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November 1864

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The Lion of Atlanta stands guard over the graves of 3000 unknown Confederate soldiers at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. Former link: is now archived.

November 11th marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in the forest of Campiègne by the Allies and the German forces in 1918. On the day the Great War ended, word reached Georgia in the morning. Governor Dorsey declared a State holiday, closing all State offices. Mayor Candler (Atlanta) gave City employees the afternoon off. City schools held patriotic ceremonies before releasing students. Area businesses closed. Crowds filled the streets of downtown Atlanta all day long, with impromptu parades. Similar celebrations occurred throughout the State as Georgians marked the end of "the War to end all wars."
Atlanta held a grand parade on November 12th to commemorate Germany's surrender to the Allies. Three hundred veterans who had fought in Europe headed the procession, followed by soldiers from Camp Gordon and other military facilities and thousands more (10,000 marched) -- relatives and friends of the veterans, the police, fire-fighters and some of the rest of the civilian population. Other Georgia cities also held victory parades for the end of Great War. For more information, go HERE Fifty-four years earlier, something else was stirring about Georgia, the beast of war had come to Atlanta in more direct form.
By the way, for those who keep track of these things, General W.T. Sherman held the first Georgia tailgate barbecue after, unfortunately, igniting the city of Rome (1864). Actually, as with all good BBQ, he had roasted the city for several days. Sherman gave the following order to Brigadier General John Corse on the 10th:

You will destroy tonight all public property not needed by your command, all foundries, mills, workshops, warehouses, railroad depots or other storehouses convenient to the railroad, together with all wagon shops, tanneries, or other factories useful to the enemy. Destroy all bridges immediately, then move your command tomorrow to Kingston.

It would appear that whole-scale burning of Rome began on the evening of November 10 and continued on the 11th. By the 12th, Federal troops were gone, and gangs of marauders came in robbing and looting. This continued for about a week, when a local citizen was killed, but Rome officials organized a police force that finally was able to regain control of the city.

From: Ed Jackson (e-mail has changed)
Subject: Re: November 11th

According to Roger Aycock's All Roads to Rome, here is what happened (p. 114-115):

"Gen. William T. Sherman and his staff entered Rome on the night of October 28 and stayed at the Charles H. Smith home on East Fourth Avenue, a fine old frame house already occupied previously by generals Corse, Davis, and Cox.

"The first week of November was a time of growing alarm and turmoil, with 'a moving off of hospitals and shifting of quartermaster and commissary departments.'

"A few small buildings were destroyed by Union soldiers on the night of November 7, but large-scale burning was delayed until the evacuation of troops on November 10. A copy of Gen. Sherman's order to Brig. Gen. John M. Corse, commander of Union forces in Rome, is filed among today's Carnegie Library records. It reads: You will destroy tonight all public property not needed by your command, all foundries, mills, workshops, warehouses, railroad depots or other storehouses convenient to the railroad, together with all wagon shops, tanneries, or other factories useful to the enemy. Destroy all bridges immediately, then move your command tomorrow to Kingston.

"Norton listed the buildings actually burned: 'Cunningham's old store,' he wrote to A.R. Smith at Valula, Alabama, 'was burnt, full of cotton; both railroad depots; all of Noble's Foundry and rolling mill; Sloan and Cooper's warehouse with 200 or 300 bags of cotton; the Etowah House; the bank and buildings adjoining it belonging to Meyerhardt. Sloan's house was not burnt. Ward's house, with three small buildings adjoining your back store, where I had cotton; the jail and the one-story dwelling of the Thomas R. Perrys, said to belong to C.H. Smith; Cohen's Mill, Ford's house at the forks of the road, D.R. Mitchell's brick home near his steam mill, and the brick house out by the lime sink, owned by Mrs. Stevens.

"All Union Army troop quarters were torched. the jerry-built barracks, housing thousands, had made a sizable camp; the roar and red-lit sky of their burning must have convinced the few remaining Romans that their city was being burned to the ground.

"Gen. Sherman had intended the damage to be greater, but the problem of evacuating two thousand hospital patients along with stores and provisions left too little time. It has been said also that he anticipated further use of the town as a hospital. Still the damage was great; the little city lay prostrate, crushed by this final blow after nearly four years of privation and six months of occupation by hostile troops.

"Rome's trial were not over. More savage than the enemy were bands of marauding 'scouts,' deserters, renegades, and conscription evaders who raids on the town began on the night of November 12 when Peter Ombert, Judge Lewis Burwell, a merchant named Cohen, and a Mrs. Lumpkin were robbed.

"Among scanty records that remain of city council meetings held during this period, those of November 12 . . . state a resolution 'to devise some means by which the citizens could be protected from the depredations of robbers.' . . ."

Thus, it would appear that whole-scale burning of Rome began on the evening of Nov. 10 and continued on the 11th. By the 12th, Federal troops were gone, and gangs of marauders came in robbing and looting. This continued through Nov. 18, when a local citizen was killed, but Rome officials organized a police force that finally was able to regain control of the city.

Hope this helps . . . Ed Jackson

Other little-known facts: One reason people came to this area of North Georgia (before the War between the States) was to visit the Tumlin Indian Mounds. In 1838 Colonel Lewis Tumlin acquired the land that contained the so-called "Etowah" mounds, at the same time the Cherokees had been driven from the land at gunpoint and force-marched to the Oklahoma Territory. The mounds would remain in the Tumlin family for 125 years. Among the tourists in 1844 was a young lieutenant, then stationed in Marietta -- you guessed it -- William Tecumseh Sherman. After visiting the mounds, Sherman stayed with the Tumlins, while he surveyed the surrounding area.
The town was still named Birmingham until 1846. It sat on top of the village established by the Cherokee after the Battle of Myrtle Hill (Rome GA), where General Sevier raided the chief village of Coosa (1792). The Cherokee drove out the Creeks from the area in 1755. By the time Hernando deSoto arrived in 1540, archeologists generally agree that the Mississipean culture, which built the mounds, had declined and generally abandoned the Etowah Mounds.
On November 12, 1864, The good general dined at the Park Hotel in downtown Cartersville, no doubt served a well-cooked meal. From the train depot across the street the Union telegraph operator furnished General George Thomas, in Nashville, with General Sherman's latest progress report. Soon afterwards, a soldier cut the wire. Sherman's next communication came from Savannah, six weeks later. He had completed the infamous March to the Sea. As with other places in their path, the Union forces "waged war" so completely that only 2 wooden structures remained in Cartersville. The antebellum depot [which today contains the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau] was made from brick.
November 13, 1864: Union soldiers fought a fire that spread through downtown Marietta Georgia -- apparently set without orders. General Sherman, however, did approve of the the burning of a large steam-powered mill -- which was a military target.

In Marietta by 11 or 12 PM. Entering square, saw our men with fire engine front of Court House, pumping hard, and man inside with hose. . . Fires appear sundry places, and again in Court House, and at last this breaks out, and fairly burning. All our staff, and all other officers I heard, regret and condemn. Inquired-Nobody knew how set on fire: but . . . had three times put it out and tried hard to save it . . .'twas no use. This soon blazed furiously, and this set other buildings on fire, across the street, and opposite hotel. Elsewhere on Square large stores, etc. begun to burn, and spread. Large buildings opposite left of hotel showed smoke. This was put out by Maj. McCoy of our staff, and was saved. Found that up to this morning there were guards around these buildings, but they had gone on with column, and thus in unguarded interval fire was set without orders.

Two years later on November 13, 1866, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution declining to ratify the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The action followed the recommendation of President Andrew Johnson, whose theory of reconstruction was based on the premise that the southern states had never been out of the Union. This would mean that a Southern state could not be forced to ratify a constitutional amendment. The General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining its vote:

1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government . . . , then these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.

November 14, 1864: General W. Tecumseh Sherman continued to prove in Atlanta his firemanship skills, after accidentally burning a portion of Marietta (November 13th), as well as Rome and Cartersville (see above). Apparently, he developed a taste for good Georgia BBQ. Sherman and a portion of his forces arrived back in Atlanta from having pursued Hood's retreating army. The day was spent in last minute preparations in getting the Union's 62,000-man Army of the Tennessee ready to depart for Savannah and the Atlantic. Over one million rations have been distributed to the troops, which should last almost three weeks. Additionally, a herd of beef cattle had been assembled to accompany the army. But, recognizing these rations would be insufficient for the march, Sherman days before had issued instructions that his army "forage liberally on the country during the march." As for Atlanta, Sherman later recalled a special assignment he gave for the 14th:

"Colonel Poe, United States Engineer, of my staff, had been busy in his special task of destruction. He had a large force at work, had leveled the great depot [see photo], round-house, and the machine-shops of the Georgia railroad, and had applied fire to the wreck. One of these machine shops had been used by the rebels as an arsenal, and in it were stored piles of shot and shell, some of which proved to be loaded, and that night was made hideous by the bursting of shells, whose fragments came uncomfortably near Judge Lyon's house, in which I was quartered. The fire also reached the block of stores near the depot, and the heart of the city was in flames all night, but the fire did not reach the parts of Atlanta where the court-house was or the great mass of dwelling houses." from:

About 100 years earlier on November 15, 1763: Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon began surveying the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. They completed 233 miles by 1767, when members of the Six Nations tribes told them they could not proceed any further west. The Mason-Dixon Line is the traditional border between North and South. Fourteen years later on this date in 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in York, Pennsylvania. These articles instituted the perpetual union of the United States of America, serving as a precursor to the U.S. Constitution. The structure of the Constitution was inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy of six major northeastern tribes. The matrilineal society of the Iroquois of the North (and other nations such as the Cherokee in the South) is said to have inspired the suffragist movement of the 19th and 20th centuries.
November 15, 1864: With much of what was once downtown Atlanta (such as it was in this new city of the south) a smoking ruin, most Federal Forces left this city on the 15th of November on its stroll to Savannah and the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island. On the evening of November 15th, Henry Hitchcock (Sherman's military secretary) recorded in his diary his observation about Atlanta:

"Today the destruction fairly commenced . . . . This P.M. the torch applied . . . . Clouds of heavy smoke rise and hang like pall over doomed city. At night, the grandest and most awful scene . . . From our rear windows . . . horizon shows immense and raging fires, lighting up the heavens. . . First bursts of smoke, dense, black volumes, then tongues of flame, then huge waves of fire roll up into the sky: presently the skeletons of great warehouses stand out in relief against against and amidst sheets of roaring, blazing, furious flames, -- then the angry waves roll less high, and are of deeper color, then sink and cease, and only the fierce glow from the bare and blackened walls . . . as one fire sinks another rises, further along the horizon, . . . it is a line of fire and smoke, lurid, angry, dreadful to look upon."

A year later an observer would write about that day and its effects that still lingered:

They tell us the war has ended, and some cry lustily, peace peace. I have peered into the deep gloom that surrounds us and can scarce see a glimmer of that welcome visitant. The shadow of a great sorrow has darkened our land. More HERE

November 16, 1864: General Sherman and his 14th Corps departed the city one day after the others (three corps) had begun the March to the Sea. In his memoirs, Sherman wrote of this day:

About 7 a.m. of November 16th 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. We stood upon the very ground whereon was fought the bloody battle of July 22d and could see the copse of wood where McPherson fell. Behind us lay Atlanta, smoldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air and hanging like a pall over the ruined city . . . . Then we turned our horses' heads to the east; Atlanta was soon lost behind the screen of trees, and became a thing of the past. Around it clings many a thought of desperate battle, of hope and fear, that now seem like the memory of a dream. The day was extremely beautiful, clear sunlight, with bracing air, and an unusual feeling of exhilaration seemed to pervade all minds -- a feeling of something to come, vague and undefined, still full of venture and intense interest. from Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia. Mills Lane (ed.). New York: Arno Press, 1978. p. 148.

He moves relentlessly during the next days, towards the Georgia Capitol that is in Milledgeville. Georgia would be wide open to the sea, with little more than an eviscerated militia, the sick, the young and the old to defend against a ravaging hoard of over 60 thousand men waging total war against the civilian population. This was the same policy that Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton had practiced in the Revolutionary War, but now the countryside was defenseless, the men were up north with Lee or the defeated Hood.

On this day in 1864, in order to celebrate General Sherman’s March to the Sea, Henry Clay wrote the song, called Marching through Georgia; but, he should have written a song about Oklahoma and made more money. In any event on November 16, 1907 the big OK became a state -- number 46. To get back to Georgia, Rhet Butler passed away on this date in 1960. The famed actor of the silver screen, Clark Gable, died at the age of 59 at about 11 o'clock local time in the evening. He smoked too much.
November 17, 1864: From Macon, Robert Toombs wrote Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown:

"Things are very bad here. Sherman in person is leading, they say, 30,000 men against us. We are retreating as rapidly as possible, consistent with good order and efficiency. The militia are retreating in admirable order and good discipline, as General Cobb reports. I will meet them between this and Forsyth this evening. I believe the legislature will grant you large and liberal powers. Tell them the country is in danger. Let all of her sons come to her rescue.

"P.S. -- We have called for the troops in Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah. If we do defend here they will be on us by Monday. Cavalry force said to be below 6,000. Send all the troops you can. If we do not get help we must abandon this place."

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), Vol. 44, p. 862.
November 18, 1864 In his memoirs, General Sherman wrote of this day:

"We passed through the handsome town of Covington, the soldiers closing up their ranks, the color-bearers unfurling their flags, and the bands striking up patriotic airs. The white people came out of their houses to behold the sight, in spite of their deep hatred of the invaders, and the Negroes were simply frantic with joy. From Covington the Fourteenth Corps, with which I was traveling, turned to the right for Milledgeville [Capital of Georgia], via Shady Dale. General Slocum was ahead at Madison, with the Twentieth Corps, having torn up the railroad as far as that place, and thence had sent Geary's division on to the Oconee, to burn the bridges across that stream . . . ."

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia, (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 149-150.

From her plantation near Covington, Ga., Dolly Lunt Burge wrote in her journal about the Yankee's arrival: Slept very little last night. Went out doors several times and could see large fires like burning buildings. Am I not in the hands of a merciful God who has promised to take care of the widow and orphan?
One hundred years later on November 18, 1964: A host of Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson's friends gathered in Milledgeville, Georgia (his home) to honor him on his 81st birthday. Vinson was retiring after fifty years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaking at the occasion were Georgia senators Richard B. Russell, Jr. and Herman Talmadge, and Govenor Carl Sanders. Additionally, president Lyndon Johnson sent a congratulatory telegram. For a more extensive biography of Representative Vinson, including photographs, please feel free to click HERE.
November 19, 1864: From Richmond, Georgia's delegation to the Confederate Congress sent a telegraph to the people of Georgia indicating that the delegation had met with Jefferson Davis and {secretary of war} James Seddon about Sherman's destruction. Noting that the Confederate government was doing all that it could {which was nothing}, the message exhorted the people of Georgia: Let every man fly to arms! Remove your ... 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. Easy for them to say.

Dolly Lunt Burge (of Covington) wrote of the destruction of Sherman's forces in her journal and spoke of her close encounter of the third kind: Slept in my clothes last night, as I heard that the Yankees went to neighbor Montgomery's on Thursday night at one o'clock, searched his house, drank his wine, and took his money and valuables. As we were not disturbed, I walked ... to Mr. Joe Perry's, my nearest neighbor, where the Yankees were yesterday. Saw Mrs. Laura [Perry] in the road surrounded by her children, seeming to be looking for some one .... More HERE

On the 20th she wrote: this is the blessed Sabbath, the day upon which He who came to bring peace and good will upon earth rose from His tomb and ascended to intercede for us poor fallen creatures. But how unlike this day to any that have preceded it in my once quiet home .... More HERE

A year earlier - November 19, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln was asked to deliver a few appropriate remarks to the crowd at the dedication of the National Cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln's address was almost ignored in the wake of the lengthy oration by main speaker Edwin Everett. In fact, Lincoln's speech was over before many in the crowd were even aware that he was speaking. But Lincoln's eloquent words of redemption and sacrifice remain revered in American history. He concluded his thoughts with this vow: We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
November 21, 1864: Ten miles north and east of Macon, Sherman's forces entered the small community of Griswoldville and burned Samuel Griswold's pistol factory. He had supplied thousands of Confederate sidearms from this supply point. Also burned was Griswoldville's mill, soap and candle factories, a train of railroad cars with locomotive driving wheels and, apparently, one third of the town. On the 21st the one and only major battle was fought here in the entire campaign crossing Georgia.

Though there are no official records of Confederate loses, the Macon newspaper reported Confederate loses at 1,500 casualties. One Union officer reported that up to one-half of the entire Confederate militia force was killed, wounded, or captured. Afterwards, a Union officer present described the scene, Old, gray-haired men and weakly looking men and little boys not over 15 years old lay dead or writhing in pain. I did pity those boys.

November 23, 1864: Sherman and the 14th Corps rode into Milledgeville. There, they joined his 20th Corps, thus reuniting the eastern wing of his sweep to the sea. He learned that 12 miles to the south, the western wing had arrived at Gordon, Georgia. In his memoirs, Sherman later wrote, The first stage of the journey was, therefore, complete, and absolutely successful. Sherman used the Georgia Governor Brown's home (one of the most important examples of Greek Revival architecture in America) as his quarters, while over in the state capitol, a number of Union officers held a mock convention in which Georgia's ordinance of secession was repealed. The railroad depot and several factories and warehouses were burned. An explosion at the state armory (today on the campus of Georgia Military College) severely damaged a portion of the town. Much was burned or looted, including the state archives. The grounds where Lafayette had once dined (March 27, 1825) were despoiled. The state capitol was spared structural damage. The Mansion is open today as a state museum and garden.
November 24, 1864: On this Thanksgiving Day, Union forces departed Georgia's Capital City, Milledgeville at 10 a.m. Sherman accompanied Slocum's 20th Corps, which took the southern road to Sandersville, while the 14th Corps takes a more northerly road. Meanwhile, Milledgeville's mayor sent the following message by courier to the mayor of Macon: Our citizens have been utterly despoiled by the Yankee army. Send us bread and meat, or there will be great suffering among us. We have no mules or horses. What you send must be brought by wagon trains. The railroad bridge and the bridge across the Oconee have been burned. The State House and Executive Mansion and Factory are sill left to us. Send us relief at once.
November 26, 1864: While Sherman is in the heart of Georgia, Governor Joseph E. Brown on the 25th had ordered state militia under General W. P. Howard to inspect Atlanta and report on its condition. A day after the anniversary of the Battle of Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga, Tennessee-in a defeat that many believe ended the South's hope of a negotiated end to the war), southern troops reoccupy Atlanta. The town is a mess. Civilians, who were forced to leave after the battle, slowly return. Sherman, meanwhile was still on his way to Savannah.

A month later -- December 21, 1864: Mayor R.D. Arnold surrendered Savannah to Union forces with the following letter addressed to General Sherman.

"The city of Savannah was last night evacuated by the Confederate military and is now entirely defenseless. As chief magistrate of the city, I respectfully request your protection of the lives and private property of the citizens and of our women and children.

"Trusting that this appeal to your generosity and humanity may favorably influence your action, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant."

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of \he Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 772.

In his memoirs, Gen. Sherman recorded the following:

"[T]oward evening of December 21st we discovered, coming toward us, a tug, called the Red Legs, with a staff-officer on board, bearing letters from Colonel Dayton to myself and the admiral, reporting that the city of Savannah had been found evacuated on the morning of December 21st and was then in our possession . . . General Hardee had crossed the Savannah River by a pontoon-bridge, carrying off his men and light artillery, blowing up his iron-clads and navy-yard, but leaving for us all the heavy guns, stores, cotton, railway-cars, steamboats, and an immense amount of public and private property."

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), pp. 177-178.

So concludes Sherman's infamous March to the Sea. The journey had taken about forty days, beginning with the roasting of Rome. Troops had set Atlanta ablaze, but the citzens of Atlanta were already rebuilding under a southern flag before he reached the sea. At Savannah, he took up residence in what is now the Parish House of St. John's Episcopal Church.

December 22, 1864: While en route from Atlanta to Savannah, Sherman had had no opportunity for direct communication with the leadership in Washington. On Oglethorpe's Birthday, the day of his arrival in Savannah, General Sherman wrote this brief missive to President Lincoln:

"I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton."

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 783.

January 1, 1865: In Savannah, General Sherman prepared an official report outlining his strategy and the outcome of his March to the Sea. Included in his report was the following estimate the value of property destroyed in Georgia during the campaign:

"I was thereby left with a well-appointed army to sever the enemy's only remaining railroad communications eastward and westward, for over 100 miles -- namely, the Georgia State Railroad, which is broken up from Fairburn Station to Madison and the Oconee, and the Central Railroad, from Gordon clear to Savannah, with numerous breaks on the latter road from Gordon to Eatonton and from Millen to Augusta, and the Savannah Gulf Railroad. We have also consumed the corn and fodder in the region of country thirty miles on either side of a line from Atlanta to Savannah, as also the sweet potatoes, cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry, and have carried away more than 10,000 horses and mules, as well as a countless number of their slaves. I estimate the damage done to the State of Georgia and its military resources at $100,000,000; at least $20,000,000 of which has inured to our advantage, and the remainder is simple waste and destruction. This may seem a hard species of warfare, but it brings the sad realities of war home to those who have been directly or indirectly instrumental in involving us in its attendant calamities."

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington:U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 13.

Rhett House in Beaufort SC where SC succession papers were signed - January 21, 1865: On this day in 1865 Gen. Sherman and his staff left Savannah for Beaufort, South Carolina. General Sherman's Carolina excursion was now underway, his stroll through Georgia now having ended. A portion of South Carolina would be burned, to punish the civilian population of the state that fired upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Exactly, twenty-one years earlier (coincidently then stationed at Charleston, SC) a Lt. William Tecumseh Sherman (an Ohio citizen) received orders to report to Marietta, GA. Sherman would help take depositions in Georgia and Alabama with respect to personal losses of horses and equipment by militia members. During this assignment, the then young 23-year-old officer had a chance to familiarize himself with the area of northwest Georgia which he would visit again under vastly different circumstances.

January 31, 1879: Fifteen years after burning Atlanta, former Union general William T. Sherman returned, as noted in the diary of Atlanta merchant Samuel P. Richards: Gen. Sherman has just honored our city by a visit to see how nicely we have builded it up after his burning it. Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), Vol. I, p. 953.

February 8, 1917: Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park was added to the National Park System. The Battlefield was made famous by one WT Sherman who passed by the place on his way to Atlanta and Savannah, on more than one occasion. Our page about his journeys is HERE. Oh, as you may have guessed, Sherman was born this day in 1820.

February 17, 1865: The South Carolina capital city, Columbia, was half destroyed by fire as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces under Major General William Tecumseh Sherman marched in. It's not known which side set the blaze. Sherman did, however, have a reputation as a firestarter. The same day, Union forces regained Fort Sumter.

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

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