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Hero of the March

Hero of the March

Submitted by: Mollie Stehno

August 22, 1895 - The McAlester Capital - Bill Arp refuses to contribute 25 cents to the General Sherman monument fund. These are Billy's own words in answer to a letter of the "chain" system:
"I received your letter, asking for 25 cents to help build a monument to General Sherman, the hero of the 'march to the sea,' and wanting me to send three other names and warning me not to break the chain, etc. I will go as far as any other rebel, so called, to keep the peace and bury the past and be friendly, but you must excuse me. I have lived all my life in the path of that march to the sea, and for thirty years I have been straining my mind to see the heroism in it, and I can't do it. It just shows how blind we poor mortals are. All the heroism I see is the retreat of Joe Johnson, who with 40,000 men, resisted that march of Sherman with three times that number and killed more, man for man, than he had soldiers. There is where the heroism comes in. We will make a fair compromise with you. If you or your boys will contribute 25 cents each for a monument to Joe Johnson, the real hero of the march to the sea, we'll let you build one to Sherman and say nothing about it. We are very tired of all this gush about the Grand Army of the Republic, especially when you know, or ought to know, that you have on your pension rolls more men than we had all during the war. You can't knick the truth out with monuments."

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