S/O Sherman's March. How were civilians treated in Pennsylvania?

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#1
Historians of every political stripe have for generations agreed, Robert Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was relatively well behaved during its Pennsylvania Campaign. They didn't burn homes, rape Pennsylvanians or otherwise do a lot of damage, outside of battle with the Union Army.

CWT poster and moderator @WJC seems to think Sherman was as well behaved in Georgia as was Lee in Pennsylvania. I think this is balderdash and welcome comments from others.

(There will certainly be evidence posted from anonymous and unverified sources with respect to Pennsylvania, but let's stick to the facts?)
 

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#2
Historians of every political stripe have for generations agreed, Robert Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was relatively well behaved during its Pennsylvania Campaign. They didn't burn homes, rape Pennsylvanians or otherwise do a lot of damage, outside of battle with the Union Army.

CWT poster and moderator @WJC seems to think Sherman was as well behaved in Georgia as was Lee in Pennsylvania. I think this is balderdash and welcome comments from others.

(There will certainly be evidence posted from anonymous and unverified sources with respect to Pennsylvania, but let's stick to the facts?)
We certainly have a number of past threads on the AnV kidnapping free blacks and forcing them into slavery in the South. Perhaps @WJC can post some links to them.
Also do we really have verified sources that other then a small handful of Sherman's soldiers the majority of of Sherman's men were vandals,rapists and thieves?
Leftyhunter
 

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#3
They captured free blacks, mostly women and children, and sent them down south. They threatened to burn homes - depending which group was coming in. If you read the "Cormany Diaries" Rachael and Samuel kept extensive diaries both before, during and after the war. He was in the Union army and she was mostly in the Chambersburg area. The Black men had left and the thinking was that Lee's army wouldn't bother the women and children.

Not all the time and not all groups of CSA troops coming in did this, but some troops coming took hats and tried to take clothes (jackets and boots/shoes) from me who were there. One time Rachel and another woman were almost burnt out of their home because they didn't have money to pay a soldier not to burn it but they babies and claimed they were widows and were finally left alone.
 
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#4
We certainly have a number of past threads on the AnV kidnapping free blacks and forcing them into slavery in the South. Perhaps @WJC can post some links to them.
Also do we really have verified sources that other then a small handful of Sherman's soldiers the majority of of Sherman's men were vandals,rapists and thieves?
Leftyhunter
They captured free blacks, mostly women and children, and sent them down south. They threatened to burn homes - depending which group was coming in. If you read the "Cormany Diaries" Rachael and Samuel kept extensive diaries both before, during and after the war. He was in the Union army and she was mostly in the Chambersburg area. The Black men had left and the thinking was that Lee's army wouldn't bother the women and children.

Not all the time and not all groups of CSA troops coming in did this, but some troops coming took hats and tried to take clothes (jackets and boots/shoes) from me who were there. One time Rachel and another woman were almost burnt out of their home because they didn't have money to pay a soldier not to burn it but they babies and claimed they were widows and were finally left alone.
We have threads about this, without any real evidence. It's modern, wishful thinking.

Now, whose got actual evidence that Sherman was as kind and gentle to Georgians as Lee was to Pennsylvanians?

This is the purpose of the thread. Show us the horrors the Army of Northern Virginia perpetrated upon PA? It was never burnt or pillaged the way Georgia was.

Yet, Sherman's "war aims" are acceptable to most of you, re-fighting the War Between the States. Let's talk about the actual history?
 
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#5
We have threads about this, without any real evidence. It's modern, wishful thinking.

Now, whose got actual evidence that Sherman was as kind and gentle to Georgians as Lee was to Pennsylvanians?

This is the purpose of the thread. Show us the horrors the Army of Northern Virginia perpetrated upon PA? It was never burnt or pillaged the way Georgia was.

Yet, Sherman's "war aims" are acceptable to most of you, re-fighting the War Between the States. Let's talk about the actual history?
Let's bring up the past threads about the AnV kidnapping free blacks and compare the evidence to your so far unsourced assertion that Sherman's men actually as a group committed any war crimes.
Leftyhunter
 

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#6
I see, this is a tit-for-tat thread. You won't accept a primary source of someone who was there. You said you "welcome comments from others" and I provided some. If you don't agree just say so, but I'm using primary source material.

I didn't think the point was to prove it was completely equally or not "as bad." Maybe 5% of Chambersburg citizens were captured and sold into slavery, but for those involved it was 100%.

So what are you actually trying to stir up here?
 
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#7
MmKay.

So, Sherman treated Georgia just like Lee treated Pennsylvania?

This does a disserverice to actual history, but hey, that doesn't matter.

The Narrative is paramount, truth be danged.

Historical sarcasm:

Sherman served all of the ladies warm tea and Champaign in Georgia. Lee burnt, pillaged, raped and stole everything in Pennsylvania. (Sarcasm off).

The opposite is of course true.
 

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#8
It does the discussion no service to debate the extremes.
We do know that wherever the opposing armies went the civilian population suffered. Simply read the accounts of the aftermath of any of the battles or the claims filed by residents which detail what they found when they returned home.
One thing that is beyond arguing is that Blacks- whether slave or free- often suffered most. It is unfortunate that since so many were unable to read or write- particularly the Southern enslaved- we have few accounts to allow us to appreciate the full extent.
 
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It does the discussion no service to debate the extremes.
We do know that wherever the opposing armies went the civilian population suffered. Simply read the accounts of the aftermath of any of the battles or the claims filed by residents which detail what they found when they returned home.
One thing that is beyond arguing is that Blacks- whether slave or free- often suffered most. It is unfortunate that since so many were unable to read or write- particularly the Southern enslaved- we have few accounts to allow us to appreciate the full extent.
You and others may find comfort in this, but the thread is about how Sherman treated Georgia vs. how Lee treated Pennsylvania. Not even close, sorry.

I can weigh historians by the pound who will agree. Of course, the internet will find its own answers....
 

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#10
Lee's Army did a very thorough job of stripping Pennsylvania of food, fodder and other supplies for the ANV as well as equipment, animals, and a host of other things. Many people seem to have been "sent South" on the assumption that anyone with black skin must be an escaped slave (many people with anything that might be called black skin also picked up and ran as soon as Lee's army got close).

From Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign, By Kent Masterson Brown:
1553990991453.png
The worst example of Confederate troops violating Lee's order would be the burning of Thaddeus Stevens' Caledonia Furnace (ordered by Jubal Early). See Beyond the Battlefield: The Park That Once Was Stevens’s Furnace.
I would think Lee's order was simply practical. Lee needed everything he could lay hands on and letting troops just smash-and-grab whatever took their fancy tends to be very wasteful in real life. Doing the same confiscation in an orderly fashion under military discipline is much more efficient and productive for Lee and his army.
Napoleon's Marshal Davout seems similar. He was known for maintaining strict discipline (much stricter than the rest of the French Army on such matters). Davout was also by far the most efficient of Napoleon's Marshals -- and tremendously efficient at making sure his men were well fed and equipped. If he needed to strip a province to feed his troops, the mice would have gone hungry there.​
 
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WJC

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CWT poster and moderator @WJC seems to think Sherman was as well behaved in Georgia as was Lee in Pennsylvania. I think this is balderdash and welcome comments from others.
Thanks for mentioning me. However, you mischaracterize my views. I have made no statement that would lead anyone to believe the acts were equivalent or that one excuses the other.
 

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#12
You and others may find comfort in this, but the thread is about how Sherman treated Georgia vs. how Lee treated Pennsylvania. Not even close, sorry.

I can weigh historians by the pound who will agree. Of course, the internet will find its own answers....
Thanks for your response.
Interestingly, your title asks, "How were civilians treated in Pennsylvania?" and you chose to open this thread in the Gettysburg forum. That might cause some to focus on what happened in Pennsylvania.
You seem to be responding to my rather innocuous earlier general statement suggesting we ought not focus on extremes. Why?
 
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#13
The worst example of Confederate troops violating Lee's order would be the burning of Thaddeus Stevens' Caledonia Furnace (ordered by Jubal Early). See Beyond the Battlefield: The Park That Once Was Stevens’s Furnace.
This is disingenuous of you. Thaddeus Stephens' property was burned a full year after the Battle of Gettysburg, upon Gen. Jubal Early's orders, but you guys will stop at nothing (propaganda wise).

What was done to Georgia is the point here and nothing was done to Pennsylvania in the "Gettysburg Campaign" that mirrors what Sherman did to Georgia.
 
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#14
Interestingly, your title asks, "How were civilians treated in Pennsylvania?" and you chose to open this thread in the Gettysburg forum.
Use your supreme power as a Moderator to put it where you think it should be? Who cares?

You decide, Sir.
 
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