September 20, 1864: Sherman’s not so bad.

Sherman in Atlanta, 1864

Augusta Daily Constitutionalist
ran an article from the Macon Telegraph about the treatment of refugees from Atlanta. Surprisingly, the Georgia press reports that Sherman’s treating them pretty well.

DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST [AUGUSTA, GA], September 20, 1864, p. 2, c. 1 From Atlanta.

—Refugees report generally kind personal treatment from General Sherman and his officers. Whatever exceptions may have occurred, have been in violation of orders—instances of individual pilfering, which cannot always be prevented in an army, and in many cases have been detected and punished.

A friend whose wife was left an invalid in Atlanta, and came within our lines a day or two since, says that at her request Gen. Sherman came to see her, and finding her unable to attend to the arrangement of her moveables for transportation, had them all boxed up nicely and transported to our lines, even to her wash-tubs. The Federal General held three hours conversation with her and justified at length his order for the removal—insisting that in his exposed position—liable to be cut off and besieged, it was the part of humanity to require that non-combatants should not be exposed to the privations and perils to which his army must probably be subjected—and worse, because he could not provide food for a large population. Goods left behind were stored, and duplicate receipts given, with the promise that they should be safely returned.

Refugees report that Sherman’s army is going North by thousands and his force is now very small. Whether this movement is confined to men who are going out of service, or embraces reinforcements to Grant, they were unable to say.—Macon Telegraph. 

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