Evilizing General Sherman

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rhettbutler1865

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Actually there was a Congressional investigation into Fort Pillow, and there were black survivors of Fort Pillow, so he didn't kill every one, and neither was it ignored. Whether or not it was an atrocity and whether or not it was appropriately dealt with are points that are disputed enough to have entire books written about them, but those two statements are incorrect.
Thanks Allie--I am cnstantly being humbled here on this site. Maybe I should just "listen"...
 
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rpkennedy

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Actions speak louder than words, and Jackson even though a staunch Christian, DID push on to kill as many of the enemy as possible-surely you must not think that is just "noise"
The "black flag" has a very specific connotation. There is no doubt that he was a hard fighter but he wasn't killing prisoners.

R
 
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rhettbutler1865

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I know he didn't kill prisoners-that wouldbe against his morals. I'm simply saying he was not only a hard fighter, but more than that. It is a real dichotomy that his religion said one thing to him, but the soldier in him said another.
 

Allie

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I know he didn't kill prisoners-that wouldbe against his morals. I'm simply saying he was not only a hard fighter, but more than that. It is a real dichotomy that his religion said one thing to him, but the soldier in him said another.
The thing about Sherman is that he was willing to attack civilians. While as far as I know he never specifically ordered anyone to attack civilian human beings, he did destroy civilian personal property, which led to some civilians being killed defending their homes. Which is a whole other can of worms... Yes, it did happen, but how frequently? Reporting can't be trusted to give accurate numbers. The lady Mary Chesnut knew personally who was put out into a freezing rain the same night she gave birth, did she end up okay? There was a newspaper report that my relative Shadrach Rice was shot by Yankees but not killed - yet by his own account he was never shot, and the interactions with raiding Yankees were peaceful except that they took all the pigs and left his family to starve. Another person I've talked to states that his grandmother was repeatedly hanged in order to extract information about hidden gold and died as a result - no newspaper account of that, yet many reports of people who were repeatedly hoisted into the air in the same way, and her death date does match the story.
 

rhettbutler1865

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The thing about Sherman is that he was willing to attack civilians. While as far as I know he never specifically ordered anyone to attack civilian human beings, he did destroy civilian personal property, which led to some civilians being killed defending their homes. Which is a whole other can of worms... Yes, it did happen, but how frequently? Reporting can't be trusted to give accurate numbers. The lady Mary Chesnut knew personally who was put out into a freezing rain the same night she gave birth, did she end up okay? There was a newspaper report that my relative Shadrach Rice was shot by Yankees but not killed - yet by his own account he was never shot, and the interactions with raiding Yankees were peaceful except that they took all the pigs and left his family to starve. Another person I've talked to states that his grandmother was repeatedly hanged in order to extract information about hidden gold and died as a result - no newspaper account of that, yet many reports of people who were repeatedly hoisted into the air in the same way, and her death date does match the story.
VERY interesting, Allie. I was talking about Jackson with rpkennedy-that was my last reply.
 
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ole

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I've never read a bio of Sherman. Was about to start Fighting Prophet but I also have books by Kennett, Miers and Coburn. Suggestions? ?
Best ever is "Sherman's Civil War" compiled by Brooks Simpson and another person.

It's not someone's idea of who Sherman was, it is a collection of his letters and his writings. You get to decide who Sherman was.
 
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ole

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I've read that as many as 10 blocks of Atlanta were destroyed by hoods troops firing powder and ammunition on rail cars...........
I think I read that there were as many as 40 box cars full of powder. One would have done incredible damage.
 
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The thing about Sherman is that he was willing to attack civilians. While as far as I know he never specifically ordered anyone to attack civilian human beings, he did destroy civilian personal property, which led to some civilians being killed defending their homes. <remainder snipped for brevity>

The people of the South supported their leader's actions against the United States and their active involvement was demanded by Southern leaders. I would think a good portion of your anger would be directed towards the Confederacy's own leaders who made the civilian population an active 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.
O.R. Series I, Vol. XLIV, Pg. 865

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

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.
ibid., pg. 867
----------------------------------

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.
ibid.
----------------------------------------

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.
ibid., pg. 869

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


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.
 

Allie

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The people of the South supported their leader's actions against the United States and their active involvement was demanded by Southern leaders. I would think a good portion of your anger would be directed towards the Confederacy's own leaders who made the civilian population an active 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.
O.R. Series I, Vol. XLIV, Pg. 865

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

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.
ibid., pg. 867
----------------------------------

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.
ibid.
----------------------------------------

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.
ibid., pg. 869

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


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.
Yep, that clearly explains why soldiers would attack old women and women who had just given birth. They were being employed as an active part of the army.
 
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Yep, that clearly explains why soldiers would attack old women and women who had just given birth. They were being employed as an active part of the army.
I was responding to your comment that Sherman "was willing to attack civilians" and not the alleged incidents with the pregnant woman or grandmother. The bottom line is that the Southern people chose war and supported war against the United States. The Southern leaders demanded the involvement of the Southern populace against Federal troops and many civilians took up the call. I fail to understand how all anger is directed at Sherman and his troops rather than at the Southern leaders who, through their edicts and civilian obedience to these demands, brought retribution by a small portion of Sherman's troops. Bad things happen in war. You sometimes reap what you sow.
 
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Bee

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Hi @AndyHall,

What started as a "quick" myth busting mission on Sherman last night has now carried into the night of the next day. I was looking for the Thom Basset article Birth of a Demon and landed at your blog, over to the Bryant University webpage, and back here again.... but still no article. The next best thing, though, was your great post, which gave me the synopsis that I was looking for: How did we go from there to here in re-creating Sherman as an almost cartoonish villain. I am not looking to revive the conversation of this thread, as I believe that everyone has weighed in quite heavily on the topic, however, I am still looking for the original article (if possible). Anyhow, along my journey, I was introduced to two great videos on the topic Sherman -- real and make-believe.The first video is Thom Basset discussing Sherman and the second video is a sit down with James McPherson & John Marszalek discussing Sherman's march through the Carolina's. As was pointed out to me: Marszalek offers a fascinating insight into Sherman the man and what motivated him.

Birth of a Demon Video Discussion


Sherman's March Through the Carolina's
 

peteanddelmar

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Location
Missouri
The people of the South supported their leader's actions against the United States and their active involvement was demanded by Southern leaders. I would think a good portion of your anger would be directed towards the Confederacy's own leaders who made the civilian population an active 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.
O.R. Series I, Vol. XLIV, Pg. 865

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

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.
ibid., pg. 867
----------------------------------

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.
ibid.
----------------------------------------

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.
ibid., pg. 869

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


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.
Delusional at that point.
 
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