QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-01 > 1106355495
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 19:58:17 EST
1865 Sherman's army rained in
General William T. Sherman's army is rained in at Savannah, Georgia, as it
waits to begin marching into the Carolinas.
In the fall of 1864, Sherman and his army marched across Georgia and
destroyed nearly everything in their path. Sherman reasoned that the war would end
sooner if the conflict were taken to the civilian South, a view shared by
President Lincoln and General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant. Sherman's men tore up
railroads, burned grain stores, carried away livestock, and left plantations in
ruins. The Yankees captured the port city of Savannah just before Christmas,
and Sherman paused for three weeks to rest his troops and resupply his
After his rest, he planned to move into the Carolinas and subject those
states to the same brutal treatment that Georgia received. His 60,000 troops were
divided into two wings. General Oliver O. Howard was to take two corps and
move northeast to Charleston, South Carolina, while General Henry Slocum was
to move northwest toward Augusta, Georgia. These were just diversions to the
main target: Columbia, South Carolina.
As Sherman was preparing to move, the rains began. On January 17, the
Yankees waited while heavy rains pelted the region. The downpour lasted for ten
days, the heaviest rainfall in 20 years. Some of Sherman's aides thought a
winter campaign in the Carolinas would be difficult with such wet weather, but
Sherman had spent four years in Charleston as a young lieutenant in the army,
and he believed that the march was possible. He also possessed an army that was
ready to continue its assault on the Confederacy. Sherman wrote to his wife
that he "...never saw a more confident army...The soldiers think I know
everything and that they can do anything."
Sherman's army did not begin moving until the end of the month. When the
army finally did move, it conducted a campaign against South Carolina that was
worse than that against Georgia. Sherman wanted to exact revenge on the state
that had led secession and started the war by firing on Fort Sumter.