To this end, each brigade commander will organize a good and sufficient foraging party, under the command of one or more discreet officers, who will gather, near the route traveled, corn or forage of any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, corn-meal, or whatever is needed by the command, aiming at all times to keep in the wagons at least ten day's provisions for the command and three days' forage. At the former, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured. Directed by Ross McElwee. The first real resistance was felt by Howard's right wing at the Battle of Griswoldville on November 22. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages, but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole - Hood’s army - it brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light. [19] Some who welcomed him as a liberator chose to follow his armies. At the same time, Slocum's left wing approached the state capital at Milledgeville, prompting the hasty departure of Governor Joseph Brown and the state legislature. It was led by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. The following spring, Sherman launched his final campaign of the war north into the Carolinas, before finally receiving the surrender of General Joseph Johnston on April 26, 1865. VI. [27] It was widely popular among US soldiers of 20th-century wars. Prime meridian: Washington. This was accomplished on December 13, and communications were opened with Rear Admiral John Dahlgren's naval forces. To ensure that adequate supplies were gathered, Sherman issued strict orders regarding foraging and the seizure of material from the local population. John G. Barrett, "Sherman and Total War in the Carolinas. Initially moving south, Howard's men pushed Confederate troops out of Lovejoy's Station before pressing on towards Macon. Considering Sherman's military priorities, however, this tactical maneuver by his enemy to get out of his force's path was welcomed to the point of remarking, "If he will go to the Ohio River, I'll give him rations. Some band, by accident, struck up the anthem of "John Brown's Body"; the men caught up the strain, and never before or since have I heard the chorus of "Glory, glory, hallelujah!" Jacqueline Campbell has written, on the other hand, that some slaves looked upon the Union army's ransacking and invasive actions with disdain. General Sherman set out to “make Georgia howl,” and preferred, as he said, to “march through that State smashing things to the sea.” He wrote to Grant after his march through South Carolina, saying: “The people of South Carolina, instead of feeding Lee’s army, will now call on … On December 13, William B. Hazen's division of Howard's wing stormed the fort in the Battle of Fort McAllister and captured it within 15 minutes. Mark E. Neely rejects the notion that the Civil War was a "total war. Poe oversaw the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman. THE MARCH TO THE SEA FROM ATLANTA TO SAVANNAH. A common technique for wrecking the latter was heating railroad rails over fires and twisting them around trees. By the time the war ended 750 k had died. William T. Sherman. Kennedy Hickman is a historian, museum director, and curator who specializes in military and naval history. [18], Sherman's scorched earth policies have always been highly controversial, and Sherman's memory has long been reviled by many Southerners. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. Confederate States presidential election of 1861, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sherman%27s_March_to_the_Sea&oldid=993929872, Campaigns of the Western Theater of the American Civil War, Military operations of the American Civil War in Georgia (U.S. state), Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles needing additional references from December 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. GPS: 32.8517, -83.6364 R10. He had defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. Dividing his forces in three, Sherman advanced along two major routes with Major General Oliver O. Howard's Army of the Tennessee on the right and Major General Henry Slocum's Army of Georgia on the left. Falling back, he was reinforced and was able to halt Wheeler's advance. He eliminated Atlanta's war making potential and brought sheer destruction to Georgia, then offered generous surrender terms. Now From November 15 until December 21, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman led some 60,000 soldiers on a 285-mile march from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. Some of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war. History >> Civil War General Sherman's march through the state of Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah was one of the most devastating blows to the South in the American Civil War. Smith's militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith's 50. "[32] W. Todd Groce, the president of the Georgia Historical Society, stated that the "hard war" practiced by Sherman did not prefigure the "total war" practiced in World War II. Gen. Charles C. Walcutt arrived to stabilize the defense, and the division of Georgia militia launched several hours of badly coordinated attacks, eventually retreating with about 1,100 casualties (of which about 600 were prisoners), versus the Union's 100. Sherman's March to the Sea. "[14] On December 26, the president replied in a letter:[15]. General William T. Sherman has destroyed Atlanta and is confident he can break his supply lines and march his 60,000+ army east to the sea at Savannah,Georgia.. Shermans army will live off the land and “make Georgia howl”, inflicting the demoralization to the countryside and state that he knew would break the will of the south. Hundreds of African Americans drowned trying to cross in Ebenezer Creek north of Savannah while trying to follow Sherman's Army in its March to the Sea. V. To army corps commanders alone is entrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, &c., and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility. Rhodes, James Ford. ), 90, S7 Includes ill. The March to the Sea for Floyd Legion started with a skirmish at Buckhead, just south of Madison, on Nov. 19, 1864, and ended in Savannah on Dec. 10, 1864. (However, Poe was incensed at the level of uncontrolled arson by marauding soldiers not of his unit which resulted in heavy damage to civilian homes. Welch, Robert Christopher. Kilpatrick was ordered to make a feint toward Augusta before destroying the railroad bridge at Brier Creek and moving to liberate the Camp Lawton prisoner of war camp at Millen. The March to the Sea, which culminated with the fall of Savannah in December 1864, cut a swath of torn-up railroads, pillaged farms and burned-out plantations through the Georgia countryside. I suppose it will be safer if I leave General Grant and yourself to decide. During the remainder of November and in early December, numerous minor battles were fought, such as Buck Head Creek and Waynesboro, as Sherman's men pushed relentlessly on towards Savannah. Away off in the distance, on the McDonough road, was the rear of Howard's column, the gun-barrels glistening in the sun, the white-topped wagons stretching away to the south; and right before us the Fourteenth Corps, marching steadily and rapidly, with a cheery look and swinging pace, that made light of the thousand miles that lay between us and Richmond. )[citation needed] He served in this capacity past the fall of Atlanta to the end of the war. After a successful two-month campaign, Sherman accepted the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston and his forces in North Carolina on April 26, 1865. by Warfare History Network. Departing Atlanta by different routes, the Howard and Slocum's columns attempted to confuse Hardee as to their ultimate objective with Macon, Augusta, or Savannah as possible destinations. The next morning, Savannah Mayor Richard Dennis Arnold, with a delegation of aldermen and ladies of the city, rode out (until they were unhorsed by fleeing Confederate cavalrymen) to offer a proposition: The city would surrender and offer no resistance, in exchange for General Geary's promise to protect the city's citizens and their property. CHAPTER XXI. The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. [21], The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. [17], Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864. That very day an additional 500 were transferred to Savannah lowering the prison's population even further. [16], From Savannah, after a month-long delay for rest, Sherman marched north in the spring through the Carolinas, intending to complete his turning movement and combine his armies with Grant's against Robert E. Lee. [13], Sherman telegraphed to President Lincoln, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton. Union General Sherman’s scorched-earth March to the Sea campaign begins. To accomplish this, Sherman intended to conduct a campaign designed to eliminate any resources that could be used by Confederate forces. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. "[10] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. On November 25–26 at Sandersville, Wheeler struck at Slocum's advance guard. He also continued to supervise destruction of Confederate infrastructure. Shows routes of cavalry and of 14th, 15th, 17th, and 20th army corps. Wilson’s instructions were to prevent Confederate Gen. John B. This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 06:23. The second objective of the campaign was more traditional. Sherman's March to the Sea (also known as the Savannah Campaign or simply Sherman's March) was a military campaign of the American Civil War conducted through Georgia from November 15 until December 21, 1864, by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. The initial assault was halted by Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry which in turn counterattacked. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Now that Sherman had contact with the Navy fleet under Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, he was able to obtain the supplies and siege artillery he required to invest Savannah. Ohioan William Tecumseh Sherman, a general in the Union army during the American Civil War, is best known for his March to the Sea. Union General William T. Sherman was a … Sherman's armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10 but found that Hardee had entrenched 10,000 men in favorable fighting positions, and his soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, leaving only narrow causeways available to approach the city. He captured Savannah, 285 miles (460 km) from Atlanta, on December 21. Union soldiers sang many songs during the March, but it is one written afterward that has come to symbolize the campaign: "Marching Through Georgia", written by Henry Clay Work in 1865. Sherman recounted in his memoirs the scene when he left at 7 a.m. the following day: ... We rode out of Atlanta by the Decatur road, filled by the marching troops and wagons of the Fourteenth Corps; and reaching the hill, just outside of the old rebel works, we naturally paused to look back upon the scenes of our past battles. In this video, we ask how bad was it? Background In the wake of his successful campaign to capture Atlanta, Major General William T. Sherman began making plans for a march against Savannah. Despite these reinforcements, he seldom possessed more than 13,000 men. At the Battle of Buck Head Creek on November 28, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured, but the 5th Ohio Cavalry halted Wheeler's advance, and Wheeler was later stopped decisively by Union barricades at Reynolds's Plantation. Howard's wing, led by Kilpatrick's cavalry, marched south along the railroad to Lovejoy's Station, which caused the defenders there to conduct a fighting retreat to Macon. This campaign was under the leadership of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. Former Southern Brigadier General Clement A. Evans asserted, for example, that there was no force available to obstruct Shermans soldiers. Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men. For the Savannah Campaign, Sherman's remaining force of 62,000 men (55,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 2,000 artillerymen manning 64 guns) was divided into two columns for the march:[1], The Confederate opposition from Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee's Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida was meager. Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood was threatening Sherman's supply line from Chattanooga, and Sherman detached two armies under Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to deal with Hood in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. Sherman's decision to operate deep within enemy territory and without supply lines is considered to be one of the major campaigns of the war, and is considered by some historians to be an early example of modern total war. The Cavalry Corps of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, reinforced by a brigade under Brig. Sherman came to dislike the song, in part because he was never one to rejoice over a fallen foe, and in part because it was played at almost every public appearance that he attended. To the north, Slocum's two corps moved east then southeast towards the state capital at Milledgeville. 15. One of the most infamous campaigns of the Civil War was William Tecumseh Sherman's march through Georgia to the Sea. Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. Relief shown by hachures. And taking the work of General Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Sung from the point of view of a Union soldier, the lyrics detail the freeing of slaves and punishing the Confederacy for starting the war. To oppose Sherman's 62,000 men, Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, commanding the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida struggled to find men as Hood had largely stripped the region for his army. He devoted the next few weeks to chasing Confederate troops through northern Georgia in a vain attempt to lure them into a decisive fight. On November 15th, 1864 Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of the Grand Army of the West, embarked on a raid which would become known as the march to the sea designed to cut a 60 mile wide swath from Atlanta to Savannah. The March attracted a huge number of refugees, to whom Sherman assigned land with his Special Field Orders No. General Grant arranged two campaigns for the year 1864. He and the Union Army's commander, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, believed that the Civil War would come to an end only if the Confederacy's strategic capacity for warfare was decisively broken. Poe directly supervised the destruction of all buildings and structures in Atlanta that could be of any military value to the Confederates once Sherman abandoned the city. [4] Sherman therefore planned an operation that has been compared to the modern principles of scorched earth warfare. Several small actions followed. We are not only fighting armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans. The purpose of Sherman’s March to the Sea was to frighten Georgia’s civilian population into abandoning the Confederate cause. General Sherman’s March to the Sea, also known as the Savannah Campaign, was conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864. In the wake of his successful campaign to capture Atlanta, Major General William T. Sherman began making plans for a march against Savannah. NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, 1864. The march was made easier by able assistants such as Orlando Metcalfe Poe, chief of the bridge building and demolition team. In the fall of 1864, the Union General William Tecumseh ("Cump") Sherman took 60,000 men and pillaged his way through Georgia's civilian farmsteads. The first significant action of the march occurred at Griswoldville on November 22, when Wheeler's cavalry and Georgia militia attacked on Howard's front. Macon City Hall Macon City Hall - Built in 1837, City Hall was used as a Civil War hospital, then as Georgia's temporary capitol building during and after the March to the Sea. He argues: Military campaign during the American Civil War. The infantry brigade of Brig. Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. A Christmas Present for President Lincoln, American Civil War: Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, American Civil War: Major General George H. Thomas, American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek. Slaves' opinions varied concerning the actions of Sherman and his army. Needing to link up with the US Navy to receive supplies, Sherman dispatched Brigadier General William Hazen's division to capture Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River. Sherman recounted in his memoirs the scene when he left at 7 a.m. the following day: On December 17, he sent a message to Hardee in the city: I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city; also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied, and I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your answer, before opening with heavy ordnance. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith's Georgia militia had about 3,050 soldiers, most of whom were boys and elderly men. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.6 billion in 2020 dollars)[22] in destruction, about one fifth of which "inured to our advantage" while the "remainder is simple waste and destruction". Howard's infantry marched through Jonesboro to Gordon, southwest of the state capital, Milledgeville. How Did Sherman's March End the Civil War? With Ross McElwee, Dede McElwee, Ross McElwee Jr., Patricia Rendleman. In planning for the march, Sherman used livestock and crop production data from the 1860 census to lead his troops through areas where he believed they would be able to forage most effectively. Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. Sherman was blocked from linking up with the U.S. Navy as he had planned, so he dispatched cavalry to Fort McAllister, guarding the Ogeechee River, in hopes of unblocking his route and obtaining supplies awaiting him on the Navy ships. Sherman's March To The Sea was the military Savannah Campaign going on in the American Civil War in 1864, through Georgia. LC Civil War Maps (2nd ed. They destroyed the bridge across the Oconee River and then turned south.[11]. Kilpatrick abandoned his plans to destroy the railroad bridge and he also learned that the prisoners had been moved from Camp Lawton, so he rejoined the army at Louisville. Sherman and Wilson met and discussed various operations in Sherman’s "March to the Sea" from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. On November 15, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his … Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. Grant's armies in Virginia continued in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee's army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. "Prepared by order of the Secretary of War for the officers of the U.S. Army under the command of Maj. Gen. W.T. It was total war. Arnold presented him with the key to the city, and Sherman's men, led by Geary's division of the XX Corps, occupied the city the same day. Slocum's wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. In the fighting that followed, Union infantry inflicted a severe defeat on the Confederates. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. Atlanta fell to Sherman's Army in early September 1864. [6] The twisted and broken railroad rails that the troops heated over fires and wrapped around tree trunks and left behind became known as "Sherman's neckties". ", John Bennett Walters, "General William T. Sherman and total war. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills. Presenting his plan to Grant, Sherman received approval and began making preparations to depart Atlanta on November 15, 1864. Through the course of the campaign, Hardee was able to utilize those troops still in Georgia as well as those brought in from Florida and the Carolinas. Known as "bummers," foragers from the army became a common sight along its route of march. Todd Groce talked about Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's background, his "March to the Sea" campaign, and how General Sherman is remembered. American Civil War: General William T. Sherman, American Civil War : War in the West, 1863-1865, The Battle of Atlanta in the American Civil War, American Civil War: Battle of Jonesboro (Jonesborough), American Civil War: Battle of Ezra Church, American Civil War: Major General Joseph Wheeler, American Civil War: Major General Carl Schurz, American Civil War: Andersonville Prison Camp, American Civil War: Major General Patrick Cleburne, American Civil War: Battle of Bentonville, M.S., Information and Library Science, Drexel University, B.A., History and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. The two wings of the army attempted to confuse and deceive the enemy about their destinations; the Confederates could not tell from the initial movements whether Sherman would march on Macon, Augusta, or Savannah. Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose." For all of the ink written about Sherman and the way he burned, scorched and killed between Atlanta and Savannah, the monstrous event lasted only 22 days. "Forage Liberally: The Role of Agriculture in Sherman's March to the Sea." Overnight, Union engineers constructed a bridge 2 miles (3.2 km) away from the bluff across the Oconee River, and 200 soldiers crossed to flank the Confederate position. To regular foraging parties must be instructed the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled. The operation broke the back of the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender. Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans. Kilpatrick slipped by the defensive line that Wheeler had placed near Brier Creek, but on the night of November 26 Wheeler attacked and drove the 8th Indiana and 2nd Kentucky Cavalry away from their camps at Sylvan Grove. The campaign was designed by Grant and Sherman to be similar to Grant's innovative and successful Vicksburg Campaign and Sherman's Meridian Campaign, in that Sherman's armies would reduce their need for traditional supply lines by "living off the land" after consuming their 20 days of rations. Sherman's March to the Sea took place from November 15 to December 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. ", Western Theater of the American Civil War, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "The Civil War This Week: Oct 27-Nov 2, 1864", "Capital Destruction and Economic Growth: The Effects of Sherman's March, 1850-1920", "Historical markers illustrate overlooked stories", Today in Georgia History: March to the Sea, Today in Georgia History: Sherman in Savannah, National Park Service battle descriptions for the Savannah Campaign, National Park Service report on preservation and historic boundaries at the Savannah Campaign battlefields, New Georgia Encyclopedia article on the March, Noah Andre Trudeau Webcast Author Lecture, Georgia Public Broadcasting: 37 weeks - Sherman on the March, Georgia Constitutional Convention of 1861, List of Union Civil War monuments and memorials, List of memorials to the Grand Army of the Republic, List of Confederate monuments and memorials, Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials. 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