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Atlanta Newspaper Project


Newspaper Project -
Atlanta Newspaper Project 
by Brenda Pierce

Sherman's March to the Sea 
November-December, 1864

Sherman Cut Brutal Swath From Atlanta to the Atlantic

Editor's Note:  While Sherman's historic March to the Sea was not an act of God, like flood or storm, it was easily the worst disaster ever suffered by Georgia.   In future years, Sherman would become a notorious legend in Southerners' minds and his march a benchmark for natural calamities. Beginning today, The Journal reviews the infamous March to the Sea and 16 other calamities which might be called "the worst since Sherman".  Monday's installment details the 1898 hurricane, the last in a series of savage storms that claimed thousands of lives along the Georgia-South Carolina coast.

Editor:  Mike Christensen

On a late December day in 1864, a yound indiana soldier sat in camp outside Savannah and wrote to his family.
"We have covered a strip 60 miles wide on our trip here," Pvt. Ted Upson scribbled, "and although there may be a few houses left, there are mighty few fences and from what I saw of it, I don't think it would be a good place for a poor man to start a farm or a factory".

Upson was one of 62,000 Union solders who had followed Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman from Atlanta to the Atlantic.  They left a 10 million acre wasteland of smoldering ruins, barren fields, mangled railroads and destitute people.

They were the most destructive force to visit Georgia before or since.  The March to the Sea would become the yardstick for all future disasters. 

Unlike whirling hurricanes or the erratic thunder of tornadoes, the march was carefully planned to cripple Georgia, a calculated roundhouse blow to the rich breadbasket of the Confederacy.  

:This may seem a hard species of warfare," Sherman wrote, "but it brings the sad realities of war home to those who have directly or indirectly instrumental in involving us in its attendant calamities.

Sherman, with his seamed, rugged face and ever-present cigar, had been leading Union troops and sending men to their deaths since the first battle of Manassas in July 1861.  

The battles which marked his path from Chattanooga to Atlanta had cost Sherman tens of thousands of casualties.  After nearly 3 years of war, the Union Soldiers who marched behind "Uncle Billy" into Atlanta in early September had seen more misery and brutality than most men could stand in a lifetime.

"Although it is the Sabbath day, we do not realize it.  No church bell resounds through the air," wrote Captain John Carr of the 100th Indiana Infantry from his camp outside Atlanta.  "In this army, we have no sabbath day."  

Carr's unit was part of the 15th Corps, Sherman's old command and one of the four assigned to the upcoming march across Georgia.  His remaining troops had been shipped back to Tennessee.  Embarking on uncharted waters, Sherman wanted only his toughest, most seasoned men with him.  

>From the vantage point of today, the March to the Sea seems like an easy country stroll, for that is almost how it turned out.  But Sherman himself was far from sure he would ever see Savannah.

For several weeks he was deep in enemy territory, cut off from orders, information or reinforcement.  Newspapers at home and abroad were quick to point out unsettling precedents for his march, such as Napoleon's vain trek into Russia. Once he leveled the industrial and railroad center of Atlanta, Sherman planned to divide his army into two  

This article written after 1973 - unknown date - 

Transcribed by Brenda Pierce

In 36 days from Atlanta to Savannah,Maj. General William T. Sherman and his 62,204 Union troups staged a catastrophe unequaled in Georgia history. 

Sherman himself estimated that his month long trip to the coast cost Georgia $100 million dollars.  Of that, 80 percent was pure destruction.

The Union army lost 103 of its own officers and men and sufered 428 wounded and 278 missing.  Bit it killed a substantially larger number of Confederate soldiers and captaured 1,338 of them.  

Marching thru 40 of the state's richest counties, the Union soldiers smashed Georgia's industrial strength and demolished her east-west railroad network.

It began November 9 when Sherman organized his forces into two wings.  It ended Dec 23 after Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln - "I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah -- 


Copyright - (C) 1999-Present Current Day - Brenda Pierce- All Rights Reserved
Newspaper Project -
The Atlanta Journal Constitution Presents
The Atlanta Constitution
August 21, 1864
VOL. 5 - No. 21 (235)
"Front Page" 

Assaults Near Richmond Fail
  Grant Setback After Some Initial Gains

Petersburg, VA 
  Twin federal assaults - one north of the James River and another closer to this besieged city--failed this week, despite some bloody engagements.

The Richmond Dispatch crowed yesterday:  "It might be supposed that Richmond is in more danger than at any previous period of the campaign.  But the truth is, the people have no apprehensions whatever ... Grant has a Herculean task before him, and all his strategy will be of no avail..." (Yet, Gen. R. E. Lee suggested to Pres. Davis that local defense troops at Richmond be called out). 

The federal drive opened Sunday last as Grant believed Lee had completed defenses of Deep Bottom Run (Bailey's Creek) to support Gen. Jubal early in the Shenandoah Valley.

Some federals were to attack Confederate positions opposite Deep Bottom, penetrate their lines along four Mile Creek and move toward Chafin's Bluff and Richmond. Others were to move up the new Market Road while others were to make a dash for Richmond -- the entire operation being aimed at turning the Confederates out of the Bluff.

The initial thrusts found Confederates stronger than supposed and the federal infantry was stymied Sunday but Tuesday some federal advance was made on the Charles City Road and units reached White's Tavern, seven miles from Richmond. 

Confederate counterattacks Wednesday drove federals back to their lines behind Deep Bottom Creek.  Tuesday night, a fleet of federal vessels moved up to Deep Botom to make the Confederates think an evacuation was in progress but the ruse failed.

Fighting was suspended until Thursday when seesaw clashes occurred.  Last night, federals withdrew south of the James, their campaign a failure.  Of the 27,974 federals engaged, 2899 are listed as casualties:  Gen. H. L. Patten wounded Tuesday, has had a leg amputated; Col. D. Chaplin, wounded Wednesday, died yesterday. 

Of the 20,008 Confederates engaged, casualties reportedly number about 1,000, including Gens. V. J.B. Girardey and J. R. Chambliss, both killed Tuesday.  (Girardey, a Georgia Native, had been promoted from Captain to General by Lee on July 30, for gallantry at Petersburg, the only such battlefield promotion known.)  Capt. R. E. Lee, Jr. was wounded slightly in the arm Monday.  

While the Deep Bottom Run operations were in progress, federals south of the James launched a campaign to extend their lines west and south of Petersburg to cut communications.  The actions are known as Globe Tavern, Six Mile House and Weldon Railroad.

On Thursday federal units set out to destroy track south of Globe Tavern.  Despite the rain, heat and densely wooded terrain, federals made some progress but on Thursday there came Confederate reaction and federals were driven back, but held some gains.  Both Lee and Grant sent reinforcements.

On Friday, Confederate Gen. A. P. Hill took the initiative, striking before dawn and first gaining ground, then losing it in a federal counterattack.  Last night, Lee began withdrawing most of his troops north of the James to support Hill and additional fighting is in progress, the total casualties not yet known, but the outcome seems indicate a federal failure. 

Sheridan and Early in Shenandoah. 
Harpers Ferry, Va.  
Contending armies under Gen. Philip Sheridan and Confederate Gen. Jubal Early maneuvered in the Shenandoah Valley this week without a significant clash.

Sheridan, with 48,000 troops and a strong directive from Gen. U.S. Grant to destroy Early, has had reports that Confederates number about 40,000 men and was ordered to act on the defensive.  In fact, Early has been able to amass 23,000 troops.

On Aug. 10, Sheridan advanced from Harpers Ferry to Berryville and Early fell back to Strasburg to await reinforcements under Gen. Richard Anderson.

But on Sunday last, Sheridan fell back to Harpers Ferry, destroying military supplies as he withdrew, with Anderson and early in distant pursuit. 

City Point, Va. - Gen. H. W. Halleck, hearing there will be resistance this month to the draft, advised that part of Gen. U.S. Grant's army be withdrawn to put down expected rioting.

Grant telegraphed his protest to Washington on Wednesday, saying any removal of troops would weaken the federal campaign against Petersburg. Pres. Lincoln agreed with Grant, wiring the general the same day:  "I have seen your dispatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are.  Neither am I willing.  Hold on with a bull-dog grip and chew and choke as much as possible."

When Grant saw the telegram, he laughed with delight, saying:  "The President has more nerve than any of his advisors."   
Copyright - (C) 1999-Present Current Day - Brenda Pierce- All Rights Reserved

The Atlanta Journal Constitution Presents
The Atlanta Constitution
August 21, 1864
VOL. 5 - No. 21 (235)
"Front Page" 

  Indianapolis, Ind.  - State politicians moved this week to nip a plot to free Confederate prisoners at nearby Camp Morton and seize the arsenal.  The idea, advanced mainly by HARRISON H. DODD, State Commander of the Sons of Liberty, was to start a general uprising in the war-weary North.  But some Democratic leaders heart of the plot and induced Dodd to abandon it.  The attempt was to have occurred TUESDAY; the day passed without incident at the camp. 

  General Forrest's Calvary Struck This Morning
Memphis, TN - Eluding Gen. A. J. Smith's 18,000 federals - sent into Mississippi to destroy him, Gen. N. b. Forrest set this federal city into an uproar early this morning by raiding it with 1,500 men. 

Details are too confused as we go to press, but it seems likely that Forrest and his lightning cavalry have clearly surprised the federal garrison here.  Smith had been ordered to "get" Forrest, even if it cost 10,000 men but Forrest knowing he hasn't sufficient force to face Smith head-on, elected to circumvent him.

bottled up by Adm. D. G. Farragut's fleet, still has one Confederate outpost intact - Ft. Morgan, now confronted by Gen. Gordon Granger with more than 5,000 men strengthened by the arrival Wednesday of a siege train from new Orleans, La.  the 400 Confederates under Col. R. L. Page in Ft. Morgan expect a bombardment momentarily.

Major clashes elsewhere:  Gravel Hill, VA; Sunday:  Three federals killed, 18 wounded... Fisher's Hill, Va., Monday 30 federals wounded... Front Royal, VA., Tuesday:  Untion 13 killed, 58 wounded with 30 Confederates killed, 150 wounded and 300 captured... Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday: 16 federals killed, 30 wounded, 102 missing... Winchester, VA., Wednesday:  50 federals wounded and 250 missing... Snicker's Gap, Va., Friday: 30 federals killed, three wounded... Martinsburg, Va.,  Friday: 25 Federals killed and wounded... Pine Bluff, Tenn., Friday:  Eight federals killed.


The Daily Consitution [Atlanta] - 31 December 1892:

News of Society
What is Going on in the social World
Gossip and News of Atlanta
Marriages of Interest Throughout Georgia --
What People You Know are Doing

Marrietta, Ga, December 30 - (Special) -
The society event that united
in the bonds of matrimony Mr. Cart C. Chamberlain and Miss Augusta Hughes
was one of the most notable and brilliant of the season. The ceremony was
performed at the Episcopal church by Rev. C. T. A. Pise.

...The following attendants preceded: Mr. Raymond Johnson and Miss Mattie
Mitchell, of Acworth, Mr. George Sessions and Miss Maud Marooney, of
Murphy, N.C. Mr. Denard York and Mr. James Dunwoody acted as ushers. The
bride came in last leaning upon the arm of her father, who gave her away.
She was met at the alter by the bride-groom and his best man, Mr. DeWitt
Cole, while Miss Kate S. Hughes was maid of honor...After the marriage a
brilliant reception was held at the home of the bride's
parents...Congratulations were showered upon the happy couple and many such
telegrams were received from friends in New York, Boston, Buffalo,
Cincinnati, Chicago and Washington.

Yesterday Miss Josephine Inman entertained a number of her friends
at a luncheon in honor of her charming guests. The handsome home on
Peachtree was beautifully decorated and the luncheon was elegant in every detail.

Miss Blanche Dobbins, a beautiful blonde of this city, will leave
today on an extended visit to friends and relatives in Newnan, Ga.

At the residence of Mr. T. A. Rainey, the brother of the bride, 363
Loyd Street, Mr. D. J. Fant was married to Miss Lillie Rainey, Rev. T. P.
Cleveland performing the ceremony...Mr. Fant is an engineer on the Richmond
and Danville...The couple will make Atlanta their home.

Miss Clara Stewart and Mr. Frank Hutchinson were united in marriage
at her father's residence, on Humphries street, at 6 o'clock, on Thursday
evening, December 29th, in the presence of a large circle of friends.


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