Sherman's March to the Sea

Sherman's March to the Sea (also known as the Savannah Campaign) 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 campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. His forces followed a "scorched earth" policy, destroying military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property and disrupting the Confederacy's economy and its transportation networks. The operation broke the back of the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender. Sherman's bold move of operating deep within enemy territory and without supply lines is considered to be one of the major achievements of the war and is also considered to be the early example of modern total war.

Background and objectives

Military situation

Sherman's "March to the Sea" followed his successful Atlanta Campaign of May to September 1864. 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 were decisively broken.[4] Sherman therefore planned an operation that has been compared to the modern principles of scorched earth warfare, or total war. Although his formal orders (excerpted below) specified control over destruction of infrastructure in areas in which his army was unmolested by guerrilla activity, he recognized that supplying an army through liberal foraging would have a destructive effect on the morale of the civilian population it encountered in its wide sweep through the state.[5]

The second objective of the campaign was more traditional. Grant's armies in Virginia continued in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee's army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. 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.

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. 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. 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.[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". As the army would be out of touch with the North throughout the campaign, Sherman gave explicit orders, Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 120, regarding the conduct of the campaign. The following is an excerpt from the general's orders:

... IV. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. 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. 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. To regular foraging parties must be instructed the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled.

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.

VI. 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. 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. 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.

VII. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along, but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one and that his first duty is to see to them who bear arms....

— William T. Sherman, Military Division of the Mississippi Special Field Order 120, November 9, 1864.

The march was made easier by able assistants such as Orlando Metcalfe Poe, chief of the bridge building and demolition team. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman selected Poe as his chief engineer in 1864. Poe oversaw the burning of Atlanta, for which action he was honored by Sherman. Poe directly supervised the dismantling of all buildings and structures in Atlanta that could have provided any military value to the Rebels once Sherman abandoned the city; rail depots, roundhouses, arsenals and storage areas were manually disassembled and the combustible materials then destroyed by controlled fires (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 served in this capacity past the fall of Atlanta to the end of the war. 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 also continued to supervise destruction of Confederate infrastructure. 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.

Opposing forces


Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, did not employ his entire army group in the campaign. Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood was threatening Sherman's supply line from Chattanooga, and Sherman detached two armies under Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to deal with Hood in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. For the Savannah Campaign, Sherman's remaining force of 62,000 men (55,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 2,000 artillerymen manning 64 guns) was divided into two columns for the march:[1]


The Confederate opposition from Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee's Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida was meager. Hood had taken the bulk of forces in Georgia on his campaign to Tennessee in hopes of diverting Sherman to pursue him. Considering Sherman's military priorities however, this tactical maneuver by his enemy to get out of his force's path was welcomed to the point of remarking, "If he will go to the Ohio River, I'll give him rations."[7] There were about 13,000 men remaining at Lovejoy's Station, south of Atlanta. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith's Georgia militia had about 3,050 soldiers, most of whom were boys and elderly men. The Cavalry Corps of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, reinforced by a brigade under Brig. Gen. William H. Jackson, had approximately 10,000 troopers. During the campaign, the Confederate War Department brought in additional men from Florida and the Carolinas, but they never were able to increase their effective force beyond 13,000.[8]


Both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant had serious reservations about Sherman's plans.[9] Still, Grant trusted Sherman's assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, "Go as you propose."[10] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. 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. 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. Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. 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. 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!" done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place.

— William T. Sherman, Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Chapter 21
Sherman's march to the sea MAP
Savannah Campaign (Sherman's March to the Sea): detailed map.
Savannah Campaign
Savannah Campaign (Sherman's March to the Sea).
Sherman's advance: Tennessee, Georgia and Carolinas (1863-65).

Sherman's personal escort on the march was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union.

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. Howard's wing, led by Kilpatrick's cavalry, marched south along the railroad to Lovejoy's Station, which caused the defenders there to conduct a fighting retreat to Macon. The cavalry captured two Confederate guns at Lovejoy's Station, and then two more and 50 prisoners at Bear Creek Station. Howard's infantry marched through Jonesboro to Gordon, southwest of the state capital, Milledgeville. Slocum's wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. They destroyed the bridge across the Oconee River and then turned south.[11]

The first real resistance was felt by Howard's right wing at the Battle of Griswoldville on November 22. Confederate Maj. Gen. Wheeler's cavalry struck Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick's, killing one, wounding two and capturing 18. The infantry brigade of 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.

At the same time, Slocum's left wing approached the state capital at Milledgeville, prompting the hasty departure of Governor Joseph Brown and the state legislature. On November 23, Slocum's troops captured the city and held a mock legislative session in the capitol building, jokingly voting Georgia back into the Union.[12]

Sherman railroad destroy noborder
Sherman's men destroying a railroad in Atlanta.

Several small actions followed. Wheeler and some infantry struck in a rearguard action at Ball's Ferry on November 24 and November 25. While Howard's wing was delayed near Ball's Bluff, the 1st Alabama Cavalry (a Federal regiment) engaged Confederate pickets. Overnight, Union engineers constructed a bridge 2 miles (3.2 km) away from the bluff across the Oconee River, and 200 soldiers crossed to flank the Confederate position. On November 25–26 at Sandersville, Wheeler struck at Slocum's advance guard. Kilpatrick was ordered to make a feint toward Augusta before destroying the railroad bridge at Brier Creek and moving to liberate the Camp Lawton prisoner of war camp at Millen. 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. 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. At the Battle of Buck Head Creek on November 28, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured, but the 5th Ohio Cavalry halted Wheeler's advance, and Wheeler was later stopped decisively by Union barricades at Reynolds's Plantation. On December 4, Kilpatrick's cavalry routed Wheeler's at the Battle of Waynesboro.

More Union troops entered the campaign from an unlikely direction. Maj. Gen. John G. Foster dispatched 5,500 men and 10 guns under Brig. Gen. John P. Hatch from Hilton Head, hoping to assist Sherman's arrival near Savannah by securing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. At the Battle of Honey Hill on November 30, Hatch fought a vigorous battle against G.W. Smith's 1,500 Georgia militiamen, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Grahamville Station, South Carolina. Smith's militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith's 50.

Sherman's armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10 but found that Hardee had entrenched 10,000 men in favorable fighting positions, and his soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, leaving only narrow causeways available to approach the city. 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. 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 of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war.

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. 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. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army—burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war.

— William T. Sherman, Message to William J. Hardee, December 17, 1864, recorded in his memoirs

Hardee decided not to surrender but to escape. On December 20, he led his men across the Savannah River on a makeshift pontoon bridge. 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. Geary telegraphed Sherman, who advised him to accept the offer. 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.[13]


Sherman telegraphed to President Lincoln, "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."[14] On December 26, the president replied in a letter:[15]

Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift – the capture of Savannah. When you were 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. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went farther than to acquiesce. And taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantage; 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. But what next? I suppose it will be safer if I leave Gen. Grant and yourself to decide. Please make my grateful acknowledgements to your whole army, officers and men.

The March attracted a huge number of refugees, to whom Sherman assigned land with his Special Field Orders No. 15. These orders have been depicted in popular culture as the origin of the supposed "40 acres and a mule" promise.[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. 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.[17]

Sherman's scorched earth policies have always been highly controversial, and Sherman's memory has long been reviled by many Southerners. Slaves' opinions varied concerning the actions of Sherman and his army.[19] Some who welcomed him as a liberator chose to follow his armies. Jacqueline Campbell has written, on the other hand, that some slaves looked upon the Union army's ransacking and invasive actions with disdain. They often felt betrayed, as they "suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops."[20] A Confederate officer estimated that 10,000 liberated slaves followed Sherman's army, and hundreds died of "hunger, disease, or exposure" along the way.[21]

The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.4 billion in 2010 dollars)[22] in destruction, about one fifth of which "inured to our advantage" while the "remainder is simple waste and destruction."[21] The Army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills.[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'."[24] David J. Eicher wrote that "Sherman had accomplished an amazing task. He had defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war."[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. Elements of the decline in agriculture persisted through 1920."[26]


Sherman's March to the Sea - Project Gutenberg eText 21566
Sherman's March to the Sea was celebrated in music in 1865 with words by S.H.M. Byers and music by J.O. Rockwell.

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. 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. Sherman came to dislike the song, in part because he was never one to rejoice over a fallen foe, and in part because it was played at almost every public appearance that he attended.[27] It was widely popular among US soldiers of 20th-century wars.

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]

By employing the scorched earth policy that ripped through Georgia, Sherman demonstrated for the first time in the modern era the power of total war in breaking an enemy's will to resist. This concept would come into full bloom during World War II when both Axis and Allied powers deliberately and indiscriminately bombed enemy and enemy-controlled cities to create terror or disrupt war production in order to win the war by any means at their disposal—including extensive incendiary raids and the dropping of two atomic bombs.[29]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Further information: Savannah Campaign Union order of battle (Official Records, Series I, Volume XLIV, pages 19-25)
  2. ^ Further information: Effective strength of the army in the field under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, November and December, 1864 (Official Records, Series I, Volume XLIV, page 16)
  3. ^ Further information: Abstract from return of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Lieut. Gen. W.J. Hardee commanding, November 20, 1864 (Official Records, Series I, Volume XLIV, page 874)
  4. ^ Eicher, p. 739.
  5. ^ Trudeau, pp. 47-48, 51-55.
  6. ^ Trudeau, p. 52.
  7. ^ Coffey, Walter. "The Civil War This Week: Oct 27-Nov 2, 1864". Wordpress. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  8. ^ Further information: Savannah Campaign Confederate order of battle (Official Records, Series I, Volume XLIV, pages 875-876)
  9. ^ Trudeau, pp. 40-41.
  10. ^ Trudeau, p. 45.
  11. ^ Nevin, p. 48.
  12. ^ Melton, p. 288.
  13. ^ Sherman, Memoirs, p. 693.
  14. ^ Trudeau, p. 508.
  15. ^ Trudeau, p. 521.
  16. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Truth Behind '40 Acres and a Mule' Archived 2013-06-23 at the Wayback Machine", The Root, 7 January 2013.
  17. ^ Eicher, pp. 793–94, 797–99, 831–35.
  18. ^ OR, Series I, Vol. XLIV, Part 1, p. 798.
  19. ^ Parten, Bennett (2017). "'Somewhere Toward Freedom': Sherman's March and Georgia's Refugee Slaves". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 101 (2): 115–146. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  20. ^ Campbell, p. 33.
  21. ^ a b Catton, pp. 415-16.
  22. ^ Inflation Calculator website, accessed April 14, 2010.
  23. ^ Kennett, p. 309.
  24. ^ Hattaway and Jones, p. 655.
  25. ^ Eicher, p. 768.
  26. ^ Feigenbaum, James J; Lee, James; Mezzanotti, Filippo (2018). "Capital Destruction and Economic Growth: The Effects of Sherman's March, 1850-1920". doi:10.3386/w25392.
  27. ^ Eicher, p. 763.
  28. ^ "Historical markers illustrate overlooked stories", 5 September 2011; accessed 28 July 2016
  29. ^ GROCE, W. TODD (November 17, 2014). "Rethinking Sherman's March". The New York Times.


  • Campbell, Jacqueline Glass. When Sherman Marched North from the Sea: Resistance on the Confederate Home Front. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-8078-5659-8.
  • Catton, Bruce. The Centennial History of the Civil War. Vol. 3, Never Call Retreat. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965. ISBN 0-671-46990-8.
  • Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Hattaway, Herman, and Archer Jones. How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983. ISBN 0-252-00918-5.
  • Kennett, Lee. Marching through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During Sherman's Campaign. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-06-092745-3.
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-19-503863-0.
  • Melton, Brian C. Sherman's Forgotten General. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8262-1739-4.
  • Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books. Sherman's March: Atlanta to the Sea. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1986. ISBN 0-8094-4812-2.
  • Trudeau, Noah Andre. Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea. New York: HarperCollins, 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-059867-9.

Primary sources

Further reading

  • Davis, Burke, Sherman's March, Random House Publishing Group, 1980 / 2016. ISBN 978-1-5040-3441-8
  • Davis, Stephen, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman's Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2012. ISBN 0881463981
  • Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia 2011 ISBN 9780881462401
  • Frank, Lisa Tendrich (2015). The Civilian War: Confederate Women and Union Soldiers During Sherman's March. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 9780807159965. OCLC 894313641.
  • Glatthaar, Joseph T. The March to the Sea and Beyond: Sherman's Troops in the Savannah and Carolinas Campaigns. New York University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-8147-3001-9.
  • Miers, Earl Schenck. The General Who Marched to Hell; William Tecumseh Sherman and His March to Fame and Infamy. New York: Knopf, 1951. OCLC 1107192
  • Miles, Jim. To the Sea: A History and Tour Guide of the War in the West, Sherman's March across Georgia and through the Carolinas, 1864–1865. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, 2002. ISBN 1-58182-261-8.
  • Rhodes, James Ford. "Sherman's March to the Sea" American Historical Review 6#3 (1901) pp. 466–474 online free old classic account
  • Rubin, Anne Sarah (2014). Through the Heart of Dixie : Sherman's March and American Memory. The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9781469617770. OCLC 875742477.
  • Secrist, Philip L. 2006. Sherman's 1864 Trail of Battle to Atlanta. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.
  • Smith, David, and Richard Hook. Sherman's March to the Sea 1864: Atlanta to Savannah Osprey Publishing, 2012. ISBN 9781846030352 OCLC 74968763
  • Smith, Derek. Civil War Savannah. Savannah, Ga: Frederic C. Beil, 1997. ISBN 0-913720-93-3.
  • Welch, Robert Christopher. "Forage Liberally: The Role of Agriculture in Sherman's March to the Sea." Iowa State University thesis, 2011. online
  • Whelchel, Love Henry (2014). Sherman's March and the Emergence of the Independent Black Church Movement: From Atlanta to the Sea to Emancipation. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137405173. OCLC 864501780.

External links


The 1860s was the ten-year period from the years 1860 to 1869.

The abolition of Slavery in the United States led to the breakdown of the Atlantic slave trade, which was already suffering from the abolition of slavery in most of Europe in the late 1820s and 1830s. In the United States, civil war between the Confederate States of America and the Union states led to massive deaths and the destruction of cities such as Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Atlanta, Georgia. Sherman's March to the Sea was one of the first times America experienced total war, and advancements in military technology, such as iron and steel warships, and the development and initial deployment of early machine guns added to the destruction. After the American Civil War, turmoil continued in the Reconstruction era, with the rise of white supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the issue of granting Civil Rights to Freedmen.

1864 in the United States

Events from the year 1864 in the United States.

78th Illinois Infantry Regiment

The 78th Illinois Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

97th Indiana Infantry Regiment

The 97th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Organized in southwestern Indiana in 1862, the regiment saw action throughout the South at the siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Atlanta and Sherman's March to the Sea. They were mustered out June 9, 1865, in Washington, D.C. after a victorious parade through Washington.

Army of Georgia

The Army of Georgia was a Union army that constituted the Left Wing of Major General William T. Sherman's Army Group during the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign.

Battle of Buck Head Creek

The Battle of Buck Head Creek (also known as Buckhead Creek and Reynolds' Plantation) was the second battle of Sherman's March to the Sea, fought November 28, 1864, during the American Civil War. Union Army cavalry under Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick repulsed an attack by the small Confederate cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, but abandoned its attempt to destroy railroads and rescue Union prisoners of war.

Battle of Griswoldville

The Battle of Griswoldville was the first battle of Sherman's March to the Sea, fought November 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. A Union Army brigade under Brig. Gen. Charles C. Walcutt fought three brigades of Georgia militia under Brig. Gen. Pleasant J. Philips, at Griswoldville, near Macon, Georgia, and continued its march toward Savannah.

Battle of Honey Hill

The Battle of Honey Hill was the third battle of Sherman's March to the Sea, fought November 30, 1864, during the American Civil War. It did not involve Major General William T. Sherman's main force, marching from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, but was a failed Union Army expedition under Brig. Gen. John P. Hatch that attempted to cut off the Charleston and Savannah Railroad in support of Sherman's projected arrival in Savannah.

Charles Colcock Jones Jr.

Charles Colcock Jones Jr. (October 28, 1831 - July 19, 1893) was a Georgia politician, attorney, and author. He was the mayor of Savannah immediately prior to Sherman's March to the Sea.

Georgia Militia

The Georgia Militia existed from 1733 to 1879. It was originally planned by General James Oglethorpe prior to the founding of the Province of Georgia, the British colony that would become the U.S. state of Georgia. One reason for the founding of the colony was to act as a buffer between the Spanish settlements in Florida and the British colonies to the north. For background with respect to the region's Native Americans, see the Yamasee War (1715–1717) and Cherokee–American wars (1776–1795).

Gordon Smith states, "'ante-bellum' Georgia was in an almost constant swirl of 'war or rumors of war'." This was due to the presence of Tories, Indians, bandits, privateers and border disputes with France and Spain. "Central to the American concept of a republican democracy, composed as it was of citizen-soldiers, the militia system was essential to the political and social structure. The basic building blocks at the bottom of the Georgia Militia pyramid were the general militia districts. Formally established pursuant to the Militia Act of 1784, these theoretically contained one company of at least sixty-three men … the governor as commander-in-chief. ... "The General Militia Acts of 1803, 1807, and 1818 directed that all district male residents from eighteen to forty-five years old, except those exempted by laws such as ministers, enrol in their district company and perform regularly scheduled drills, at the designated unit muster ground." Campaigns included the American Revolutionary War, 1775–1783, the Oconee Wars, 1787–1797, The Embargo Wars, 1807–1812, the War of 1812, 1812–1815, the First Seminole War, 1817–1819, the Second Seminole War, 1835–1843, the Creek War of 1836, 1836–1837, the Cherokee Disturbances and Cherokee Removal, 1836–1838, and the Mexican–American War, 1846–1848.Three brigades of Georgia militia under the command of Brigadier General Pleasant J. Philips engaged Union forces on November 22, 1864, near Macon, Georgia, in the Battle of Griswoldville, the first battle of Sherman's March to the Sea. On April 16, 1865, in response to Wilson's Raid through Alabama, Georgia forces under the command of Brigadier General Robert C. Tyler engaged union force in the Battle of West Point. The desperate Battle of Columbus (1865), fought the same day, would prove to be one of the last battles of the American Civil War east of the Mississippi River.

Georgia in the American Civil War

Georgia was one of the original seven slave states that formed the Confederate States of America in February 1861, triggering the U.S. Civil War. The state governor, Democrat Joseph E. Brown, wanted locally raised troops to be used only for the defence of Georgia, in defiance of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, who wanted to deploy them on other battlefronts. When the Union blockade prevented Georgia from exporting its plentiful cotton in exchange for key imports, Brown ordered farmers to grow food instead, but the breakdown of transport systems led to desperate shortages.

There was not much fighting in Georgia until September 1863, when Confederates under Braxton Bragg defeated William S. Rosecrans at Chickamauga Creek. In May 1864, William T. Sherman started pursuing the Confederates towards Atlanta, which he captured in September, in advance of his March to the Sea. This six-week campaign destroyed much of the civilian infrastructure of Georgia, decisively shortening the war. When news of the march reached Robert E. Lee's army in Virginia, whole Georgian regiments deserted, feeling they were needed at home. The Battle of Columbus, fought on the Georgia-Alabama border on April 16, 1865, is reckoned by some criteria to have been the last battle of the war.

Henry Markham

Henry Harrison Markham (November 16, 1840 – October 9, 1923) was a Republican United States Representative from California from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1887. Declining to run for re-election to Congress in 1886, he ran four years later to become the 18th governor of California, serving from January 8, 1891 until January 11, 1895.

Markham was born in Wilmington, New York. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in Company G, 32nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment; he was promoted to second lieutenant. Markham was part of General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864. He was wounded at the battle of Whippy Swamp in 1865, and discharged.

After the war Markham returned to Wisconsin and settled in Milwaukee, where he studied law and passed the bar in 1867. He practiced law in Milwaukee in the state and federal courts. Markham moved with his family to Pasadena in 1879 and continued to practice law. In Pasadena Markham was on the school board and was one of the founders of the Pasadena public library. He was also part of the Calico Union Mining Company. During his run for governor he was referred to as "the dashing colonel from Pasadena." He was a long time member of the Pasadena Republican Club. He died in his adopted hometown of Pasadena and is interred in Mountain View Cemetery in nearby Altadena.

Knight Park–Howell Station

Knight Park–Howell Station, also known as Howell Station Historic District, is a National historic district and neighborhood in, Atlanta, Georgia. Almost all buildings in the area were destroyed in the American Civil War, in Sherman's March to the Sea, and all of the buildings in the district were built after 1864. The neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Lafayette McLaws

Lafayette McLaws ( lə-FAY-et; January 15, 1821 – July 24, 1897) was a United States Army officer and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He served at Antietam and Fredericksburg, where Robert E. Lee praised his defense of Marye's Heights, and at Gettysburg, where his division made successful assaults through the Peach Orchard and Wheatfield, but was unable to dislodge Union forces from Cemetery Ridge. After the Knoxville Campaign, he was court-martialed for inefficiency, though this was overturned for procedural reasons. Finally he was sent to his native Georgia to resist Sherman's March to the Sea, but had to retreat through the Carolinas, losing many men through desertion, and is presumed to have surrendered with Joseph E. Johnston in April 1865.

McLaws remained bitter about his court-martial, especially as the charges had been filed by James Longstreet, his friend and classmate at West Point, with whom he had served for years. Although he defended Longstreet against Lost Cause proponents who blamed him for losing the war, McLaws never fully forgave Longstreet for his actions.

Lower Seaboard Theater of the American Civil War

The Lower Seaboard Theater of the American Civil War encompassed major military and naval operations that occurred near the coastal areas of the Southeastern United States: in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas) as well as southern part of the Mississippi River (Port Hudson and south).

Inland operations are included in the Western Theater or Trans-Mississippi Theater, depending on whether they were east or west of the Mississippi River. Coastal operations in Georgia, including the culmination of Sherman's March to the Sea, are included in the Western Theater.

The campaign classification established by the U.S. National Park Service, which calls these the Lower Seaboard Theater and Gulf Approach operations, is more fine-grained than the one used in this article. Some minor NPS campaigns have been omitted and some have been combined into larger categories. Only a few of the 31 battles the NPS classifies for this theater are described. The Port Royal Expedition of 1861 has been added, although it has not been classified by the NPS. Boxed text in the right margin show the NPS campaigns associated with each section.

Union Naval activities in this theater were dictated by the Anaconda Plan, with its emphasis on strangling the South with an ever-tightening blockade, and later in executing attacks on and occupying the port cities of New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston. The Confederate response was mainly limited to blockade running and the Confederate Navy reacting defensively to Union incursions, with mixed success.

Marching Through Georgia

"Marching Through Georgia" (sometimes spelled as "Marching Thru' Georgia" or "Marching Thro Georgia") is a marching song written by Henry Clay Work at the end of the American Civil War in 1865. The title and lyrics of the song refer to U.S. Army major general William T. Sherman's "March to the Sea" to capture the Confederate city of Savannah, Georgia in late 1864.

Orlando Metcalfe Poe

Orlando Metcalfe Poe (March 7, 1832 – October 2, 1895) was a United States Army officer and engineer in the American Civil War. After helping General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea, he was responsible for much of the early lighthouse construction on the Great Lakes and design of the Poe Lock at Soo Locks between lakes Superior and Huron.

Sewall S. Farwell

Sewall Spaulding Farwell (April 26, 1834 – September 21, 1909) was a Civil War officer and one-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 2nd congressional district.

Born in Keene, Ohio, Farwell attended the common schools and an academy in Cleveland, Ohio.

He moved to Iowa in 1852, settling in Jones County, Iowa, and engaged in agricultural pursuits.

In 1862, after the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army as captain of Company H, 31st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to major in 1864, and served until the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta, and Jonesboro, and Sherman's March to the Sea.Farwell served as member of the Iowa Senate from 1865 to 1869. He served (from 1869 to 1873) as an assessor of internal revenue, then (from 1875 to 1881) as collector of internal revenue.

In September 1880, Farwell won the Republican nomination on the 124th ballot to succeed Hiram Price as the Iowa 2nd congressional district's representative in the U.S. House. After winning the general election, he served in the Forty-seventh Congress. He won renomination in 1882, but was defeated in the general election by Democrat Jeremiah Henry Murphy. He served in Congress from March 4, 1881 to March 3, 1883.

Returning to Iowa, he served as president of the Monticello State Bank.

He died in Monticello on September 21, 1909, and was interred in Oakwood Cemetery. A dispute among the beneficiaries of his will was resolved by the Iowa Supreme Court in Farwell v. Carpenter, 142 N.W. 227 (Iowa 1913).

The March

The March can refer to:

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a 1963 civil rights event

Salt March, when Gandhi in 1930 walked to protest the British salt tax in India

Sherman's March to the Sea during the American Civil War

Long March in China in the 1930s

Bataan Death March in the Philippines during World War II

The March (1945), forced marches across Europe by Allied POWs during World War II

The March (novel), a book by E. L. Doctorow about Sherman's March to the Sea

The March (album), an album by Unearth

The March (1964 film), a 1964 documentary film by James Blue about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

The March (1990 film), a film aired by the BBC1 in 1990

The March (2013 film), a 2013 documentary film, also about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs

Sherman's March to the Sea
Savannah Campaign

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.