[19] Some who welcomed him as a liberator chose to follow his armies. Gen. William H. Jackson, had approximately 10,000 troopers. Sherman's march to the sea was a risky venture that paid off well for the Union. The Northern military needed to wage war against both the Confederate military and Confederate civilians. 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. Though harsh, it was accompanied by few civilian casualties. It was, however, at a terrible price. Radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress, like Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, for some time had pushed for land redistribution in order to break the back of Southern slaveholders' power. Two weeks after this incident, and 20 miles removed, the march ended in Savannah. Slocum's wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. 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. As for horses, mules, wagons, &c., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit, discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Several small actions followed. Gen. John P. Hatch from Hilton Head, hoping to assist Sherman's arrival near Savannah by securing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Sherman’s March to the Sea marked a new development in the war. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce. And taking the work of General Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. [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. On December 4, Kilpatrick's cavalry routed Wheeler's at the Battle of Waynesboro. Civil War Music. Despite this important Union victory, the Confederate government and many of its citizens remained committed to the war effort. 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. Sherman's March to the Sea. [9] Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose. There are small illustrations on the lower half of the document illustrating moments from the March to the Sea. During the campaign, the Confederate War Department brought in additional men from Florida and the Carolinas, but they never were able to increase their effective force beyond 13,000.[8]. 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. When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that 'nothing risked, nothing gained,' I did not interfere. Slaves' opinions varied concerning the actions of Sherman and his army. "[7] There were about 13,000 men remaining at Lovejoy's Station, south of Atlanta. . Welcome back to SHERMAN’S MARCH TO THE SEA.After annihilating USF in Tampa, I redirected my loyal arson brigade south to sunny Coral Gables, the home of the University of Miami. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. 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. On the night of November 25, Howard used his superior numbers to flank the defenders and force them to retreat. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. The sea, specifically the port of Savannah, Georgia. 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. At the Battle of Honey Hill on November 30, Hatch fought a vigorous battle against G.W. 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. As a result of Hood's action, fewer than five thousand Confederate soldiers under General Joseph Wheeler stood between Sherman's army and Savannah. Photograph of Lieutenant General William Tecumseh Sherman on his horse, Duke, before the city of Atlanta, Georgia, 1864. https://ohiohistorycentral.org/index.php?title=Sherman%27s_March_to_the_Sea&oldid=32427. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army—burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war. Jacqueline Campbell has written, on the other hand, that some slaves looked upon the Union army's ransacking and invasive actions with disdain. Gen. John Bell Hood on the eastern outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. They also destroyed a number of homes along the way. Wheeler and some infantry struck in a rearguard action at Ball's Ferry on November 24 and November 25. VI. 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. To speed the defeat of the Confederacy, Union forces needed to prevent Southern civilians from supplying their armies. 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. to the Sea, the most destructive campaign against a civilian population during the Civil War (1861-65), began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and concluded in Savannah on December 21, 1864. They surrendered and Sherman had a victory. Although his formal orders (excerpted below) specified control over destruction of infrastructure in areas in which his army was unmolested by guerrilla activity, he recognized that supplying an army through liberal foraging would have a destructive effect on the morale of the civilian population it encountered in its wide sweep through the state.[5]. The use of total war achieved Sherman's desired effect. Sherman's order came on the heels of his successful March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah and just prior to his march northward into South Carolina. Sherman would take the remainder of his army of sixty-two thousand men from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, on the Atlantic Ocean. "[10] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. On December 21, Union forces captured Savannah; Sherman presented the city to Lincoln as a Christmas gift. 120, regarding the conduct of the campaign. Union Major Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and James B. McPherson successfully defended against a Confederate offensive from Lieut. The second objective of the campaign was more traditional. You don't have a CLUE what Sherman's March to the Sea even WAS... do you.? The damage he inflicted to Southern morale and logistics helped write down the last hopes of the Confederacy. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying papers into the belief that we were being whipped all the time, realized the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience. Sherman's men successfully occupied Savannah in mid-December 1864. This source gives insight into the context of the March to the Sea. 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. Understand the strategy of Sherman's March to the Sea Understand the historical impact of the election of 1864 Know important battles and generals of the Civil War; Practice Exams. Sherman intended his March to the Sea to break the will of the Confederate population. General Sherman finally gained control of the city of Atlanta on September 2, 1864. General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln opposed this plan at first, but Sherman convinced them of its importance. 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. Promoted by Sherman by two steps in rank to colonel after the fall of Savannah, he continued in that capacity in the war's concluding Carolinas Campaign as Sherman headed northwards from Savannah to link up with Grant and the Army of the Potomac in Virginia and to cut another swath through South and North Carolina. Sherman pursued only at first. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills. 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. Sherman was a believer in total war. Sherman's march to the sea during the civil war, a devastating total war military campaign, led by union general William Tecumseh Sherman, that involved marching 60,000 union troops through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah and destroying everything along there way. The March. 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. By Kevin Dougherty. Grant's armies in Virginia continued in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee's army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. Gen. Kilpatrick's, killing one, wounding two and capturing 18. So in December 25, 1864 Sherman's March to the Sea … He also continued to supervise destruction of Confederate infrastructure. The first real resistance was felt by Howard's right wing at the Battle of Griswoldville on November 22. "Sherman's March to the Sea". Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. This ended the war for Tennessee and Hood’s career. 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. Wars are best kept on the battle field as much as possible. Almost miraculously, damage and destruction immediately ceased. "[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. And having triumpthed in the election of 1864 Lincoln it gets even more good news from Georgia which is a telegram from General Sherman from the city of Savannah saying Mr. President, I wish to offer you the city of Savannah as a Christmas present. He proposed leaving nearly sixty thousand men behind in northern Georgia and Tennessee to deal with Confederate soldiers under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and General John Bell Hood. 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". Then, on November 15, he commenced his great March to the Sea with 62,000 men, laying waste to the economic resources of Georgia in a 50-mile- (80-km-) wide swath of destruction. Minimal. done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place. (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. His forces followed a "scorched earth" policy, destroying military targets as … The March to the Sea was successful. They often felt betrayed, as they "suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops". Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith's Georgia militia had about 3,050 soldiers, most of whom were boys and elderly men. Welch, Robert Christopher. Sherman left behind his supply train. Poe oversaw the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman. Confederate Maj. Gen. Wheeler's cavalry struck Brig. Sherman took Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland (the most advanced army of the world at that time) away from him for what was later called Sherman’s “cakewalk to the sea.” Then Thomas was sent to Nashville to deal with Hood who had easily escaped Sherman after being defeated at the battles of Atlanta. 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. Maj. Gen. John G. Foster dispatched 5,500 men and 10 guns under Brig. Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. Since the Union was near victory and could have won without Sherman’s March to the Sea, I see little reason to credit him as even a hero to the former slaves. [4] Sherman therefore planned an operation that has been compared to the modern principles of scorched earth warfare. "[14] On December 26, the president replied in a letter:[15]. They destroyed the bridge across the Oconee River and then turned south.[11]. Union general William T. Sherman abandoned his supply line and marched across Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean to prove to the Confederate population that its government could not … Such broad generalizations may assuage wounded Southern pride, but they also rewrite history. ", 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. Hood, with 40,000 men, marched toward Nashville. While some Confederates remained committed to the struggle, other Confederates began to doubt the Confederacy's chance for victory over the Union. Smith's 1,500 Georgia militiamen, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Grahamville Station, South Carolina. Ohioan William Tecumseh Sherman, a general in the Union army during the American Civil War, is best known for his March to the Sea. He said that the Union military was "not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war." On November 25–26 at Sandersville, Wheeler struck at Slocum's advance guard. On September 1, 1864, Sherman and his army captured Atlanta, Georgia, an important transportation center in the Confederacy. [17], Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864. Foraging parties may also take mules or horses to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments or brigades. Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. Mark E. Neely rejects the notion that the Civil War was a "total war. 15. Sherman's personal escort on the march was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union. 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. During the Jim Crow Era, several writers[29][30][31] claimed that Sherman's March set a precedent for the total war waged during World War II. 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. His forces followed a "scorched earth" policy, destroying military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property, disrupting the Confederacy's economy and transportation networks. William T. Sherman. In 2011 a historical marker was erected there by the Georgia Historical Society to commemorate the African Americans who had risked so much for freedom.[28]. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. He had a lot more soldiers than General Hood who only had 51,000. I suppose it will be safer if I leave General Grant and yourself to decide. Some of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war. The march was made easier by able assistants such as Orlando Metcalfe Poe, chief of the bridge building and demolition team. As the army would be out of touch with the North throughout the campaign, Sherman gave explicit orders, Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 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. One of the most infamous campaigns of the Civil War was William Tecumseh Sherman's march through Georgia to the Sea. Grade Levels: 5–12. Subject: U.S. History. "[25], According to a 2018 National Bureau of Economic Research paper which sought to measure the medium- and long-term economic impact of Sherman's March, "the capital destruction induced by the March led to a large contraction in agricultural investment, farming asset prices, and manufacturing activity. )[citation needed] He served in this capacity past the fall of Atlanta to the end of the war. ... Sherman's March to the Sea - American Good Old Song - Duration: 1:12. Rail depots, roundhouses, arsenals, and warehouses were torn down and the combustible materials then destroyed by controlled fires. Sherman's March to the Sea Analyzing the Ethics of Sherman's Military Strategies A portrait of Ulysses S. Grant and his generals, including William Tecumseh Sherman. The following is an excerpt from the general's orders: ... IV. Ohioan William Tecumseh Sherman, a general in the Union army during the American Civil War, is best known for his March to the Sea. And in bringing the war to the heart of the South, he demonstrated the Confederacy's inability to protect its own people. [18], Sherman's scorched earth policies have always been highly controversial, and Sherman's memory has long been reviled by many Southerners. On December 20, he led his men across the Savannah River on a makeshift pontoon bridge. By moving in Lee's rear, Sherman could possibly increase pressure on Lee, allowing Grant the opportunity to break through, or at least keep Southern reinforcements away from Virginia. 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. He had defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. [20] A Confederate officer estimated that 10,000 liberated slaves followed Sherman's army, and hundreds died of "hunger, disease, or exposure" along the way. He decided that he would permit his men to supply themselves from civilians along the march. 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. 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. H5b Explain Georgia's role in the Civil War; include the Union blockade of Georgia's coast, the Emancipation Proclamation, Chickamuga, Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, Sherman's March to the Sea… In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts, and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance. 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