This was accomplished on December 13, and communications were opened with Rear Admiral John Dahlgren's naval forces. 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. They often felt betrayed, as they "suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops". [23] Military historians Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones cited the significant damage wrought to railroads and Southern logistics in the campaign and stated that "Sherman's raid succeeded in 'knocking the Confederate war effort to pieces'. On December 13, William B. Hazen's division of Howard's wing stormed the fort in the Battle of Fort McAllister and captured it within 15 minutes. 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!" 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. Through the course of the campaign, Hardee was able to utilize those troops still in Georgia as well as those brought in from Florida and the Carolinas. A Christmas Present for President Lincoln, American Civil War: Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, American Civil War: Major General George H. Thomas, American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek. The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages, but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole - Hood’s army - it brings those who sat in darkness to see a great light. 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. 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. In addition to the economic damage, it was thought that Sherman's movement would increase pressure on General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and allow Grant to gain a victory in the Siege of Petersburg. (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. 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. Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, did not employ his entire army group in the campaign. Standard histories of Major General William T. Shermans celebrated March to the Sea invariably portray the Confederacys response as inconsequential. 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. 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 MARCH TO THE SEA FROM ATLANTA TO SAVANNAH. 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. Directed by Ross McElwee. 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. Known as "Sherman's Neckties," they became a common sight along the route of march. Grant's armies in Virginia continued in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee's army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. "[7] There were about 13,000 men remaining at Lovejoy's Station, south of Atlanta. Smith's militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith's 50. Sherman's March To The Sea was the military Savannah Campaign going on in the American Civil War in 1864, through Georgia. 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. The operation broke the back of the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender. [21] The Army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. 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. He devoted the next few weeks to chasing Confederate troops through northern Georgia in a vain attempt to lure them into a decisive fight. Soldiers must not enter the dwellings of the inhabitants, or commit any trespass, but during a halt or a camp they may be permitted to gather turnips, apples, and other vegetables, and to drive in stock of their camp. More Union troops entered the campaign from an unlikely direction. In the resulting Battle of Honey Hill, Hatch's men were forced to withdraw after several assaults against the Confederate entrenchments failed. Consulting with Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, the two men agreed that it would be necessary to destroy the South's economic and psychological will to resist if the war was to be won. [21], The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. Mark E. Neely rejects the notion that the Civil War was a "total war. For all of the ink written about Sherman and the way he burned, scorched and killed between Atlanta and Savannah, the monstrous event lasted only 22 days. 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. 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. 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. 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. To the north, Slocum's two corps moved east then southeast towards the state capital at Milledgeville. Documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee sets out to make a movie about Union General Sherman's March to the Sea towards the end of the American Civil … He had defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. General Grant arranged two campaigns for the year 1864. Hood had taken the bulk of forces in Georgia on his campaign to Tennessee in hopes of diverting Sherman to pursue him. On November 15th, 1864 Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of the Grand Army of the West, embarked on a raid which would become known as the march to the sea designed to cut a 60 mile wide swath from Atlanta to Savannah. Geary telegraphed Sherman, who advised him to accept the offer. With Ross McElwee, Dede McElwee, Ross McElwee Jr., Patricia Rendleman. How Did Sherman's March End the Civil War? At the former, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured. 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. The … "[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. 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". The cavalry captured two Confederate guns at Lovejoy's Station, and then two more and 50 prisoners at Bear Creek Station. Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans. The Cavalry Corps of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, reinforced by a brigade under Brig. A common technique for wrecking the latter was heating railroad rails over fires and twisting them around trees. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war. He argues: Military campaign during the American Civil War. Rhodes, James Ford. "[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. 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. [19] Some who welcomed him as a liberator chose to follow his armies. He also continued to supervise destruction of Confederate infrastructure. [6] The twisted and broken railroad rails that the troops heated over fires and wrapped around tree trunks and left behind became known as "Sherman's neckties". Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. 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. Finally realizing that Savannah was Sherman's target, Hardee began concentrating his men to defend the city, while ordering Major General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry to attack the Union flanks and rear. Following an arduous trek of more than 100 miles against the resourceful resistance of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, Sherman succeeded in … "[14] On December 26, the president replied in a letter:[15]. 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. Gen. Kilpatrick's, killing one, wounding two and capturing 18. The purpose of Sherman’s March to the Sea was to frighten Georgia’s civilian population into abandoning the Confederate cause. Consulting the crop and livestock data from the 1860 census, he planned a route that would inflict maximum damage upon the enemy. The U.S. National Archives / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men. [17], Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864. 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 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. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Slightly more than 100 Union officers and men were killed and 430 were wounded. On the 12th of November the railroad and telegraph communications with the rear were broken, and the army stood detached from all friends, dependent on its own resources and supplies. To accomplish this, Sherman intended to conduct a campaign designed to eliminate any resources that could be used by Confederate forces. MEMOIRS OF GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN. Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose." VI. Prime meridian: Washington. ", 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. 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. General Sherman on the "March to the Sea," 1865 | In the fall of 1864, Gen. James H. Wilson took command of Gen. William T. Sherman’s cavalry. 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. 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 … 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. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. Known as "bummers," foragers from the army became a common sight along its route of march. 15. Howard's infantry marched through Jonesboro to Gordon, southwest of the state capital, Milledgeville. 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. On November 15, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his … General Sherman’s March to the Sea, also known as the Savannah Campaign, was conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864. Unwilling to give in, Hardee escaped with his command over the Savannah River on December 20 using an improvised pontoon bridge. 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. Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans.