There was an incident involving the militia during the march which resulted in heavy militia casualties. Still if employed wisely they could have bled Sherman.The only real forces that the Confederacy could bring to bear against Sherman's March was Joe Wheeler's cavalry and the Georgia Militia. Aside from the insignificant numbers involved, the cavalry could be little more than an annoyance, and as far as the militia is concerned, well enough said.
No way. Green militias were never a threat to veteran troops during the Civil War (Gettysburg Campaign is a major example.)There was an incident involving the militia during the march which resulted in heavy militia casualties. Still if employed wisely they could have bled Sherman.
Would you rate Hood moving off as the key factor in not being able to use the barrens for full effect on Sherman.Shermans plan relied on the CS forces staying out of his way. He anticipated that Hood, once forced out of Atlanta, would swing around behind and attack his supply line. Hood took himself out of the game.
Sherman knew the CS would defend Macon and Augusta. His cavalry, upon leaving Atlanta made a beeline for Macon, followed closely by his right wing. CS forces were deployed to defend Macon, including the GA militia which fought at Griswoldville, just about 10 miles from Macon.
By then the Union cavalry was already moving northeast towards Augusta, supported by Shermans left wing. Other CS forces were sent to defend Augusta, including Wheelers cavalry.
Additionally, Union forces from the SC coast moved up the Broad River, pulling CS forces in that direction to protect the railroad. The resulting battle at Honey Hill, was a disaster for the Union forces, but the CS forces there were no available to oppose Sherman.
Sherman was absolutely vulnerable to being starved out, if his troops could be stopped before a resupply. Sherman planned all along to avoid that.
Hood was moving westward while Sherman was moving eastward. It is a very long 2 day drive from Nashville to Savannah on the interstate. By the time Sherman entered the pine barrens, Hood might as well have been on the moon.