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Andersonh1's Abbreviated List of Alleged Southern Complaints against the Union Army

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by jgoodguy, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Andersonh1's Abbreviated List of Alleged Southern Complaints against the Union Army


    Good list to discuss.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  3. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    Any serious discussion of atrocities must start with some actual atrocities. Thus far all we have is operations that were fairly standard for that time period and not considered atrocities or even illegal.
     
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  4. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Here we go again with Chambersburg as if it was the worst thing ever... so here's a partial list of towns burned by the Union Army. Maybe I'll start a thread and post details. And of course, none of this covers homes and farms and plantations that were looted and burned. I've posted a few details, but every incident has a story or outrage associated with it. Feel free to look them up.

    Osceola, Missouri, burned to the ground, September 24, 1861 - The town of 3,000 people was plundered and burned to the ground, 200 slaves were freed and nine local citizens were executed
    Platte City - December 16, 1861 - "Colonel W. James Morgan marches from St. Joseph to Platte City. Once there, Morgan burns the city and takes three prisoners -- all furloughed or discharged Confederate soldiers. Morgan leads the prisoners to Bee Creek, where one is shot and a second is bayonetted, while the third is released. "
    Dayton, Missouri, burned, January 1 to 3, 1862
    Columbus, Missouri, burned, reported on January 13, 1862
    Bentonville, Arkansas, partly burned, February 23, 1862 - a Federal search party set fire to the town after finding a dead Union soldier, burning most of it to the ground
    Winton, North Carolina, burned, reported on February 21, 1862 - first NC town burned by the Union, and completely burned to the ground
    Bledsoe's Landing, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862
    Hamblin's, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862
    Donaldsonville, Louisiana, partly burned, August 10, 1862
    Athens, Alabama, partly burned, August 30, 1862
    Randolph, Tennessee, burned, September 26, 1862
    Elm Grove and Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, October 18, 1862
    Fredericksburg December 11–15, 1862 - town not destroyed, but the Union army threw shells into a town full of civilians
    Napoleon, Arkansas, partly burned, January 17, 1863
    Mound City, Arkansas, partly burned, January 13, 1863
    Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, February 21, 1863 - "Captain Lemon allowed residents one hour to remove personal items, and the men then burned every house in the village."
    Eunice, Arkansas, burned, June 14, 1863
    Gaines Landing, Arkansas, burned, June 15, 1863
    Bluffton, South Carolina, burned, reported June 6, 1863 - "
    Union troops, about 1,000 strong, crossed Calibogue Sound and eased up the May River in the pre-dawn fog, surprising ineffective pickets and having their way in an unoccupied village. Rebel troops put up a bit of a fight, but gunboats blasted away as two-thirds of the town was burned in less than four hours. After the Yankees looted furniture and left, about two-thirds of the town's 60 homes were destroyed."
    Sibley, Missouri, burned June 28, 1863
    Hernando, Mississippi, partly burned, April 21, 1863
    Austin, Mississippi, burned, May 24, 1863 - "On May 24, a detachment of Union marines landed near Austin. They quickly marched to the town, ordered all of the townpeople out and burned down the town."
    Columbus, Tennessee, burned, reported February 10, 1864
    Meridian, Mississippi, destroyed, February 3 to March 6, 1864 (burned multiple times)
    Washington, North Carolina, sacked and burned, April 20, 1864
    Hallowell's Landing, Alabama, burned, reported May 14, 1864
    Newtown, Virginia, May 30, 1864
    Rome, Georgia, partly burned, November 11, 1864 - "Union soldiers were told to burn buildings the Confederacy could use in its war effort: railroad depots, storehouses, mills, foundries, factories and bridges. Despite orders to respect private property, some soldiers had their own idea. They ran through the city bearing firebrands, setting fire to what George M. Battey Jr. called harmless places."
    Atlanta, Georgia, burned, November 15, 1864
    Camden Point, Missouri, burned, July 14, 1864 -
    Kendal's Grist-Mill, Arkansas, burned, September 3, 1864
    Shenandoah Valley, devastated, reported October 1, 1864 by Sheridan. Washington College was sacked and burned during this campaign.
    Griswoldville, Georgia, burned, November 21, 1864
    Somerville, Alabama, burned, January 17, 1865
    McPhersonville, South Carolina, burned, January 30, 1865
    Barnwell, South Carolina, burned, reported February 9, 1865
    Columbia, South Carolina, burned, reported February 17, 1865
    Winnsborough, South Carolina, pillaged and partly burned, February 21, 1865
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama, burned, April 4, 1865
     
  5. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    You should move this to another thread since this has nothing to do with the OP and provide a source or sources for these burnings. It is not up to us to "look them up" when you are the one making the charge.
     
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  6. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Fair enough, and I'll do that at some point soon. But my point is if people are going to point at Chambersburg as an outrage, then they need to look at the many, many Southern towns burned and admit the multiple outrages perpetrated by the Union army against civilians, which are FAR greater in number and magnitude. There's no room to point fingers at the Confederates here as if the Union had clean hands in this regard.
     
  7. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    I have made no comments regarding Chambersburg. The mentioned quote has mistakenly been assigned to me.
     
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  8. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Done. Lets discuss.
     
  9. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Actually, retaliation such as the burning of Chambersburg, was a completely legal and accepted contemporary practice, as was the burning of Southern towns that held military depots, troops, facilities that supplied the Confederacy, or shielded guerrillas that attacked Federal forces.
     
  10. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    If we make assertions, please quote from contemporary military law with details.
     
  11. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    An atrocity, to me, means people get killed. Lawrence, Kansas is the most obvious one, but I bet we can come up with some others.

    On one hand I don't want to pretend that having the army rampage all over your farm and burn up a years old of labor and destroy many years of back breaking work isn't bad. But the words have meaning, and atrocity doesn't mean damage to property. I wouldn't call Early's burning of Chambersburg an atrocity, although it was appalling. Capt. Semmes and the other commerce raiders captured and destroyed US merchant ships, but they didn't make anyone walk the plank, so I have a hard time with calling their actions "atrocities," but rather on the same level as Early, or Sheridan.
     
  12. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    Chambersburg was not an outrage. And it wasn't an atrocity.
    Was it a deliberate act of revenge targeting the reputation of Thaddeus Stevens, a leading proponent of emancipation?
    Probably.
    And the same thing happened in Columbia, SC.
     
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  13. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Let's just pick an early example. Dayton, Missiouri in January of 1862. Note that it's in the dead of winter, so what happens to people who lose their homes at that time of year?

    http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/map/dayton-missouri

    Early in the war, the town of Dayton, Missouri gained a reputation as an enclave for Southern sympathizers and a fertile recruiting area for the secessionist Missouri State Guard. Union Colonel Charles R. Jennison ordered his Seventh Kansas Cavalry (known as "Jennison's Jayhawkers") to raid the town, resulting in the destruction of most of its buildings. The impact of the raid was long-lasting, as today the tiny community remains unincorporated.


    https://www.mycivilwar.com/battles/1862s.html

    January 1, 1861 in Dayton, Missouri - On January 1, a Union expedition was sent from Morristown to Dayton. Once they arrived in Dayton, the Confederates had already left. Orders were given to the Union commander, Lt. Col. D.R. Anthony of the 1st Kansas Cavalry, to destroy the town, which he did.


    There's a book about it which I have not read but ran across while Googleing the incident. It goes into far greater detail. http://www.burntdistrictpress.com/the-burning-of-dayton-missouri/

     
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  14. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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  15. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Winton, North Carolina, which at least appears to have been deserted at the time. Not that the Union army knew that when the decision to burn the town was made.

    http://www.ncpedia.org/winton-burning

    Winton, the seat of Hertford County, was burned by Federal troops on 20 Feb. 1862. It was the first North Carolina town burned by Union forces during the Civil War and the only one burned completely. On 19 February a flotilla of eight Union gunboats steamed up the Chowan River. As the vessels approached Winton's wharf, Confederate artillery and infantry opened up from the river bluff, but the boats sustained no serious damage.

    When the flotilla returned the next morning, Winton was deserted, but several buildings had clearly been used for Confederate billeting and storage. These were torched, resulting in a blaze that left only one small house standing. The Hertford County Courthouse had been destroyed in 1830, and virtually all records from 1830 to 1862 were consumed in this fire, along with several dozen houses, stores, and other buildings. The cooperation of Union army and navy forces in the action constituted one of the first amphibious operations in the history of the American military.


    https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2014/02/20/burning-of-winton-by-union-troops-1862

    On February 20, 1862, Union troops burned Winton, a small village in Hertford County overlooking the Chowan River.

    The previous day, six gunboats transporting soldiers from New York and Rhode Island steamed up river to Winton, intent on destroying a railroad bridge. Confederate soldiers from North Carolina and Virginia opened fire on the vessels. Despite riddling the wheelhouse of the lead gunboat, the USS Delaware, the volley did little damage, and the shelling commenced. That night the Union fleet anchored seven miles south of Winton, and Federal officers decided that the town of 300 inhabitants should be burned.

    The fleet returned to find the town almost completely abandoned. Soldiers, fresh from victory in the Battle of Roanoke Island, landed and took possession of Winton. The invaders burned military goods, along with the courthouse and several private homes; soldiers often ransacked homes before torching them.

    Word of the destruction spread fast in newspapers, North and South. Southern editors fueled public outrage. A Norfolk paper proclaimed the action a “vile incendiary.” The action at Winton proved to be a precedent for the practice of “total war” embraced by Sherman later in the conflict.


    https://www.stoppingpoints.com/north-carolina/sights.cgi?marker=Burning+Of+Winton&cnty=hertford

    At 11:30 the following morning the fleet returned to find the town almost completely abandoned. Six companies of the 9th New York, a unit which most recently had participated in the Battle of Roanoke Island landed and took possession of Winton. Hawkins managed to capture Martha Keen, the slave woman he had seen waving to them just prior to the ambush. Upon interrogation she said that her master had ordered her to do so in order to draw the Union forces in, and that the Confederates planned “to kill every one of them.” Hawkins used her statement, as well as his assertion that the entire town had been used as quarters by the Confederates, as his justification for burning the village.

    Hawkins later estimated that he had burned over $10,000 worth of military goods, along with several houses that had housed Confederate soldiers. He did not report that he also had burned the $30,000 county courthouse, or that his men had ransacked the houses before engulfing them in flames. Having destroyed Winton, the Union forces found the upper reaches of the Chowan River “blockaded by the falling of trees across it at its narrowest parts,” and abandoned the idea of burning the railroad bridge, instead returning to the Federal base at Roanoke Island. The Union commander of the Department of North Carolina, Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside, blamed the wanton destruction on mother nature, claiming that the fire was initially set only on military sites, but that “the wind shifted after the fire was started and caused the destruction of some few houses.”

    Word of Hawkins’s actions spread fast in both newspapers, North and South. Southern editors fueled public outrage at Hawkins’s actions. The Norfolk Day Book on February 21 proclaimed the action a “vile incendiary,” a sentiment echoed by the Hillsborough Recorder on March 5. In the North, newspapers were much more contrite about the situation. The front page of the New York Times on February 25 gave coverage to the story, and the New York Herald chief editor actually blamed the “act of vandalism” on the retreating Confederates.

    Nevertheless, many Northerners were ashamed at the actions of the 9th New York. Just prior to the arrival of word concerning the Winton expedition, a funding drive had begun to raise money for medals honoring the 9th New York’s actions at Roanoke Island. When New York newspaper editor George Wilkes announced that the Zouaves “had stripped the peaceful inhabitants of their property, they fired the houses over their heads” the fund simply dried up. Hawkins’s actions, nonetheless, provided a precedent for the practice of “total war” practiced throughout the remainder of the conflict.
     
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  16. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    To avoid special pleading AKA unique and unusual definitions favorable to one's position, please abide by the following definition.

    Please make a case.

    Thanks
     
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  17. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Using Military law, please make a case this is an atrocity. Please do not just throw outrage against the wall to see if it is going to stick.
     
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  18. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Evidence?
     
  19. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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  20. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Exactly words have meanings.
     
  21. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    The Lieber code is a good reference. How were its principles going to the Confederate armies ?

    ***Edited by moderator jgg***
     
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