of the Right Wing. [21], The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. As a result, the rebels pushed their limits: there was a steep rise in guerrilla warfare on the part of Confederate civilians. Poe oversaw the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman. To regular foraging parties must be instructed the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled. to the Sea, the Civil War's most destructive campaign against a civilian population, began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and concluded in Savannah on December 21, 1864. "[24] David J. Eicher wrote that "Sherman had accomplished an amazing task. Having virtually vanished from the War Department’s view during his march to Savannah, Sherman chose to cut his supply lines and ordered his men to live off the land—and people—in their path. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. Rail depots, roundhouses, arsenals, and warehouses were torn down and the combustible materials then destroyed by controlled fires. Hardee decided not to surrender but to escape. Mark E. Neely rejects the notion that the Civil War was a "total war. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. Pastures and farmland became campsites, fence rows disappeared, and the countryside was scavenged for firewood. More Union troops entered the campaign from an unlikely direction. Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. V. To army corps commanders alone is entrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, &c., and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility. to the Sea, the Civil War's most destructive campaign against a civilian population, began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and concluded in Savannah on December 21, 1864. On the 15th of November, Sherman left Atlanta in flames and turned his army east. ", John Bennett Walters, "General William T. Sherman and total war. In planning for the march, Sherman used livestock and crop production data from the 1860 census to lead his troops through areas where he believed they would be able to forage most effectively. The link between Georgia's civilian farms and Sherman's March to the Sea was intimate. Casualties Of Shermans March To The Sea, Beautiful Sea, Casualties Of Shermans March To The Sea Learn shermans march with free interactive flashcards. He also continued to supervise destruction of Confederate infrastructure. Several small actions followed. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. There were approximately 3,100 casualties, 2,100 of which were Union soldiers, and the countryside took years to recover. Considering Sherman's military priorities, however, this tactical maneuver by his enemy to get out of his force's path was welcomed to the point of remarking, "If he will go to the Ohio River, I'll give him rations. The Civil War ended five months after Sherman marched into Savannah. ", "Scalawags and Scoundrels? On December 4, Kilpatrick's cavalry routed Wheeler's at the Battle of Waynesboro. In 2011 a historical marker was erected there by the Georgia Historical Society to commemorate the African Americans who had risked so much for freedom.[28]. The March. How did the shermans march change the war? The two wings of the army attempted to confuse and deceive the enemy about their destinations; the Confederates could not tell from the initial movements whether Sherman would march on Macon, Augusta, or Savannah. Wheeler and some infantry struck in a rearguard action at Ball's Ferry on November 24 and November 25. Sherman’s March to the Sea devastated Georgia and the Confederacy. Martin Kelly, M.A., is a history teacher and curriculum developer. [18], Sherman's scorched earth policies have always been highly controversial, and Sherman's memory has long been reviled by many Southerners. Sherman’s so-called “scorched earth policies” remain controversial, with many Southerners still detesting his memory. There was almost no opposition. As for horses, mules, wagons, &c., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit, discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Some band, by accident, struck up the anthem of "John Brown's Body"; the men caught up the strain, and never before or since have I heard the chorus of "Glory, glory, hallelujah!" [19] Some who welcomed him as a liberator chose to follow his armies. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills. Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans. 15. When all is taken into account, the brutal battles, the staggering casualties, families divided against each other, the monumental … Sherman's soldiers did not destroy any of the towns in their path, but they stole food and livestock and burned the houses and barns of people who tried to fight back. The March to the Sea for Floyd Legion started with a skirmish at Buckhead, just south of Madison, on Nov. 19, 1864, and ended in Savannah on Dec. 10, 1864. Abandoning Atlanta's railhead and telegraph lines was a high-risk operation. Other historical analysis however rejects the comparison. "[10] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. At the same time, Slocum's left wing approached the state capital at Milledgeville, prompting the hasty departure of Governor Joseph Brown and the state legislature. When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that 'nothing risked, nothing gained,' I did not interfere. [9] Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose. William T. Sherman. Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men. Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. I suppose it will be safer if I leave General Grant and yourself to decide. The depleted Confederate forces in the South were able to offer little resistance to the Union army as it cut a swath of destruction … His forces followed a "scorched earth" policy, destroying military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property, disrupting the Confederacy's economy and transportation networks. done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place. ", Mark E. Neely Jr, "Was the Civil War a Total War?. Arnold presented him with the key to the city, and Sherman's men, led by Geary's division of the XX Corps, occupied the city the same day. Sherman's March to the Sea took place from November 15 to December 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. As the army would be out of touch with the North throughout the campaign, Sherman gave explicit orders, Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. For all of the ink written about Sherman and the way he burned, scorched and killed between Atlanta and Savannah, the monstrous event lasted only 22 days. Grant's armies in Virginia continued in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee's army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. But what next? John G. Barrett, "Sherman and Total War in the Carolinas. The March attracted a huge number of refugees, to whom Sherman assigned land with his Special Field Orders No. [6] The twisted and broken railroad rails that the troops heated over fires and wrapped around tree trunks and left behind became known as "Sherman's neckties". This campaign was under the leadership of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. The March to the Sea had two wings: the right wing (15th and 17th corps) headed by Major General Oliver Howard was to move south toward Macon; the left wing (14th and 20th corps), headed by Major General Henry Slocum, would move on a parallel route toward Augusta. While Howard's wing was delayed near Ball's Bluff, the 1st Alabama Cavalry (a Federal regiment) engaged Confederate pickets. Sherman left Chattanooga in May 1864 and captured the vital railroad and supply center of Atlanta. Smith's 1,500 Georgia militiamen, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Grahamville Station, South Carolina. Jacqueline Campbell has written, on the other hand, that some slaves looked upon the Union army's ransacking and invasive actions with disdain. Sherman's personal escort on the march was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union. These orders have been depicted in popular culture as the origin of the "40 acres and a mule" promise. Such broad generalizations may assuage wounde… [13], Sherman telegraphed to President Lincoln, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton. On December 13, William B. Hazen's division of Howard's wing stormed the fort in the Battle of Fort McAllister and captured it within 15 minutes. Gen. Charles C. Walcutt arrived to stabilize the defense, and the division of Georgia militia launched several hours of badly coordinated attacks, eventually retreating with about 1,100 casualties (of which about 600 were prisoners), versus the Union's 100. Smith's militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith's 50. In the fall of 1864, the Union General William Tecumseh ("Cump") Sherman took 60,000 men and pillaged his way through Georgia's civilian farmsteads. "[32] W. Todd Groce, the president of the Georgia Historical Society, stated that the "hard war" practiced by Sherman did not prefigure the "total war" practiced in World War II. Sherman selected Poe as his chief engineer in 1864. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.6 billion in 2020 dollars)[22] in destruction, about one fifth of which "inured to our advantage" while the "remainder is simple waste and destruction". Sherman's "March to the Sea" followed his successful Atlanta Campaign of May to September 1864. Sherman's decision to operate deep within enemy territory and without supply lines is considered to be one of the major campaigns of the war, and is considered by some historians to be an early example of modern total war. Sherman's armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10 but found that Hardee had entrenched 10,000 men in favorable fighting positions, and his soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, leaving only narrow causeways available to approach the city. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea devastated the South, as Sherman pruned the Old-South myth of magnolia splendor to a stump. When Sherman completed his march, he offered the captured city of Savannah to Abraham Lincoln as a Christmas present. It also said that many of the parties sent out did not return. According to historian Jacqueline Campbell, the enslaved people often felt betrayed, as they “suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops.” A Confederate officer cited by Campbell estimated that of some 10,000 enslaved people who trailed along with Sherman’s armies, hundreds died of “hunger, disease, or exposure,” as the Union officers took no actions to help them, (Campbell 2003). On May 9, a cavalry force of over 10,000 troopers with 32 artillery pieces rode to the southeast to move behind Lee's army, intending to disrupt Lee's supply lines by destroying railroad tracks and supplies, to distract General Lee by threatening … Early in the war, the North had maintained a conciliatory policy toward the south; there were, in fact, explicit orders to leave families enough to survive on. The cavalry captured two Confederate guns at Lovejoy's Station, and then two more and 50 prisoners at Bear Creek Station. The second objective of the campaign was more traditional. Kilpatrick slipped by the defensive line that Wheeler had placed near Brier Creek, but on the night of November 26 Wheeler attacked and drove the 8th Indiana and 2nd Kentucky Cavalry away from their camps at Sylvan Grove. Background In the wake of his successful campaign to capture Atlanta, Major General William T. Sherman began making plans for a march against Savannah. Promoted by Sherman by two steps in rank to colonel after the fall of Savannah, he continued in that capacity in the war's concluding Carolinas Campaign as Sherman headed northwards from Savannah to link up with Grant and the Army of the Potomac in Virginia and to cut another swath through South and North Carolina.
They sustained themselves by taking what they needed or wanted, pillaging chickens, cows, vegetables, and horses and wagons. Gen. John P. Hatch from Hilton Head, hoping to assist Sherman's arrival near Savannah by securing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. And in bringing the war to the heart of the South, he demonstrated the Confederacy's inability to protect its own people. VI. Southern predictions that the Union forces would become lost or decimated by hunger and guerilla attacks were proven false. Sherman was blocked from linking up with the U.S. Navy as he had planned, so he dispatched cavalry to Fort McAllister, guarding the Ogeechee River, in hopes of unblocking his route and obtaining supplies awaiting him on the Navy ships. Ohioan William Tecumseh Sherman, a general in the Union army during the American Civil War, is best known for his March to the Sea. VII. Sherman's March to the Sea shortened the war by at least six months, at almost nil casualties. On November 25–26 at Sandersville, Wheeler struck at Slocum's advance guard. The campaign was designed by Grant and Sherman to be similar to Grant's innovative and successful Vicksburg Campaign and Sherman's Meridian Campaign, in that Sherman's armies would reduce their need for traditional supply lines by "living off the land" after consuming their 20 days of rations. Sherman's March to the Sea (also known as the Savannah Campaign or simply Sherman's March) was a military campaign of the American Civil War conducted through Georgia from November 15 until December 21, 1864, by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. Sherman's March to the Sea. Sherman was convinced that nothing short of bringing war to the homes of Confederate civilians could change Southern attitudes about "fighting to the death," and he had been considering this tactic for years. The March to the Sea. Military and civilian casualties were extremely low. The Union suffered another 18,400 casualties and the Confederates another 12,000. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army—burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war. Sherman's march to the sea was followed by a similarly devastating march through the Carolinas early in 1865, but the message to the South was clear. Sung from the point of view of a Union soldier, the lyrics detail the freeing of slaves and punishing the Confederacy for starting the war. I'm pretty sure that the union had 2100 injuries/casualties and that the confederacy had 1000 roughly. Johnson's commitment to the Union, and Lincoln's desire for a nonpartisan, pro-war ticket, persuaded Lincoln to support Johnson for VP on the Union Party ticket in the 1864 election. Foragers rode off in all directions, confiscating cows, pigs, and chickens from the scattered farms. It started with Sherman’s army leaving the decimated city of Atlanta on … Howard's wing, led by Kilpatrick's cavalry, marched south along the railroad to Lovejoy's Station, which caused the defenders there to conduct a fighting retreat to Macon. Wikipedia lists the casualties for both sides as "?". This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 06:23. Major General William T. Sherman's personal escort on the Sherman's March to the Sea was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union. The next morning, Savannah Mayor Richard Dennis Arnold, with a delegation of aldermen and ladies of the city, rode out (until they were unhorsed by fleeing Confederate cavalrymen) to offer a proposition: The city would surrender and offer no resistance, in exchange for General Geary's promise to protect the city's citizens and their property. In a letter written home in 1862, he told his family that the only way to defeat the south was as he had defeated Indigenous groups—by destroying their villages. Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. Elements of the decline in agriculture persisted through 1920."[26]. After sending Thomas and Schofield back to Tennessee, Sherman had 62,000 soldiers. The real damage was done to the city of Atlanta and the Georgian countryside where over 300 miles of railroad tracks were destroyed along with $100 million worth of property. 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