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What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman's Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta

Discussion in 'Book & Movie Review Tent' started by CMWinkler, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    But as the great man himself said: "War is the remedy our enemy's have chosen. They dared us to war, and you remember how tauntingly they defied us to the contest. We have accepted the issue and it must be fought out. You might as well reason with a thunderstorm. I say let us give them all they want; not a word of argument, not a sign of let up, no cave in till we are whipped or they are."
     
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  3. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    Can Southern newspaper accounts be counted on here? :O o:
    It's what the Southerners brought onto themselves.
    They were not smart enough, or strong enough to counter Sherman. Hood takes his army completely away from the Atlanta area, not even thinking that Sherman would go another direction, (the March to the sea) leaving the Atlanta area to fend for it'self.
    I'm not inclined to appeal to war as flagrantly as the South did.

    Kevin Dally
     
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  4. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 2nd Lieutenant

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    You better freshen up on the Laws of War in effect during the Civil War and then please elaborate which laws Sherman violated to warrant the name of "war criminal."

    Secondly, the people of the South supported their leader's actions against the United States and their active involvement was demanded by Southern leaders. I'm amused by the supposed "anger" displayed by supporters of the Confederacy against Sherman, but on the other hand remain silent about the Confederacy's own leaders who proclaimed its civilian population part of its army:

    RICHMOND, VA., November 18, 1864.
    General H. COBB,
    Macon, GA.:
    In addition to the troops of all kinds you should endeavor to get out every man who can render any services, even for short period, and employ negroes in obstructing roads be every practicable means. Colonel Rains, at Augusta, can furnish you with shells prepared to explode by pressure, and these will be effective to check an advance. General Hardee has, I hope, brought some re-enforcement, and General Taylor will probably join you with some further aid. You have a difficult task, but will realize the necessity for the greatest exertion.
    JEFFN. DAVIS.

    ----------------------------

    RICHMOND, November 18, 1864.
    TO THE PEOPLE OF Georgia:
    You have now the best opportunity ever yet presented to destroy the enemy. Put everything at the disposal of our generals; remove all provisions from the path of the invader, and put all obstructions in his path. Every citizen with his gun, and every negro with his spade and axe, can do the work of a soldier. You can destroy the enemy by retarding his march. Georgians, be firm! Act promptly, and fear not!
    B. H. HILL,
    Senator.
    I most cordially approved the above.
    JAMES A. SEDDON,
    Secretary of War.
    ----------------------------------

    CORINTH, November 18, 1864.
    TO THE PEOPLE OF Georgia:
    Arise for the defense of your native soil! Rally round your patriotic Governor and gallant soldiers! Obstruct and destroy all roads in Sherman's front, flank, and rear, and his army will soon starve in your midst! Be confident and resolute! Trust in an overruling Providence, and success will crown your efforts. I hasten to join you in defense of your homes and firesides.
    G. T. BEAUREGARD.
    CORINTH, November 18, 1864.

    ----------------------------------------
    RICHMOND, November 19, 1864.
    TO THE PEOPLE OF Georgia:
    We have has a special conference with President Davis and the Secretary of War, and are able to assure you that they have done and are still doing all that can be done to meet the emergency that presses upon you. Let every man fly to arms! Remove your negroes, horses, cattle, and provisions from Sherman's army, and burn what you cannot carry. Burn all bridges and block up the roads in his route. Assail the invader in front, flank, and rear, by night and by day. Let him have no rest.
    JULIAN HARTRIDGE,
    J. H. ECHOLS,
    JOHN T. SHEWMAKE,
    MARK H. BLANDFORD,
    GEO. N. LESTER,
    JAS. M. SMITH,
    Members of Congress.



    PETERSBURG, November 19, 1864.
    His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
    Richmond, Va.:
    I have not received General Cooper's dispatch. I know of no troops within reach of Sherman except those in Georgia, nor do I know of a - . * All roads, bridges, provisions, &c., within Sherman's reach should be destroyed. The population must turn out. Wheeler could do much. It would be extremely hazardous and -. * Savannah will probably be Sherman's object. Troops that can be spared from Charleston, Savannah, &c., should take the field under Hardee.
    R. E. LEE.


    MACON, November 19, 1864.
    Honorable James A. SEDDON,
    Secretary of War:
    There is great scarcity of arms in Georgia and South Carolina to meet the enemy. It is necessary to have additional arms to put into the hands of the levy en masse ordered by the Legislature of Georgia, and the reserve militia of South Carolina now called out by Governor Bonham. Please have all spare arms sent to Charleston, S. C., subject to my orders.
    W. J. HARDEE,
    Lieutenant - General.
     
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  5. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    Hah! So you just don't like the title? I don't think a benign title such as Sherman's Occupation of Atlanta would move as fast. It's a segment of history I've seen very little information on. Would I buy it and read it? No but if someone gave me a copy I would at least skim it.
     
  6. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    You know, it's always amusing to see the Lost Causers complain about Sherman's alleged crimes, but these same individuals would no doubt consider the rebel plot to burn New York City, and the thousands of deaths that would have caused, a legitimate act of war.
     
  7. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Sherman had been there and done that many times. Removing property and getting the hell out of Dodge was good advice. Assailing the invader was not good advice. It was to be expected, and a noble sentiment, but Sherman did not take kindly to being assailed. And why should he?

    You are probably right, dvrmte, the title is off-putting. Maybe the content is worth reading, but one knows, in advance, that it is just going to echo the hand-wringing we see on this and other CW boards. BooHoo. So he left the south in a bloody smear of snot.

    One learns to not walk into a bar and call the biggest guy there a fag. Then complaining about the beating received. Simplistic analogy, to be sure. But I calls 'em as I sees 'em.
     
  8. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Sherman was in no way the first. For that you have to start looking back... way back. But if you want to go into the contemporaries w/in his lifetime you need look no further than the British in India, French in Spain, US against the Seminoles etc. Southerners of the plantation variety were fine w/ it as long as it was happening to someone else but when it was their own houses...

    War is ugly it always has been to the time of the Greeks & Romans to point hundreds of years earlier. Want to win a war, fight it in the other guys backyard.
     
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  9. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    Sherman didn't start the "modern" total war concept in the ACW, Lincoln did with Pope and his Army of Va. in 1862. Sherman simply found himself in a position and with a preponderance of force great enough to be able to take it to it's logical conclusion. Sherman himself said that he was much smarter than Grant and I tend to believe him.
     
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  10. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    For an eye opening image take just a moment an imagine the wrath of the Roman Army upon rebels. For a quick primer look at what Josephus had to say about the Legions in Judea. Or if you want a REAL thank god it was only Sherman look to the Mongols and what was done to Herat. Again if you want a contempary to Sherman look to India in 1857 and what happened to the rebels. Then come to me and tell me how brutal Sherman was. But that would require actual study and worse still a perspective that does not involve the sun rising & setting south of the Mason Dixon.

    The "South" got off easy, real easy. History shows us that, you just have to look at it to know it.
     
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  11. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    The south is still paying for losing the war Johann. If the south had won the war wecould control our borders. Merry Christmas my friend.
     
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  12. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brigadier General Moderator

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    Ummmm you couldn't control it back then either, thats why there was all the fuss about escaped slaves :dance:
     
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  13. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    When they were fussing, they didn't have their own country, once they got their own country they quickly found they had bigger problems than runaways. Merry Christmas Wilbur. WWiiilllurrrr that makes me think of Mr. Ed!
     
  14. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Few people suffered less during and after their rebellion than did the people of the Southern U.S.
     
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  15. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    Thank you for caring enough to quote my previous post but I must admit I don't see a connection between what I posted and your reply. Merry Christmas KeyserSoze.
     
  16. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I was referring to your contention that the South is still paying for losing their rebellion. The price they have paid is a pittance when compared with most who lost their own rebellions.

    And a very merry Christmas to you and yours as well. And best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
     
  17. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    Thank you, and the same back at you and yours. As far as my contention that the south is still paying for losing the war I would say that you are right it could have been much worse. I would further contend that I'm also right in saying it could have been much better.
     
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  18. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Oh no, not again---

    However, I am of the opinion, that there is more to the story--

    And, as has been beaten to death before, the actions leading up to Fort Sumter, S.C., speaks to the language of war and destruction of Fort Sumter, US Forts,arsenals, custom houses and treasury facilities seized by State troops bearing state flags ordered by then Governor Pickens, while President Buchanan's administration was in place--Lincoln only a President-elect.

    Atlanta is also another topic that has been battered around a lot.

    But, as there is a 'license' for authors to publish just about anything, the amount of research is always suspect as to the depth and quality of the sources.

    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 78]
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM MAY 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1864.(*)--#20
    WASHINGTON, September 26, 1864--1 p.m.
    Major-General SHERMAN
    Atlanta, Ga.:
    I do not know what General Grant's views are about Savannah, but I hardly think he intends to operate there. I should say your line was Columbus, Montgomery, and Selma, opening, in conjunction with Farragut and Canby, the Alabama River. Selma is a very important place. You are nearer to Montgomery than to Augusta, and the latter as far from Savannah as the former from Mobile. By holding Atlanta, Montgomery, and the Alabama River we can prevent any serious raids into Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and at the same time cut off the rebel army from their grain-fields. Deprived of the grain, iron, and coal of Northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and the harbor of Wilmington closed as effectually as Mobile, Savannah, and Charleston now are, they can hardly hold out in strong force another year. Your mode of conducting war is just the thing we now want. We have tried the kid-glove policy long enough.
    H. W. HALLECK,
    Major-general and Chief of Staff.

    Halleck's words--not Shermans.

    M. E. Wolf
     
  19. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 78]
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM MAY 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1864.(*)--#21

    WASHINGTON, September 28, 1864.
    Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:
    GENERAL: Your communications of the 20th in regard to the removal of families from Atlanta and the exchange of prisoners,(+) and also the official report(++) of your campaign, are just received. I have not had time as yet to examine your report. The course which you have pursued in removing rebel families from Atlanta and in the exchange of prisoners is fully approved by the War Department. Not only are you justified by the laws and usages of war in removing these people, but I think it was your duty to your own army to do so. Moreover, I am fully of opinion that the nature of your position, the character of the war, the conduct of the enemy, and especially of non-combatants and women of the territory which we have heretofore conquered and occupied, will justify you in gathering up all the forage and provisions which your army may require both for a siege of Atlanta and for your supply in your march farther into the enemy's country. Let the disloyal families of the country thus stripped go to their husbands, fathers, and natural protectors in the rebel ranks. We have tried three years of conciliation and kindness without any reciprocation. On the contrary, those thus treated have acted as spies and guerrillas in our rear and within our lines. The safety of our armies and a proper regard for the lives of our soldiers require that we apply to our inexorable foes the severe rules of war. We certainly are not required to treat the so-called non-combatants and rebels better than they themselves treat each other. Even here in Virginia, within fifty miles of Washington, they strip their own families of provisions, leaving them as our army advances to be fed by us or to starve within our lines. We have fed this class of people long enough. Let them go with their husbands and fathers in the rebel ranks, and if they won't go we must send them to their friends and natural protectors. I would destroy every mill and factory within my reach which I did not want for my own use. This the rebels have done, not only in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but also in Virginia and other rebel States, when compelled to fall back before our armies. In many sections of the country they have not left a mill to grind grain for their own suffering families, lest we might use them to supply our armies. We must do the same. I have endeavored to impress these views upon our commanders for the last two years. You are almost the only one who has properly applied them. I do not approve of General Hunter's course in burning private, houses, or uselessly destroying private property--that is barbarous; but I approve of taking or destroying whatever may serve as supplies to us or to the enemy's armies.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    H. W. HALLECK,
    Major-General and Chief of Staff.
    --------------------
    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79]
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.(*)--#2
    DECATUR, GA., October 3, 1864-.-8 a.m.
    Capt. L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp, Atlanta:
    My last orders were to be in readiness for speedy movement. Shall I send my hospitals, &c., into Atlanta without further notice, or wait till we actually move?
    J. D. COX,
    Brigadier-General, Commanding.
    -----
    DECATUR, October 3, 1864.
    Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta:
    The breaking of telegraph by the storm last night delayed your message till this hour (10 o'clock). I will put everything on the road for Atlanta which is going there, and march the troops in rear of our old lines. I think there is no doubt we shall reach the bridge to-night.
    J. D. COX,
    Brigadier-General.
    -----
    DECATUR, October 3, 1864.
    Major-General SHERMAN,
    Atlanta:
    Your dispatch countermanding movement received. I am sending into Atlanta our incumbrances, &c., as we began doing this morning, and will keep ready for movement at shortest notice.
    J. D. COX,
    Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Ohio.
    --------
    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79]
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.(*)--#6
    NASHVILLE, TENN., October 7, 1864--11 p.m.
    (Received 8th.)
    Major ECKERT:
    General Granger reports from Huntsville that Colonel Mitchell reports to him that Forrest has escaped over the Tennessee River, near Florence, with his command, all but 500 men. It was stated that the fords were too high to be used, and the report is not fully credited, but I give it as received. The colonel commands Second Brigade of General Morgan's division, and ought to know. Nothing from General Sherman. Atlanta railroad badly destroyed by floods and rebels together, but can be used as far as Allatoona now.
    J. C. VAN DUZER.
    -----
    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92]
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, FROM NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#1
    JONESBOROUGH, GA., November 14, 1864--9.25 p.m.
    General BRAXTON BRAGG,
    Richmond, Va.:
    Prisoners taken yesterday report Sherman with three corps in and about Atlanta. Scouts and prisoners report enemy destroying railroad between Atlanta and Marietta. Yankee camp rumors say Sherman will move forward.
    JOS. WHEELER,
    Major-General.
    (Same to General Hardee.)
    -----
    JONESBOROUGH, GA., November 14, 1864.
    General J. B. HOOD:
    Sherman, with Fifteenth and Twentieth Corps and Kilpatrick's cavalry, is in Atlanta. Prisoners and citizens say camp rumors are that they will march to Augusta and Savannah. Scouts and prisoners report Sherman destroying railroad from Atlanta to Allatoona.
    J. WHEELER,
    Major-general.
    (Same to General Bragg, Richmond; Lieutenant-General Hardee, Charleston; Lieutenant-General Taylor, Selma; Major-General Cobb, Macon; Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith, Lovejoy's; Governor Joseph E. Brown, Milledgeville, and Col. M. H. Wright, Columbus.)
    -----
    M. E. Wolf
     
  20. 1SGDan

    1SGDan 1st Lieutenant

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    Wow what a revelation! In the midst of war stuff gets damaged and people hurt!
     
  21. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    I thought South Carolinians were supposed to be the reactionaries. What's up with all the Yanks going into defensive mode and they ain't even read the book yet? :giggle:
     

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