Sherman's March to the Sea took place from November 15 to December 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. He argues: Military campaign during the American Civil 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. Consulting the crop and livestock data from the 1860 census, he planned a route that would inflict maximum damage upon the enemy. Following an arduous trek of more than 100 miles against the resourceful resistance of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, Sherman succeeded in … Wheeler and some infantry struck in a rearguard action at Ball's Ferry on November 24 and November 25. In the resulting Battle of Honey Hill, Hatch's men were forced to withdraw after several assaults against the Confederate entrenchments failed. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills. 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. As Sherman advanced to the sea, Thomas' men destroyed Hood's army at the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Background In the wake of his successful campaign to capture Atlanta, Major General William T. Sherman began making plans for a march against Savannah. Once in Savannah he would turn north through South and North Carolina and Read more about Shermans March to the Sea[…] The March. 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. At the Battle of Honey Hill on November 30, Hatch fought a vigorous battle against G.W. Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. [18], Sherman's scorched earth policies have always been highly controversial, and Sherman's memory has long been reviled by many Southerners. 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. 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. On December 20, he led his men across the Savannah River on a makeshift pontoon bridge. Arriving outside Savannah on December 10, Sherman found that Hardee had flooded the fields outside the city which limited access to a few causeways. Poe oversaw the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman. The Cavalry Corps of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, reinforced by a brigade under Brig. Sherman's March to the Sea took place from November 15 to December 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war. 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. Former Southern Brigadier General Clement A. Evans asserted, for example, that there was no force available to obstruct Shermans soldiers. It was led by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. [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. Smith on November 30, Hatch moved to attack. 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. The infantry brigade of Brig. The purpose of Sherman’s March to the Sea was to frighten Georgia’s civilian population into abandoning the Confederate cause. Slaves' opinions varied concerning the actions of Sherman and his army. 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. 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. 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. Sherman recounted in his memoirs the scene when he left at 7 a.m. the following day: ", Mark E. Neely Jr, "Was the Civil War a Total War?. One of the most infamous campaigns of the Civil War was William Tecumseh Sherman's march through Georgia to the Sea. Initially moving south, Howard's men pushed Confederate troops out of Lovejoy's Station before pressing on towards Macon. 15. 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. 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. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Howard's infantry marched through Jonesboro to Gordon, southwest of the state capital, Milledgeville. Directed by Ross McElwee. But what next? How Did Sherman's March End the Civil War? 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. On September 1, 1864, Sherman and his army captured Atlanta, Georgia, an important transportation center in the Confederacy. 120, regarding the conduct of the campaign. 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 … 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. "Forage Liberally: The Role of Agriculture in Sherman's March to the Sea." 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. Sherman's March To The Sea was the military Savannah Campaign going on in the American Civil War in 1864, through Georgia. 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. John G. Barrett, "Sherman and Total War in the Carolinas. That very day an additional 500 were transferred to Savannah lowering the prison's population even further. 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. Jacqueline Campbell has written, on the other hand, that some slaves looked upon the Union army's ransacking and invasive actions with disdain. Sherman's March to the Sea refers to a long stretch of devastating Union army movements that took place during the United States Civil War. )[citation needed] He served in this capacity past the fall of Atlanta to the end of the war. Smith's militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith's 50. 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. More Union troops entered the campaign from an unlikely direction. Not only did he take control of Atlanta, a major railroad hub, and Savannah, a major sea port, but he laid the land between Atlanta and Savannah to waste, destroying all that was in his path. Maj. Gen. John G. Foster dispatched 5,500 men and 10 guns under Brig. 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. 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. William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce. [9] Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose. 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 … 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. "Sherman's March to the Sea". General Sherman’s March to the Sea, also known as the Savannah Campaign, was conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864. Elements of the decline in agriculture persisted through 1920."[26]. Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose." Slightly more than 100 Union officers and men were killed and 430 were wounded. And taking the work of General Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Shows routes of cavalry and of 14th, 15th, 17th, and 20th army corps. When Sherman began his March to the Sea on November 15, 1864, there were less than 200 prisoners in the stockade and less than 2,000 in the hospital. 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. Relief shown by hachures. LC Civil War Maps (2nd ed. Known as "bummers," foragers from the army became a common sight along its route of march. 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!" Slocum's wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. 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. 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. Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. 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. Sherman." General Sherman largely by-passed the city in 1864, but General Wilson did not in 1865. As the army would be out of touch with the North throughout the campaign, Sherman gave explicit orders, Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. [17], Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864. Falling back, he was reinforced and was able to halt Wheeler's advance. Atlanta fell to Sherman's Army in early September 1864. 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. NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, 1864. Welch, Robert Christopher. (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. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. Gen. John P. Hatch from Hilton Head, hoping to assist Sherman's arrival near Savannah by securing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. The Confederate's evasive tactics doomed Sherman's plan to achieve victory on the battlefield so he developed an alternative strategy: destroy the South by laying waste to its economic and transportation infrastructure. The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. Some of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war. ), 90, S7 Includes ill. On November 15, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his … With Ross McElwee, Dede McElwee, Ross McElwee Jr., Patricia Rendleman. Dozens of river crossings, poor or non-existent roads, and the extensive swamps of southern Georgia would have fatally slowed Sherman's force had not Poe's skills as leader of the bridge, road and pontoon building units kept the army moving. Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, did not employ his entire army group in the campaign. 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. With his supply lines reopened, Sherman began making plans to lay siege to Savannah. 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. The march was made easier by able assistants such as Orlando Metcalfe Poe, chief of the bridge building and demolition team. To ensure that adequate supplies were gathered, Sherman issued strict orders regarding foraging and the seizure of material from the local population. Known as "Sherman's March to the Sea," the campaign through Georgia effectively eliminated the region's economic usefulness to the Confederate cause. Sherman’s March to the Sea. Gen. Kilpatrick's, killing one, wounding two and capturing 18. Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. They often felt betrayed, as they "suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops". Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans. On December 17, he contacted Hardee with a warning that he would begin shelling the city if it were not surrendered. 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. 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. Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. 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. 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. Known as "Sherman's Neckties," they became a common sight along the route of march. With the city secured, Sherman telegraphed President Abraham Lincoln with the message, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton." Confederate Maj. Gen. Wheeler's cavalry struck Brig. I suppose it will be safer if I leave General Grant and yourself to decide. Unwilling to give in, Hardee escaped with his command over the Savannah River on December 20 using an improvised pontoon bridge. [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. done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place. The campaign began when Sherman's troops left the captured city of Atlanta, on November 15th. 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. Such broad generalizations may assuage wounded Southern pride, but they also rewrite history. On This Day: Union General Sherman’s scorched-earth March to the Sea campaign begins November 15, 2020 Grayman Share On This Day in History 0 On November 15, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his expedition across Georgia by torching the industrial section of Atlanta and pulling away from his supply lines. by Warfare History Network. 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. 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. [21] The Army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. This campaign was under the leadership of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. Several small actions followed. The Armies of the Cumberland and Ohio were detached under the command of Major General George H. Thomas with orders to guard Sherman's rear against the remnants of General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee. Foragers, known as "bummers", would provide food seized from local farms for the Army while they destroyed the railroads and the manufacturing and agricultural infrastructure of Georgia. At the former, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured. As they approached Savannah, additional Union troops entered the fray as 5,500 men, under Brigadier General John P. Hatch, descended from Hilton Head, SC in an attempt to cut the Charleston & Savannah Railroad near Pocotaligo. Other articles where March to the Sea is discussed: American Civil War: Sherman’s Georgia campaigns and total war: …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. "[10] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. Standard histories of Major General William T. 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