Author Archives: Allen Gathman

November 13, 1864: Destroying the railroad

The left wing under Slocum is charged with destroying the railroad, and we see the orders to the various divisions to do the job properly. Burn the ties, heat the rails on the fire and bend and twist them. Without … Continue reading

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November 12, 1864: Sherman’s march begins

From Sherman’s official report: On the 12th of November my army stood detached and cut off from all communication with the rear. It was composed of four corps-the Fifteenth and Seventeenth, constituting the Right wing, under Major General O. O. … Continue reading

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November 11, 1864: Located the leak in Sherman’s army

As we’ve seen, Sherman’s plans are getting printed in northern papers. Grant complains to Stanton, who says it’s Sherman’s own fault. Official Records 79:740 CITY POINT, VA., November 11, 1864. Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War: All the Northern … Continue reading

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November 10, 1864: Sherman advocates disinformation

Sherman responds to Dana’s warning about papers publishing his plans with a suggestion that he plant some fake stories. While Sherman was deeply suspicious of journalists, he had some surprisingly modern ideas about the role of information in warfare. Official … Continue reading

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November 9, 1864: “forage liberally on the country”

Sherman’s orders for the march. Famously, he instructs the troops to “forage liberally on the country,” an instruction that was followed with gusto; the admonition not to enter houses or use abusive language was honored less faithfully, according to many … Continue reading

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November 9, 1864: Sherman in the papers, and some tough orders

Charles Dana sends Sherman a little note indicating that the northern press is publishing his plans. Knowing how much Sherman loves the press anyway, this can’t be good. Official Records 79:711 WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 9, 1864. Major-General SHERMAN, Kingston, … Continue reading

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November 8, 1864: Don’t pay attention to rumors

Sherman plans to talk separate peace with Georgia Governor Brown. He warns that he’ll soon drop out of sight. And he’s ready to go as soon as it stops raining. Official Records 79:700 HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In … Continue reading

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November 7, 1864: Sherman is ready.

Sherman is ready to go, and Grant gives him the green light. KINGSTON, GA., November 7, 1864-6 p. m. (Received 8. 15 p. m.) Lieutenant-General GRANT: By the 10th the election will be over, the troops all paid, and all … Continue reading

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November 7, 1864: Sherman’s in trouble. According the Richmond Dispatch.

According to the Richmond Daily Dispatch, Sherman is in dire straits in Atlanta, cut off from his supply line in a country that has been exhausted of food and fodder. Whatever will he do? From Georgia. The Yankee corps in … Continue reading

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November 6, 1864: Sherman explains it all

Sherman explains his plans in detail to Grant, describing three possible routes — southeast to Savannah, south to the Appalachicola, or southwest toward Pensacola and Canby. In any case, he views his plan as a political as well as military … Continue reading

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