When Georgia Howled: Sherman on the March


[wind blowing]
[marching drumbeat] soldier:
Ready, fire
[canon firing] Dr. Stephen Davis:
WE GREW UP HATING SHERMAN I’M KIND OF RETURNING
TO THE OLD TIME WHERE GROWING UP IN ATLANTA WE DESPISED SHERMAN FOR WHAT
HE DID TO US, OUR BUILDINGS, OUR HOMES, AND OUR PEOPLE. Dr. Todd Groce:
SHERMAN DIDN’T BRING ON THE WAR, AS FAR AS HE’S CONCERNED. YOU DECIDED TO DISREGARD
THE CONSTITUTION AND NOW YOU’RE PAYING
THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT. AND DON’T BLAME ME FOR THAT.
DON’T BLAME ME FOR THAT. IT’S NOT MY FAULT.
I’M HERE – I DIDN’T START THIS BUT BY GOD I’M GOING TO END IT. [wind blowing] Masud Olufani:
IT IS THE SPRING OF 1864. THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
IS ENTERING ITS FOURTH YEAR. HALF A MILLION AMERICANS
ARE DEAD . . .A MILLION MORE WOUNDED. YET, THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT. IN THE NORTH, PRESIDENT ABRAHAM
LINCOLN IS FACING RE-ELECTION. HIS PROSPECTS ARE DIM. NORTHERN SUPPORT FOR
THE WAR IS WAVERING. AND LINCOLN’S POLITICAL
OPPONENTS ARE CALLING FOR A NEGOTIATED PEACE
WITH THE CONFEDERACY. IF LINCOLN LOSES. . . IT IS THE END OF THE UNITED
STATES. . . AND THE END TO THE DREAM OF
FREEDOM FOR FOUR MILLION SLAVES. LINCOLN MUST SHOW THAT UNION
ARMIES CAN WIN THE WAR. HE NEEDS A VICTORY. THIS IS THE SITUATION
IN APRIL OF 1864, AS SHERMAN PREPARES
TO INVADE GEORGIA Dr. Todd Groce:
WHAT HAPPENED IN GEORGIA IN 1864 DID DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT
THERE WAS GOING TO BE A UNITED STATES. narrator:
APRIL THROUGH DECEMBER, 1864, . . .37 WEEKS THAT WILL BRING
THE WRATH OF WAR TO GEORGIA. [marching
drum sound] AND EVEN THOUGH SHERMAN
BRINGS A LARGER ARMY – ROUGHLY 110 THOUSAND MEN TO
THE CONFEDERATES 70 THOUSAND THE SOUTHERNERS HAVE GOOD
REASON TO BELIEVE THEY
CAN WIN. [horn playing “Dixie”]
[gun shots] Dr. Todd Groce:
THE CONFEDERATES STILL FELT LIKE
THEY HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WIN IF THIS – IF THIS – IF THIS
SYSTEM THEY HAD PUT IN PLACE, IF THIS IDEA THAT THEY
WERE GOING TO WEAR DOWN THE UNITED STATES ARMY AND
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. . .THE PEOPLE OF THE – OF THE
UNITED STATES AND GIVING UP, THAT MEANS ATLANTA
REALLY IS CRITICAL. Dr. Gordon Jones:
ATLANTA IS THE HINGE POINT
OF THE CONFEDERACY. IT’S THE STRATEGIC RAILROAD HUB
OF THE DEEP SOUTH. IT’S A MANUFACTURING CENTER. EVERYTHING THATS MOVES EAST AND
WEST THROUGH THE CONFEDERACY MEN, MATERIALS, SUPPLIES –
EVERYTHING COMES THROUGH
ATLANTA. IT IS SECOND ONLY TO RICHMOND IN TERMS OF ITS STRATEGIC
IMPORTANCE TO THE CONFEDERACY. ‘WE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING ATLANTA
ALL THE TIME. . . CAPTURING GUNS, AND WAGONS,
MARKED ATLANTA AND MADE HERE. . .SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN DOING
SO MUCH TO DESTROY US. . . WE HAVE TO DESTROY THEM.’
[WILLIAM T. SHERMAN] narrator:
BUT THE DESTRUCTION OF
ATLANTA STARTS LONG BEFORE SHERMAN ARRIVES. . . [gun fire] A YEAR EARLIER, HOUSES, FARMS,
AND FENCES ARE DISMANTLED TO MAKE WAY FOR WHAT WILL
BECOME A TWELVE-MILE RING OF FORTIFICATIONS
AROUND THE CITY. BUILT WITH SLAVE LABOR,
THESE ELABORATE TRENCHES MADE ATLANTA THE THIRD
MOST FORTIFIED CITY. . .BEHIND ONLY
WASHINGTON AND RICHMOND BUT BACK BEFORE THE WAR, THIS CITY SO CRITICAL TO
THE CONFEDERATE CAUSE, WAS NOT ENTHUSIASTIC
ABOUT SECESSION. IN THE ELECTION OF 1860, ATLANTANS VOTED FOR
PRO-UNION CANDIDATES. Dr. Wendy Venet:
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, ATLANTA WAS DOMINATED NOT
BY FARMERS OR PLANTERS BUT BY RAILROAD
AND COMMERCIAL MEN. THEY WERE MAKING MONEY
IN THE AMERICAN UNION, AND THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THAT
CURRENT POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES CALLED FOR DRASTIC ACTION. narrator:
PART OF ATLANTA’S COMMERCIAL
SUCCESS IS DUE TO THE WESTERN AND
ATLANTIC RAILROAD LINKING ATLANTA TO CHATTANOOGA. NOW IN THE SPRING OF 1864,
THE WESTERN AND ATLANTIC WILL SERVE AS
SHERMAN’S SOLE SUPPLY LINE LEADING HIM DIRECTLY TO ATLANTA. Dr. Stephen Davis:
HIS CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE
CERTAIN THAT HIS 110,000 MEN, HIS 40 OR 50,000 ANIMALS
GET FED EVERYDAY. HE HAS FIGURED OUT WHO MUCH
FOOD AND FODDER EACH CAR CAN BRING. HE’S – HE’S – HE’S
ORDERED EVERY CAR. HE’S ALSO WORKED WITH THE CIVIL
AUTHORITIES TO RESTRICT CIVILIAN TRAFFIC. THIS SHOWS THE GENIUS
IF NOT MANIA OF SHERMAN. AND I THINK IT PRESAGES HIM AS
THE MORE CAPABLE COMMANDER AGAINST JOE JOHNSTON. narrator:
WHAT WILL BECAME KNOWN AS THE
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN PITS TWO RESPECTED AND
BATTLE-TESTED GENERALS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. FOR THE UNION, 44 YEAR OLD MAJOR GENERAL
WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, THE MAN WHO VOWS
TO MAKE GEORGIA HOWL. Dr. Todd Groce:
WELL, WILLIAM T. SHERMAN IS PROBABLY ONE OF
THE MOST FASCINATING FIGURES IN A WAR THAT HAD A LOT
OF FASCINATING PEOPLE IN IT. HE WAS ORIGINALLY FROM OHIO, HAD A VERY TRAGIC BACKGROUND
AS A CHILD. HIS FATHER HAD DIED AND HIS MOTHER BASICALLY TURNED
HIM OVER TO ANOTHER FAMILY TO RAISE WHEN HE
WAS 9 YEARS OLD. narrator:
SHERMAN’S NEW FOSTER FATHER WAS
THOMAS EWING, LATER THE FIRST U.S SECRETARY OF
THE INTERIOR AND A U.S. SENATOR. WHEN SHERMAN WAS SIXTEEN, HIS FOSTER FATHER HELPED HIM GET
AN APPOINTMENT TO WEST POINT. SHERMAN GRADUATED IN 1840. FOUR YEARS LATER,
MILITARY DUTIES BROUGHT HIM TO NORTH GEORGIA,
WHERE HE TRAVELED WIDELY, MEMORIZING THE LANDSCAPE. IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE THAT WOULD
SERVE HIM WELL 20 YEARS LATER. Dr. Brian Willis:
SHERMAN KNEW KIND
OF THE LAY OF THE LAND. HE KNEW WHAT THE HIGH POINTS
AND THE-AND THE RIVERS AND THE MOUNTAINS
AND THE AREAS THAT HE SHOULD TAKE
INTO ACCOUNT. JOE JOHNSTON
DIDN’T HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE. [bell ringing] narrator:
BORED WITH THE PEACETIME ARMY,
SHERMAN RESIGNED IN 1853 TO TRY HIS HAND AT BUSINESS
AND BANKING IN SAN FRANCISCO. AFTER FAILING THERE,
HE TOOK A JOB AS SUPERINTENDENT OF A MILITARY ACADEMY
IN LOUISIANA WHAT WOULD BECOME
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY. [wind blowing] AS TALK OF WAR RAMPED UP
AMONG SECESSIONISTS, SHERMAN WROTE TO A FRIEND. . . ‘YOU PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH
DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. THIS COUNTRY WILL BE DRENCHED
IN BLOOD, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS
HOW IT WILL END. . .YOU PEOPLE
SPEAK SO LIGHTLY OF WAR; YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT. WAR IS A TERRIBLE THING!’
. . .William T. Sherman [cannon fire] WHEN THE WAR BREAKS OUT IN 1861,
SHERMAN REJOINS THE U.S. ARMY. WITHIN A YEAR,
HE SUFFERS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. Dr. Todd Groce:
SHERMAN
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR WAS A TOTAL WRECK. HE WAS
STATIONED IN KENTUCKY, AND HE HAD NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. HE IMAGINED HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS COMING
UP TO ATTACK HIM AND THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
SIMON CAMERON AT THAT TIME, WENT TO VISIT WITH HIM AND
BASICALLY WALKED AWAY SAYING THIS GUY IS REALLY LOSING IT, AND HE DID HAVE
A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS REST
AT HOME IN OHIO, AND WITH THE SUPPORT
OF HIS WIFE ELLEN AND HIS FRIEND ULYSSES S. GRANT – SHERMAN SOON RECOVERED.. Dr. Todd Groce:
HE’S RESCUED BY GENERAL GRANT
WHO BRINGS HIM BACK, WANTS HIM IN THE ARMY,
KNOWS HIS ABILITIES AND TALENTS, AND SO SHERMAN LATER
SAID THAT GRANT STOOD BY ME WHEN I WAS CRAZY. I STOOD BY HIM WHEN HE WAS
ACCUSED OF BEING A DRUNK. AND NOW WE STAND EACH OTHER
IN ALL THINGS. narrator:
THE MAN CHARGED WITH
DEFENDING GEORGIA AGAINST SHERMAN IS A
FIFTY-SEVEN YEAR OLD BLUEBLOOD FROM VIRGINIA NAMED JOSEPH EGGLESTON JOHNSTON. JOHNSTON IS ALSO
A WEST POINT GRADUATE. BUT UNLIKE SHERMAN, HE SAW
COMBAT IN THE MEXICAN WAR WHERE HE WAS WOUNDED TWICE
AND PROMOTED FOR GALLANTRY. IN 1861, HE HAS MORE THAN THIRTY
YEARS’ SERVICE IN THE U.S. ARMY. Dr. Gordon Jones:
WELL JOE JOHNSTON AND JEFFERSON
DAVIS GET INTO IT EARLY ON OVER A QUESTION OF RANK
AND SENIORITY, ESSENTIALLY, JOHNSTON DOESN’T
GET THE RANK THAT HE THINKS HE DESERVES.
AND THAT CREATES BAD BLOOD BETWEEN THE TWO MEN
THAT LASTS THE ENTIRE WAR. [music] NOW, ON THE OTHER HAND, JOHNSTON’S MEN ADORE HIM
WHEN HE TAKES OVER THE ARMY. THEY HAD JUST HAD THIS TERRIBLE
DEFEAT AT MISSIONARY RIDGE. THEY WERE VERY DISPIRITED.
HE GETS THEM RE-SUPPLIED, HE GETS THEM NEW UNIFORMS
EVEN NEW FLAGS AND SO JOHNSTON REALLY
RESTORES THE ARMY’S SENSE OF EXPRIT DE CORPS
AND HIS MEN LOVE HIM FOR IT. [slaves singing
♪ on way down yonder by myself
and couldn’t nobody’s grace.
In the valley. I couldn’t get nobody’s grace ♪♪ narrator:
WHILE MOST WHITE GEORGIANS
FEARED SHERMAN’S ARMY, ENSLAVED AFRICAN AMERICANS
HELD A DIFFERENT VIEW . . .A PROVIDENTIAL VIEW ROOTED
IN A DIFFERENT BRAND OF CHRISTIANITY THAN THAT OF
THEIR SLAVEHOLDERS. Dr. Robert Prett:
MANY OF THEM CALLED
HIM THE SECOND MOSES OR THE SECOND AARON, SO THEY SORT OF SAW HIM
AS – AS THIS CONQUERING HERO. Dr. Charmayne Petterson:
THERE IS THE IDEA THAT THIS WAR HAS BEEN SENT
FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF FREEING THE SLAVES
ON THE ONE HAND BUT IT’S A DEMONSTRATION
OF GOD’S WRATH FOR THE CONTINUED PRACTICE
OF SLAVEHOLDING. [humming spiritual song] [wind blowing]
[shots fired] ON MAY 7TH, 1864, THE FIRST
SHOTS OF THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN ARE FIRED AT TUNNEL HILL, JUST A FEW MILES NORTHWEST
OF DALTON WHERE A SMALL CONFEDERATE
FORCE TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO DEFEND THE TUNNEL. NEAR HERE, JOE JOHNSTON’S
CONFEDERATE ARMY IS DUG IN ALONG ROCKY FACE RIDGE, 80 MILES NORTH OF ATLANTA. Dr. Gordon Jones:
WELL JOE JOHNSTON REALLY WANTS SHERMAN TO ATTACK
ROCKY FACE RIDGE HEAD ON. NOW SHERMAN IS NOT THE
SMARTEST TACTICIAN IN THE ARMY BUT HE’S SMART
ENOUGH NOT TO DO THAT. narrator:
INSTEAD, SHERMAN SEES
A CHANCE TO TRAP AND DESTROY JOHNSTON’S ENTIRE ARMY. HE SENDS GENERAL
JAMES MCPHERSON AND 24,000 MEN THROUGH SNAKE CREEK GAP TO TRAP
JOHNSTON BEHIND THE RIDGE. BUT MCPHERSON MOVES TOO SLOW. Dr. Gordon Jones:
A LITTE BIT TOO CAUTIOUS,
A LITTLE BIT TO SLOW, HIS FIRST TIME IN ARMY COMMAND –
DOESN’T MOVE FAST ENOUGH JOHNSTON SLIPS THE TRAP AND SHERMAN LATER SAYS, ‘MAC YOU MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY
OF A LIFETIME.’ narrator:
JOHNSTON ESCAPES. . .BUT
RETREATS. . .THE FIRST OF MANY. LATER, HE TOO
MISSES AN OPPORTUNITY TO TURN THE TABLES ON SHERMAN. AT CASSVILLE, JOHNSTON SEES A
CHANCE TO DESTROY AN ISOLATED COLUMN OF SHERMAN’S
ARMY. . . PERHAPS ENDING SHERMAN’S
ENTIRE CAMPAIGN. FINDING UNION SOLDIERS
ON HIS FLANK, JOHNSTON CANCELS THE ATTACK. BY MAY 25, BARELY TWO WEEKS
INTO THE CAMPAIGN, JOHNSTON HAS BEEN
REPEATEDLY OUTFLANKED AND HAS RETREATED SOME FIFTY
MILES ACROSS TWO MAJOR RIVERS. HE BEGS FOR REINFORCEMENTS
BUT THERE ARE NONE TO BE HAD. AND SHERMAN IS NOW
30 MILES FROM ATLANTA. Dr. Todd Groce:
SHERMAN’S ARMY IS LARGER
THAN JOHNSTON’S ARMY SO HE’S CONTINUALLY ABLE TO HOLD JOHNSTON IN PLACE
WITH ONE HAND AND THEN SEND PART OF THE ARMY
AROUND WITH THE OTHER HAND AND ALWAYS GET BEHIND JOHNSTON AND THEREFORE COMPEL
JOHNSTON TO FALL BACK AND THIS HAPPENS
TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN UNTIL JOHNSTON IS BASICALLY
ACROSS THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER RIGHT UP TO THE GATES OF
ATLANTA. [rolling wagon] narrator:
IN ATLANTA, A FORTY YEAR OLD BOOKSELLER
NAMED SAM RICHARDS TAKES A WALK AFTER DINNER
IN CITY CEMETERY, NOW OAKLAND CEMETERY.
HIS DIARY ENTRY OF MAY 15TH DESCRIBES HOW WAR
HAS ALREADY COME TO ATLANTA. ‘THE SADDEST SIGHT THAT
I HAVE EVEN SEEN IS THE ACRE OF FRESH-DUG GRAVES THAT ARE
FILLED BY DEAD SOLDIERS, THE RESULT OF THIS TERRIBLE
WAR.’ Sam Richards Dr. Wendy Venet:
HE SAID IT WAS
AN INCREDIBLY MOVING SIGHT TO HIM BECAUSE HE SAW AN ACRE, AN ACRE OF FRESHLY DUG GRAVES. AND IT WAS JUST A SYMBOL TO HIM
OF THE CARNAGE. narrator:
RICHARDS,
WHO WAS BORN IN ENGLAND, WAS A PRE-WAR UNIONIST WHO CAME TO EMBRACE THE
CONFEDERATE CAUSE THAT SUPPORT, HOWEVER, DID NOT
INCLUDE A WILLINGNESS TO FIGHT. BECAUSE PRINTERS WERE
EXEMPT FROM THE DRAFT, RICHARDS BECAME A TYPESETTER
ON A NEWSPAPER ‘FOR SEVERAL DAYS. . . OUR
CITIZENS HAVE HEARD. . . ARTILLERY AT THE FRONT. GOVERNOR BROWN HAS
CALLED OUT THE MILITIA AND . . . I HAVE JOINED A COMPANY OF
PRINTERS FOR CITY DEFENSE. I TRUST WE MAY NEVER
BE CALLED INTO ACTION – I HATE THE SIGHT
OF A MUSKET.’ – Sam Richards. narrator:
BUT ATLANTA WILL SOON SEE
MUSKETS. . . AND MUCH MUCH MORE. Dr. Todd Groce:
YOU KNOW FROM SHERMAN’S
PERSPECTIVE, HE FELT LIKE THE TURNING
POINT OF THE CAMPAIGN IS WHEN HE CROSSED
THE ETOWAH RIVER. HE CALLED
THE ETOWAH THE RUBICON. HE SAID I HAVE CROSSED
THE RUBICON OF GEORGIA AND HE THOUGHT
IF I CAN GET ACROSS THAT RIVER, THEN I CAN GET ACROSS
ANY RIVER AHEAD OF ME. AND – AND BASICALLY I’M GOING
TO BE IN ATLANTA EVENTUALLY. narrator:
BY NOW,
JOHNSTON’S MEN ARE DISPIRITED. THEY ALL WONDER WHEN
JOE JOHNSTON WILL FINALLY MAKE A STAND. Dr. Stephen Davis:
YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH
MARY BOYKIN CHESTNUT’S DIARY? AND IN SHE GIVES THE FAMOUS
BIRD SHOOT ANALOGY THAT GENERAL JOHNSTON NEVER
TOOK A SHOT AT A BIRD SHOOT CAUSE HE WANTED TO MAINTAIN
HIS REPUTATION AS A PERFECT MARKSMAN. narrator:
IN LATE MAY
JOE JOHNSTON DOES MAKES A STAND ALONG A TEN MILE DEFENSIVE LINE
RUNNING FROM PICKETTS MILL THROUGH NEW HOPE CHURCH
TO DALLAS FIERCE FIGHTING ALONG THIS LINE FINALLY SLOWS DOWN SHERMAN’S
ADVANCE. SOLDIERS ON BOTH SIDES CALLED IT
HELL HOLE. [crow cawing] Dr. Gordon Jones:
YOU HAVE DEEP RAVINES AND HILLS AND THIS KIND OF
THICK UNDERGROWTH- JUNGLE LIKE UNDERGROWTH.
YOU’VE GOT POOR ROADS. BOTH ARMIES ARE HAVING TROUBLE
KEEPING THEIR MEN SUPPLIED BECAUSE THEY’RE WELL
OFF THE RAILROAD AND THEIR WAGONS CAN’T MAKE IT
ACROSS THE ROUGH COUNTRY. AND IT’S JUST A MISERABLE
EXPERIENCE ALL AROUND SO YOU CAN REALLY UNDERSTAND
WHY THE SOLDIERS CALLED IT ‘THE HELL HOLE.’ narrator:
IT IS NOW A WAR OF ATTRITION. SOLDIERS ON BOTH SIDES ENDURE
HORRIBLE CONDITIONS EXTREME HEAT, DISEASE, AND
EXHAUSTION- THUNDERSTORMS THAT FILL
TRENCHES WITH MUD, AND UNBURIED BODIES THAT
CREATE AN OVERPOWERING STENCH. THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF
DEAD AND THE HARDSHIPS OF WAR MEAN THAT TRADITIONAL
FUNERAL RITUALS CANNOT ALWAYS BE OBSERVED. SOME MEN ARE BURIED HASTILY
IN MASS GRAVES. MANY ARE NEVER IDENTIFIED. IN GEORGIA, RHODA MOBLEY
RECEIVES A LETTER. . . INFORMING HER OF THE DEATH OF
HER HUSBAND FRANCIS IN FAR-OFF VIRGINIA.
AND THAT IS WHERE HE IS BURIED. THE LETTER NOT ONLY DELIVER
THE DREADED NEWS BUT ALSO A MEMENTO
OF HER DEAD HUSBAND. ‘YOUR BRAVE AND NOBLE
HEARTED HUSBAND. . . REQUESTED ME TO SEND YOU
THE BALL THAT KILLED HIM.’ BY MID JUNE, SHERMAN IS WITHIN
25 MILES OF ATLANTA. JOE JOHNSTON’S ARMY IS NOW
DUG IN AT KENNESAW MOUNTAIN, OVERLOOKING THE WESTERN
AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD., IT IS THE STRONGEST DEFENSE LINE
THE CONFEDERATES WILL EVER HAVE NORTH OF ATLANTA. UNION PRIVATE GILMER WATTS OF
MCLEAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS WRITES HIS WIFE CLARA…. ‘THERE WILL PROBABLY BE A GREAT
BATTLE HERE BEFORE LONG IN WHICH WE WILL HAVE A PART.’ narrator:
WATTS IS A 35 YEAR OLD
SCHOOL TEACHER AND FATHER OF
TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. ‘I MAY BE KILLED OR WOUNDED. . .
SHOULD I BE CALLED AWAY, I KNOW YOU WILL GRIEVE DEEPLY.
I WOULD NOT HAVE IT OTHERWISE.’ narrator:
AT HOME IN ILLINOIS,
CLARA REPLIES: ‘I DO SO HOPE THE WAR WILL BE
OVER THIS YEAR, BUT OH HOW I TREMBLE LEST
YOU MAY FALL . . . GOD GRANT THAT WE MAY ALL
BE SPARED TO . . . SPEND A HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER.’ narrator:
GILMER NEVER READS
CLARA’S WORDS. ON JUNE 19, 1864
WHILE PATROLLING THE PICKET LINE IN FRONT OF KENNESAW MOUNTAIN,
HE IS SHOT AND KILLED. ON JUNE 27TH, THE CONFEDERATE
ARMY ON KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HAS BLOCKED SHERMAN
FOR NINE DAYS. FRUSTRATED, SHERMAN ORDERS
A FRONTAL ASSUALT. Dr. Stephen Davis:
SHERMAN MAY BE TIRED
OF FLANKING. AS HE SAYS IN HIS MEMOIRS,
HE WANTED TO SHOW THE REBELS AS MUCH AS HE WANTED
TO SHOW HIS OWN MEN THAT HE WAS NOT ADVERSE TO
LAUNCHING A FRONTAL ASSAULT. narrator:
THE MAIN ATTACK TAKES PLACE
ON A HILLTOP WHERE THE CONFEDERATE LINE MADE
A SHARP TURN, A PLACE FOREVER AFTER KNOWN AS. THE DEAD ANGLE. HERE UNION SOLDIERS IN COLUMNS
20 MEN DEEP CHARGE UP AN OPEN HILLSIDE TOWARD WELL ENTRENCHED
CONFEDERATE TROOPS. Dr. Todd Groce:
THE ONLY TIME THAT HE DOES THAT, AND HE LIVES TO REGRET IT
IN THE SAME WAY THAT GRANT CAME TO REGRET WHAT
HAPPENED AT COLD HARBOR BY MAKING A FRONTAL ASSAULT. SHERMAN MAKES A FRONTAL ASSAULT
AT KENNESAW MOUNTAIN AND IS SEVERELY REPULSED
WITH HEAVY CASUALTIES ‘I’VE HEARD MEN SAY THAT
IF THEY EVER KILLED A YANKEE DURING THE WAR THEY WERE NOT
AWARE OF IT. I AM SATISFIED THAT
ON THIS MEMORABLE DAY, EVERY MAN IN OUR REGIMENT
KILLED FROM . . . TWENTY TO A HUNDRED EACH.
ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY WAS TO LOAD AND SHOOT.’
. . .Sam Watkins narrator:
SHOOTING AS FAST AS HE CAN, CONFEDERATE SAM WATKINS FINDS
HIS RIFLE TOO HOT TO TOUCH. AS HEAPS OF UNION BODIES PILE IN
FRONT OF HIS TRENCH SOLDIERS VOMIT FROM THE HEAT – SOON, THE FIGHTING
IS HAND TO HAND. BUT THE CONFEDERATES HOLD. ‘THE SUN BEAMING DOWN
ON OUR UNCOVERED HEADS, THE THERMOMETER BEING ONE HUNDRED AND TEN
DEGREES IN THE SHADE AND A SOLID LINE OF BLAZING FIRE RIGHT FROM THE MUZZLES OF THE
YANKEE GUNS . . . POURED RIGHT
INTO OUR VERY FACES, SINGEING OUR HAIR AND
CLOTHES, THE HOT BLOOD OF OUR DEAD
AND WOUNDED SPURTING ON US, . . .AND THE AWFUL CONCUSSION CAUSING THE BLOOD TO GUSH OUT OF
OUR NOSES AND EARS, AND ABOVE ALL,
THE ROAR OF BATTLE, MADE IT A PERFECT PANDEMONIUM.
. . .’Sam Watkins narrator:
WITHIN THREE HOURS, 3000 UNION SOLDIERS
ARE KILLED OR WOUNDED, SHERMAN HALTS THE ATTACK AND LOOKS FOR ANOTHER
WAY AROUND THE CONFEDERATE LINE. HE WRITES HIS WIFE… ‘I BEGIN TO REGARD THE DEATH
AND MANGLING OF A COUPLE OF THOUSAND MEN
AS A SMALL AFFAIR.’ – William T. Sherman. Dr. Brian Willis:
THE FEDERALS DO LOSE
SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS, BUT NOT SO MUCH THAT IT
LIMITS THEIR OPTIONS AND ULTIMATELY, THEY ARE
ABLE TO FLANK THE CONFEDERATES OUT OF THAT – EVEN THAT
FORMIDABLE POSITION. narrator:
ON JULY SECOND, SHERMAN FINALLY MANAGES TO
OUTFLANK THE CONFEDERATE LINE …AND JOHNSTON – ONCE AGAIN
– IS FORCED TO WITHDRAW. THREE DAYS LATER, HE ORDERS
ATLANTA’S MUNITIONS FACTORIES AND HOSPITALS EVACUATED. AN ATLANTA NEWSPAPER
– THE DAILY INTELLIGENCER – COMMENTED:
‘SPECULATION WAS RIFE YESTERDAY TO ESTABLISH THE REASON
FOR OUR RETREAT. TODAY IT IS MORE EAGERLY
AGITATED – WHAT WILL WE DO NEXT? OUR STREET GENERALS HAVE IT THAT WE WILL BE FLANKED
TO THE GULF!’ narrator:
BY JULY 9TH, SHERMAN’S ARMY IS ACROSS
THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER – THE LAST NATURAL BARRIER
PROTECTING ATLANTA. JOHNSTON RETREATS TO
A DEFENSIVE LINE JUST NORTH OF THE CITY. Dr Wendy Venet:
AND IT WAS AT THIS POINT THAT ATLANTA TRULY BEGAN
TO BECOME UNGLUED. THERE WAS A MAD DASH
FOR THE PASSENGER DEPOT. IT WAS COMPLETE PANDEMONIUM AS PEOPLE BEGAN TO LEAVE
THE CITY IN GREAT HASTE. narrator:
ATLANTA’S POPULATION HAS
DWINDLED RAPIDLY – FROM 20 THOUSAND A YEAR BEFORE
TO ABOUT 4 THOUSAND NOW. Dr. Wendy Venet:
ATLANTA’S POPULATION CONSISTED MOSTLY OF WHITE WOMEN
AND CHILDREN AND SLAVES, SINCE MOST MEN HAD EITHER
JOINED THE CONFEDERATE ARMY, BEEN CONSCRIPTED INTO
THE CONFEDERATE ARMY OR LEFT THE CITY HOPING
TO AVOID CONSCRIPTION. narrator:
JUST NORTH OF ATLANTA,
NELLIE JETT FEARS FOR HER FARM, HER FOUR CHILDREN AND
TWO ELDERLY IN-LAWS. SHE WRITES TO HER HUSBAND
SERVING IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY IN VIRGINIA.. ‘I WISH YOU WAS AT HOME. . . I KNOW IF THE MAIN ARMY FALLS
BACK HERE WE WILL PERISH. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
I AIN’T GOT THE MONEY TO TAKE US OFF SO WE WILL
HAVE TO STAND THE TEST. I AIN’T GOING TO RUN.’ narrator:
MANY OF ATLANTA’S WOMEN SEE
THE REALITIES OF WAR UP CLOSE. . .THEY HAVE SERVED AS NURSES,
WAR WORKERS, AND VOLUNTEERS. AND ONE GROUP OF WOMEN
IS ESPECIALLY HARD HIT. Dr. Gordon Jones:
SO SHERMAN
GETS TO THE ROSWELL MILLS WHERE THEY’RE MAKING
CLOTH FOR CONFEDERATE UNIFORMS AND A LOT OF THE WORKERS THERE
ARE WOMEN. AND SHERMAN,
AS FAR AS HE’S CONCERNED, THESE WOMEN
ARE CONFEDERATE SYMPATHIZERS. SO HE HAS THE MILLS BURNED. HE HAS THE WOMEN
CHARGED WITH TREASON, LOADS THEM UP ON RAILROAD CARS, THEY ARE TAKEN UP TO INDIANA AND DUMPED OFF
TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES. AND WE DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT
HAPPENED TO THEM AFTER THAT. narrator:
WITH THE CONFEDERATE ARMY
BACKED UP TO WITHIN FIVE MILES OF ATLANTA, PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS.
IS AFRAID THAT JOHNSTON WILL GIVE UP THE CITY
WITHOUT A FIGHT. DAVIS BELIEVES THE CONFEDERACY
MUST HOLD ATLANTA AT ALL COSTS. HE HAS TO MAKE AN
AGONIZING DECISION. . .ON JULY 17, DAVIS
RELIEVES JOHNSTON OF COMMAND. IN HIS PLACED
DAVIS APPOINTS 32-YEAR-OLD GENERAL JOHN BELL HOOD. Dr. Todd Groce:
THE OTHER PART OF IT IS THAT
GENERAL HOOD, WHO IS A CORE COMMANDER
UNDER GENERAL JOHNSTON, IS SURREPTITIOUSLY WRITING
TO RICHMOND GOING AROUND HIS COMMANDER AND SENDING REPORTS
SAYING HE’S NOT GOING TO FIGHT. IF I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY,
I COULD FIGHT. I WILL FIGHT.
YOU KNOW MY RECORD IN VIRGINIA. YOU KNOW THAT I AM AGGRESSIVE. narrator:
HOOD IS ONE OF THE RISING STARS
IN THE CONFEDERACY. HIS PERSONAL COURAGE IS
LEGENDARY. AT GETTYSBURG, SHRAPNEL COSTED
HIM THE USE OF HIS LEFT ARM. AT CHICKAMAUGA, A BULLET
TOOK HIS RIGHT LEG. Dr. Stephen Davis:
PRESIDENT DAVIS,
AFTER THE FALL OF THE CITY, TOLD A FRIEND AFTER JOHNSTON HAD
CROSSED THE CHATTAHOOCHEE I WAS CONVINCED
ATLANTA WOULD FALL, BUT I WAS DETERMINE
THAT IT WOULD NOT FALL – WITHOUT OUR STRIKING
MANLY BLOWS. SO, HE PUT IN GENERAL HOOD TO
STRIKE MANLY BLOWS. ‘FIRE’
[cannon fires] narrator:
AND STRIKE HE WILL. HOOD KNOWS THAT SHERMAN
CAN’T ATTACK ATLANTA’S MASSIVE FORTIFICATIONS HEAD-ON INSTEAD SHERMAN’S GOAL IS
TO CUT THE FOUR RAILROADS THAT KEEP THE CITY SUPPLIED. HOOD HAS TO KEEP AT LEAST ONE
RAILROAD OPEN IF HE IS TO HAVE ANY CHANCE
OF SAVING ATLANTA. [shots fired]
[p-o-p, p-o-p] LESS THAN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS
AFTER HIS APPOINTMENT, HOOD LAUNCHES HIS FIRST
ATTACK. ON JULY TWENTIETH,
HE STRIKES NORTH OF ATLANTA, NEAR PEACHTREE CREEK. THERE HE CATCHES SHERMAN
BY SURPRISE. BUT SHERMAN’S VETERANS RALLY
AND PUSH BACK THE CONFEDERATES. UNDETERRED, HOOD ATTACKS AGAIN
TWO DAYS LATER, JUST EAST OF THE CITY IN
WHAT’S NOW KNOWN AS THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA, FIFTY-EIGHT THOUSAND MEN FIGHT
FOR CONTROL OF THE RAILROAD. LEADING TO AUGUSTA BUT ONCE AGAIN, SHERMAN’S
VETERANS HOLD THEIR GROUND. Dr. Gordon Jones:
NOW, ON THE ONE HAND HOOD CAN’T AFFORD
TO BLEED HIS MEN IN AN ATTACK BUT ON THE OTHER HAND
HE CAN’T AFFORD TO NOT ATTACK. BECAUSE THE SITUATION IS
DESPERATE. HE’S GOT TO GAMBLE.
HE’S GOTTA GO ALL OUT. narrator:
DURING THE BATTLE, A UNION GENERAL RIDING
CLOSE TO THE FRONT IS SURPRISED BY CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS EMERGING
FROM THE WOODS. THE SOLDIERS FIRE AND A BULLET
RIPS THROUGH THE LUNGS OF GENERAL JAMES MCPHERSON,
KILLING HIM INSTANTLY. JUST 35 YEARS OLD,
HIS DEATH IS MOURNED BY THE COMMANDING GENERALS
ON BOTH SIDES. SHERMAN THOUGHT OF HIM AS A
FRIEND AND WEPT OPENLY UPON
HEARING THE NEWS. AND JOHN BELL HOOD WAS
MCPHERSON’S ROOMMATE AT WEST POINT. Dr. Gordon Jones:
WHEN HOOD HEARS THE NEWS
THAT MCPHERSON HAS BEEN KILLED, HE WRITES, ‘I WILL RECORD THE DEATH OF MY
CLASSMATE AND BOYHOOD FRIEND, GENERAL JAMES B. MCPHERSON, THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF WHICH
CAUSED ME SINCERE SORROW.’ [drums beating] narrator:
SHERMAN RESUMES
HIS ADVANCE ON ATLANTA. THIS TIME FROM THE WEST, TRYING TO CUT THE MACON RAILROAD – THE CITY’S ONLY
REMAINING SUPPLY ROUTE. ON JULY TWENTY-EIGHTH,
ONE OF HOOD’S SUBORDINATES LAUNCHES A FRONTAL ATTACK
NEAR EZRA CHURCH. IT IS A DISASTER. THE CONFEDERATES LOSE THREE
THOUSAND MEN TO THE UNION’S SEVEN HUNDRED. BUT HOOD HAS SUCCEEDED IN KEEPING THE RAILROAD
TO ATLANTA OPEN. SHERMAN KNOWS THAT THE 12 MILE
RING OF FORTIFICATIONS SURROUNDING ATLANTA’S IS
TOO STRONG TO PENETRATE FRUSTRATED,
HE TRIES ANOTHER TACTIC. . . UNLEASHING A BARRAGE OF FIRE
THAT NO OTHER AMERICAN CITY HAS EVER ENDURED. THE BOMBARDMENT
WILL LAST FOR FIVE WEEKS. [cannon fire]
boom Dr. Stephen Davis:
SHERMAN WANTED TO DO
A NUMBER ON ATLANTA, WE WANTED TO DESTROY ATLANTA
AND MAKE IT A DESOLATION. HE WOULD TELL
HIS ARTILLERY COMMANDERS FIRE 50 ROUNDS ALL GUNS THAT CAN
REACH DOWNTOWN. FIRE ALL THE GUNS THAT CAN
STRIKE THE BUILDINGS OF ATLANTA. narrator:
FOR THE ROUGHLY 3 THOUSAND
CIVILIANS REMAINING IN ATLANTA, IT IS HORRIFYING. ONE OF THE FIRST CASUALTIES
IS A FREED AFRICAN AMERICAN WHO RUNS A BARBERSHOP
IN THE ATLANTA HOTEL – SOLOMON LUCKIE. Dr. Stephen Davis:
A SHELL STRIKES THE IRON
LAMPPOST. PART OF IT HITS HIM IN THE LEG.
HE DIES BUT BY NIGHTFALL OF LOSS OF BLOOD, SHOCK
OR HEMORRHAGE, DON’T KNOW. TODAY, THE IRON
LAMPPOST STANDS WHERE IT WAS NOW IN UNDERGROUND AT WHAT WAS
THEN ALABAMA AND WHITEHALL. narrator
SHERMAN ORDERS
HIS MEN TO ‘FIRE FROM. . . EVERY GUN YOU HAVE. . . THAT
WILL REACH ANY OF ITS HOUSES. SAM RICHARDS WRITES: ‘A GENTLEMAN AND HIS LITTLE
GIRL, TEN YEARS OF AGE WERE BOTH KILLED BY THE SAME
SHELL LAST WEEK.’ . . . Sam Richards narrator:
IT IS A ONE OF THE MOST TRAGIC
STORIES OF THE ENTIRE BOMBARDMENT. . . THE STORY OF JOSEPH WARNER AND
HIS 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER LIZZY Dr. Stephen Davis:
THEY HAVE THEIR HOUSE
IN NORTHWEST ATLANTA, AND THEY’RE SLEEPING
ON THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 3, WHEN A SHELL COMES THROUGH AND
KILLS HER, DISEMBOWELS HIM. HE’S DEAD WITHIN AN HOUR OR SO. THEY’RE BURIED
IN OAKLAND CEMETERY, IN THE CITY CEMETERY. AND IT JUST SHOWS
THAT YOU KNOW THIS WAR, THIS BOMBARDMENT CAN BE
REDUCED TO VERY PATHETIC
INDIVIDUAL TERMS. narrator:
IN HER DIARY,
ANOTHER TEN YEAR OLD GIRL, CARRIE BERRY,
RECORDS HER FEELINGS: ‘HOW I WISH THE FEDERALS WOULD
QUIT SHELLING US AND WE COULD GET OUT OF THE
CELLAR AND GET SOME FRESH AIR, THE SHELLS GET WORSE
AND WORSE EVERY DAY.’ Dr. Wendy Venet:
WE’RE NOT SURE HOW MANY ATLANTANS WERE STILL IN THE
CITY BY THIS POINT, BUT PROBABLY A COUPLE
OF THOUSAND, AND THEY TOOK REFUGE IN
HOLES THAT THEY DUG IN THEIR CELLARS OR THEIR
GARDENS. . . Dr. Stephen Davis:
A LOT OF ATLANTANS,
THE WEALTHY ONES, ESPECIALLY HAD SPACIOUS
BACKYARDS HAD – HAD THEIR SLAVES DIG WHAT WE
WOULD CALL BOMB-PROOF SHELTERS, AND SOME OF THESE BOMB
PROOFS WERE LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE A COUPLE
OF DOZEN PEOPLE. narrator:
BUT IN AUGUST OF 1864, THE
ENSLAVED POPULATION IS SHRINKING Dr. Wendy Venet:
A GROWING NUMBER OF SLAVES
WERE RUNNING AWAY IN GROUPS AND SOME OF THEM WERE
RUNNING TO UNION LINES. narrator:
CARRIE BERRY WRITES ABOUT THE
FAMILY’S ENSLAVED HOUSE SERVANT, MARY. . . ‘MARY WENT OFF THIS EVENING AND I DON’T EXPECT THAT SHE
WILL COME BACK ANYMORE.’ Dr. Robert Pratt:
IT WAS NO SECRET
TO THE SLAVES, WHEN THERE HAS BEEN
CONFEDERATE SETBACKS AND WHENTHE UNION ARMY
WAS ADVANCING. SO, THEY WERE I THINK PRETTY
WELL POISED BY THIS TIME TO SEIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY
TO TAKE THEIR OWN FREEDOM INTO THEIR HANDS. [bombs going off]
boom, boom, boom narrator:
BY LATE AUGUST, AN ESTIMATED 30 THOUSAND
SHELLS HAVE PUMMELED ATLANTA. UNDER SUCH DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES, NO ONE HAS TIME TO KEEP
ACCURATE RECORDS. IT’S ESTIMATED THAT AT LEAST
50 CIVILLIANS WERE KILLED OR WOUNDED. BUT SHERMAN
IS NO CLOSER TO VICTORY. HIS BOMBARDMENT HAS DONE
NOTHING TO WEAKEN HOOD’S
CONFEDERATE ARMY. [crowd cheering] MEANWHILE, IN CHICAGO,
THE DEMOCRATS NOMINATE FORMER GENERAL GEORGE MCCLELLAN
ON A PLATFORM CALLING FOR A NEGOTIATED PEACE
WITH THE CONFEDERACY. THE STALEMATE AT ATLANTA IS
SEEN AS PROOF THE WAR CANNOT BE WON. . . LINCOLN’S RE-ELECTION – AND THE PROSPECTS FOR UNION –
AND EMANCIPATION – ARE VERY MUCH IN DOUBT. LINCOLN REMARKS, ‘ I’M GOING
TO BE BEATEN. . . AND UNLESS SOME CHANGE TAKES
PLACE, BADLY BEATEN.’ narrator: BUT BACK IN ATLANTA
ON AUGUST 26TH, WAR-WEARY RESIDENTS AWAKE
TO A STRANGE SOUND – SILENCE. THE SHELLING HAS STOPPED. Dr. Gordon Davis:
THE CONFEDERATE DEFENDERS
ASSUME, MAYBE, SHERMAN HAS GIVEN UP
AND HE’S RETREATING NORTH ‘CAUSE HE DOESN’T SEEM
TO BE ANYWHERE AROUND. narrator:
IT WAS WISHFUL THINKING
ON THE CONFEDERATES PART. INSTEAD, SHERMAN, FRUSTRATED
WITH THE STALEMATE IN ATLANTA, HAS TAKEN MOST OF HIS ARMY
ON A WIDE FLANKING MARCH SWEEPING TO THE WEST
AND SOUTH OF THE CITY CONFEDERATE COUNTER ATTACKS
TO HOLD THE RAILROAD FAILED. Dr. Gordon Jones:
HE HITS THE RAILROAD ABOVE
JONESBORO. CUTS THE LAST RAILROAD SUPPLY
INTO ATLANTA AND, ESSENTIALLY AT THAT POINT,
THE JIG IS UP FOR HOOD AND BY EXTENSION
THE JIG US UP FOR ATLANTA AND THAT’S EFFECTIVELY
GOING TO BE UNION VICTORY IN THE CIVIL WAR. [horn playing ‘The Battle Hymn
of the Republic’] narrator:
WITH ALL OF ATLANTA’S SUPPLY LINES
NOW DESTROYED, GENERAL HOOD KNOWS IT IS
OVER. IF HIS ARMY STAYS IN THE CITY,
IT WILL BE STARVED TO DEATH. HE ORDERS AN IMMEDIATE
EVACUATION. ON THE NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 1ST,
A HUGE EXPLOSION ROCKS ATLANTA. [explosion]
boom Dr. Gordon Jones:
THE CONFEDERATES HAVE AN
AMMUNITION TRAIN THAT’S STRANDED IN ATLANTA, AND RATHER THAN LET IT FALL INTO
THE HANDS OF THE YANKEES, THEY HAVE TO BLOW IT UP.
ITS SUCH A HUGE EXPLOSION, IT SHATTERS WINDOWS AND RATTLE
WINDOWS ALL OVER ATLANTA. ITS A HUGE EXPLOSION, AND 15
MILES AWAY DOWN IN JONESBORO, SHERMAN HEARS THIS
AND HE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS. HE KNOWS THAT HOOD
IS EVACUATING ATLANTA. narrator:
ON THAT SEPTEMBER EVENING AS HOOD’S MEN MARCH
OUT OF ATLANTA. MANY OF THEM SING THE SAD
BALLAD, LORENA, AS THEY DEPART. ♪ It matters little now, Lorena, The past is in the
eternal past ♪♪ narrator:
ON SEPTEMBER 2,
WITH CONFEDERATE TROOPS GONE, MAYOR JAMES CALHOUN
AND A GROUP OF LEADING CITIZENS RIDE OUT THE MARIETTA ROAD
TO MEET SHERMAN’S ADVANCE GUARD. THERE, CALHOUN FORMALLY
SURRENDERS THE CITY. THAT NIGHT, SHERMAN
TELEGRAPHS LINCOLN. . . ‘AND SO ATLANTA IS OURS
AND FAIRLY WON.’ THE NEWS ELECTRIFIES THE NORTH. LINCOLN’S POLITICAL FORTUNES
SOAR WITH RENEWED HOPE FOR HIS RE-ELECTION. IT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST
TURNING POINTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. TEN YEAR OLD CARRIE BERRY WRITES
OF THE SOLDIERS IN BLUE UNIFORMS . . . ‘THEY ARE ORDERLY AND
BEHAVE THEMSELVES, I THNK I SHALL LIKE
THE YANKEES VERY WELL.’ BUT WITHIN A WEEK, SHERMAN
ISSUES SPECIAL FIELD ORDER 67, EXPELLING ALL REMAINING
CIVILIANS FROM THE CITY. MAYOR CALHOUN PLEADS WITH
SHERMAN TO REVERSE THE ORDER, SAYING IT WOULD CAUSE
OVERWHELMING HARDSHIP. SHERMAN RESPONDS…. ‘WAR IS CRUELTY AND YOU CANNOT
REFINE IT.’ Dr. Gordon Jones:
THE REASON SHERMAN WANTED ALL
CIVILIANS OUT OF TOWN IS BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE BABYSIT A BUNCH OF SOUTHERN
SYMPATHIZERS AND POSSIBLE SOUTHERN
SABATOEURS. AND WORSE STILL, HE DIDN’T WANT
TO HAVE TO FEED EM WITH RATIONS HE NEEDED FOR HIS ARMY. narrator:
AMONG THOSE FORCED TO LEAVE ARE
THE SO-CALLED SECRET YANKEES, . . . NORTHERN SYMPATHIZERS WHO
KEPT THEIR SENTIMENTS TO THEMSELVES DURING THE WAR. THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MEN
LIKE ALFRED AUSTELL, A BANKER . . . WILLIAM MARKHAM WHO
RAN THE IRON ROLLING MILL. …AND EDWARD RAWSON, A VERMONT
NATIVE WHOSE HUGE MANSION CALLED THE TERRACES WAS TAKEN
OVER BY UNION GENERAL
JOHN WHITE GEARY. Dr. Stephen Davis:
ALL THOSE SECRET YANKEES WHO HAD HOPED TO BE ABLE
TO STAY IN THE CITY AND PROTECT THEIR PROPERTY,
NO HE KICKS THEM OUT TOO. THEY’RE MORTIFIED,
BUT THEY HAVE TO GO. narrator:
A FEW ATLANTANS
ARE ALLOWED TO STAY. ‘WE COMMENCED
PACKING UP TO MOVE. . . PAPA HEARD UP TOWN THERE WAS
A CHANCE FOR US TO STAY IF HE COULD GET INTO BUSINESS’ narrator:
CARRIE BERRY’S FAMILY IS ONE OF
THE FEW ALLOWED TO REMAIN AFTER HER FATHER MADISON
GOT A JOB AS A CLERK FOR THE UNION ARMY. FOR THE NEARLY 3000 WHITE
ATLANTANS FORCED TO LEAVE, IT IS AN AWFUL TIME. ROUGHLY HALF ARE SHIPPED
SOUTH. OTHERS ARE SENT NORTH. Dr. Stephen Davis:
THEY CAN TAKE SOME OF THEIR
BELONGINGS AND NOT ALL OF THEM AND OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO LEAVE
THEIR RESIDENCES BEHIND. . . AND MAYBE 1600 ATLANTANS
WILL BE DUMPED INTO REBEL LINES AND THE CONFEDERATES
HAVE TO PUT HIM ON THE TRAIN AND CARRYING THEM INTO MACON. .. narrator:
BUT FOR ATLANTA’S
AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATION, IT IS A TIME OF CELEBRATION. Dr. Wendy Venet:
THEY WERE CELEBRATING FREEDOM BECAUSE OF THE ARRIVAL
OF THE YANKEES IN ATLANTA MEANT THE END OF
SLAVERY IN ATLANTA. AND SO FOR SEVERAL DAYS, AFRICAN AMERICANS FILLED
THE STREETS TO CELEBRATE THIS LONG AWAITED, LONG
RUMORED ARRIVAL OF THE YANKEES. [slaves singing] ‘ONE UNPLEASANT FEATURE
OF PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES IS THE IMPUDENT AIR
NEGROES PUT ON, AND THEIR INDIFFERENCE TO THE
NEEDS OF THEIR FORMER MASTERS’
. . . Sam Richards narrator:
ONE OF ATLANTA’S FINEST HOUSES – THE NEAL RESIDENCE – NOW BECOMES SHERMAN’S
STATELY HEADQUARTERS. THIS PHOTOGRAPH –
AND AROUND 200 OTHERS – ARE TAKEN BY GEORGE BARNARD, HIRED BY THE UNION ARMY TO MAKE
A VISUAL RECORD OF ATLANTA AND ITS FORTIFICATIONS. BARNARD’S PHOTOGRAPHS ARE THE ONLY ONES MADE
OF WARTIME ATLANTA. Dr. Wendy Venet:
THE HOT SUMMER CONTINUED
INTO THE FALL AND SO IT MUST HAVE
BEEN SORT OF SURREAL BECAUSE THE CITY WAS JUST
COVERED IN DEAD ANIMALS, SHELL CASINGS. IT MUST HAVE BEEN A KIND
OF SPOOKY PLACE WITH MOST OF THE CIVILIAN POPULATION
HAVING BEEN EXPELLED IN SEPTEMBER. narrator:
MEANWHILE,
GENERAL JOHN BELL HOOD MOVES INTO NORTH GEORGIA,
TRYING TO TRAP SHERMAN IN ATLANTA BY CUTTING HIS
ONLY SUPPLY LINE TO THE NORTH – THE WESTERN AND ATLANTIC
RAILROAD. SHERMAN SENDS SOME OF HIS ARMY
NORTH TO CHASE HOOD AWAY FROM THE RAILROAD. BUT THEY CAN’T REACH
DALTON IN TIME. HERE, 40 THOUSAND
CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS SURROUND A UNION GARRISON
OF ONLY 850 MEN GUARDING THE RAILROAD. MOST ARE ESCAPED SLAVES, LIKE HUBBARD PRYOR OF
POLK COUNTY, GEORGIA. FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, AFRICAN-AMERICANS HAVE
FOUGHT IN THE SEGREGATED U.S. COLORED TROOPS. THIS REGIMENT IS GUARDING
THE RAILROAD BEHIND THE LINES. SHERMAN REFUSES TO HAVE BLACK
REGIMENTS ON THE FRONT LINES. Dr. Richard Pratt:
SHERMAN WAS QUOTED ONCE AS
SAYING THAT HE BELIEVED THAT SLAVERY
WAS GOOD FOR BLACK PEOPLE, SO WE KNOW THAT HE WAS
– HE WAS NO LIBERAL. narrator:
HUBBARD PRYOR AND HIS FELLOW
SOLDIERS IN THE FORTY FOURTH U.S.
COLORED TROOPS FIND THEMSELVES ON THE FRONT
LINES ANYWAY. DESPITE THE IMPOSSIBLE ODDS,
THEY WANT TO FIGHT. THEIR WHITE OFFICERS, HOWEVER, BELIEVE THEIR MEN WILL BE
MASSACRED AND CHOOSE TO SURRENDER. Dr. Gordon Jones:
SOME OF THE MEN OF THE 44TH WERE
ACTUALLY SENT BACK TO THEIR FORMER OWNERS AND
RE-ENSLAVED AND THOSE TURNED OUT TO BE
THE LUCKY ONES. MOST OF EM WERE PUT TO WORK
BUILDING CONFEDERATE FORTIFICATIONS AND THEY WERE ALMOST
WORKED TO DEATH AND ITS ONE OF THE SADDEST
STORIES OF THE WAR. HERE THESE GUYS HAD ENLISTED
WITH SUCH HIGH HOPES AND THEY SUFFERED SO MUCH
AFTERWARD. narrator:
IN ATLANTA, THE OCCUPATION –
AND THE DESTRUCTION – CONTINUES SHERMAN’S ENGINEERS DISMANTLE
HUNDREDS OF NOW-VACANT HOUSES, USING THEIR TIMBERS TO BUILD
A NEW LINE OF FORTIFICATIONS FOR HIS ARMY . . . . . . AN ARMY WHICH IN EARLY
NOVEMBER CASTS BALLOTS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. SHERMAN’S SOLDIERS
VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR LINCOLN WHO WINS IN A NEAR LANDSLIDE. DESPITE THE RENEWED NORTHERN
RESOLVE TO WIN THE WAR, CONFEDERATE RESISTANCE CONTINUES ABANDONING HIS EFFORT TO TRAP
SHERMAN IN ATLANTA, HOOD MOVES HIS ARMY WEST INTO
ALABAMA, PREPARING TO INVADE MIDDLE
TENNESSEE. BUT SHERMAN REALIZES
HE CAN’T STAY IN ATLANTA AT THE END OF LONG AND
VULNERABLE RAILROAD SUPPLY LINE THAT THE CONFEDERATES
COULD EVENTUALLY DESTROY. INSTEAD HE HAS TO ABANDON HIS
SUPPLY LINE AND TAKE THE OFFENSIVE. NOW SHERMAN COMES UP
WITH A NEW PLAN TO CRUSH CONFEDERATE
RESISTANCE ONCE AND FOR ALL. Dr. Gordon Jones:
SO WHAT DOES SHERMAN DO? HE DIVIDES HIS ARMY.
HE SENDS PART OF HIS ARMY UP INTO NORTH GEORGIA AND
TENNESSEE TO DEAL WITH HOOD AND HE SENDS THE REST
OF THE ARMY TO SAVANNAH WHERE IT CAN BE RESUPPLIED
BY SEA AND THEN MARCH NORTH TO VIRGINIA
TO FINISH OFF LEE. ‘BY THIS, I PROPOSE TO
DEMONSTRATE THE VULNERABILITY OF THE SOUTH AND MAKE ITS
INHABITANTS FEEL THAT WAR AND INDIVIDUAL RUIN ARE
SYNONYMOUS . . . ‘I WILL PUSH INTO THE HEART OF
GEORGIA . . . ‘DESTROYING ALL.. . .’ I CAN MAKE THE MARCH —
AND MAKE GEORGIA HOWL.’ – William T. Sherman. Dr. Todd Groce:
HE DETERMINES
HE HAS TO LEAVE BEHIND HIM A WASTELAND IN THAT HE HAS TO
DESTROY ANYTHING THAT CAN USED BY THE CONFEDERATE ARMY
TO CONTINUE TO WAGE WAR, TO RESIST THE UNITED STATES. SO, THAT’S WHY IN ATLANTA YOU’RE
GOING TO SEE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE, AGAIN, THE MILLS,
THE FACTORIES, THE RAILROAD, ANYTHING THAT CAN BE USED. narrator:
ON NOVEMBER ELEVENTH,
SHERMAN’S ENGINEERS BEGIN CARRYING OUT A CAREFUL
BLOCK-BY-BLOCK DEMOLITION PLAN. THEY KNOCK DOWN PUBLIC
BUILDINGS WITH BATTERING RAMS, INCLUDING THE GAS
WORKS AND FACTORIES FEARING THAT FIRE MIGHT GET
OUT OF CONTROL, SHERMAN INSTRUCTS HIS MEN
NOT TO BURN ANY BUILDINGS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. HE ALSO PLACES THE
CHURCHES AND HOUSES OF DOWNTOWN ATLANTA
UNDER GUARD TO PREVENT ARSON. AT THE SAME TIME, SICK OR
INJURED SOLDIERS ARE LOADED ONTO THE LAST TRAINS
HEADED NORTH. . . HUNDREDS OF AFRICAN
AMERICANS HITCH A RIDE. ONCE THE LAST TRAINS HAVE LEFT, SHERMAN’S MEN TEAR UP
40 MILES OF THE WESTERN AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD
ABOVE ATLANTA, CUTTING THEIR LAST
LINK TO THE NORTH. ON THE AFTERNOON OF
NOVEMBER FIFTEENTH, AS SHERMAN’S MEN FILE THROUGH
THE OUTSKIRTS OF ATLANTA, THEY DECIDE TO WREAK
THEIR OWN VENGEANCE. HERE, NONE OF THE HOUSES
ARE UNDER GUARD. A UNION OFFICER FROM OHIO WRITES
IN HIS DIARY: ‘WE ARRIVED IN THE SUBURBS OF
ATLANTA AT 2PM. NO SOONER DID WE ARRIVE THAN THE
BOYS COMMENCED BURNING EVERY HOUSE IN THAT PART OF
TOWN. THE WIND WAS BLOWING HARD . . . AND SOON THAT PART
OF THE CITY WAS GONE.’ – CAPTAIN JAMES LADD. Dr. Stephen Davis:
GENERAL SLOCUM WHO COMMANDED THE
20TH CORPS OCCUPYING THE CITY OFFERED A $500 REWARD FOR ANY
SOLDIER WHO WOULD TURN IN A COMRADE AS AN UNINTENDED
ARSONIST. NO ONE TURNED THEIR COMRADES IN. narrator:
DURING THE NIGHT, ENGINEERS SET FIRE TO THE RUBBLE
OF THE TRAIN DEPOT AND TO THE COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
IN THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DISTRICT. TRUE TO SHERMAN’S ORDERS, THEY
SPARE CHURCHES AND HOMES IN THE AREA. [Battle Hymn of The Republic
playing] MEANWHILE, THE BAND OF
THE 33RD MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT GIVES ITS LAST CONCERT
IN ATLANTA. WHEN THE ENGINEERS ARRIVE
TO BURN THE CONCERT HALL WHERE THEY ARE PERFORMING,
THE BAND MOVES DOWN THE STREET TO SERENADE GENERAL SHERMAN
AT HIS HEADQUARTERS. . . .A UNION MAJOR WRITES…. ‘TONIGHT I HEARD THE REALLY FINE
BAND OF THE 33RD MASSACHUSETTS PLAYING ‘JOHN BROWN’S
SOUL GOES MARCHING ON’ BY THE LIGHT
OF THE BURNING BUILDINGS. I HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT
NOBLE ANTHEM WHEN IT WAS SO GRAND, SO
SOLEMN, SO INSPIRING.’ – Major Ward Nichols ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 16TH.
SHERMAN’S ARMY MARCHES OUT OF ATLANTA AS CLOUDS OF DENSE
BLACK SMOKE RISE BEHIND THEM. Dr. Brian Willis:
THERE WERE OFFICERS IN ATLANTA
WHO HAD BREAKFAST IN THE HOME THAT THEY HAD OCCUPIED,
AN EMPTY MANSION. AND WHEN THEY WERE FINISHED,
THEY STACKED EVERYTHING IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE FLOOR OF THE MANSION, AND BURNED THE MANSION. THERE WAS NO MILITARY VALUE IN
THAT. THERE WAS NO PURPOSE TO DO THAT, narrator:
IN ALL, ABOUT FORTY PERCENT OF
ATLANTA IS DESTROYED. BUT SHERMAN IS NOT FINISHED. HAVING CUT HIS OWN SUPPLY
LINES, SHERMAN SETS OFF ON A 250-MILE MARCH TO SAVANNAH – STRAIGHT THROUGH
CONFEDERATE TERRITORY. HIS MEN WILL CARRY ONLY
THE BARE ESSENTIALS, GATHERING FOOD AND FORAGE
ALONG THE WAY. Dr. Gordon Jones:
WHAT SHERMAN
WAS CONTEMPLATING DOING HAD REALLY NEVER BEEN DONE
BEFORE. I MEAN SHERMAN WAS CUTTING LOOSE
HIS SUPPLY LINES AND WAS GOING TO LIVE LARGELY –
NOT ENTIRELY – BUT LARGELY OFF THE LAND. Dr. Stephen Davis:
HE CLAIMED IN HIS MEMOIR TO HAVE A CENSES MAP OF THE
STATE SO THAT HE KNEW FOR EVERY COUNTY
IN GEORGIA HOW MANY BUSHELS OF CORN,
HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF CATTLE, HOGS, ETC., WERE IN THE STATE AND SO THAT HE
COULD PLAN HIS ROUTE THROUGH ESSENTIALLY
THE BREAD BASKET OF GEORGIA. narrator:
WHAT SHERMAN’S MEN
CAN’T EAT, THEY DESTROY. SHERMAN CUTS A 50-MILE WIDE
SWATH THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA. THE CONFEDERACY IS POWERLESS
TO STOP HIM. SHERMAN IS MAKING GOOD ON HIS
PROMISE TO MAKE GEORGIA HOWL. ‘WE HAVE DEVOURED THE LAND
AND OUR ANIMALS EAT UP THE WHEAT AND CORNFIELDS CLOSE.
ALL THE PEOPLE RETIRE BEFORE US AND DESOLATION IS BEHIND.
TO REALIZE WHAT WAR IS ONE SHOULD FOLLOW OUR TRACKS.’
William T. Sherman narrator:
SHERMAN’S MARCH IS NOT JUST A
WAR ON SOUTHERN RESOURCES – IT’S ALSO A WAR
ON WHITE SOUTHERN MORALE. Dr. Todd Groce:
SO, IT’S REALLY
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT. IT’S THE TERROR. SHERMAN’S WAGING WAR AGAINST
THE MINDS OF HIS OPPONENTS. HE MAY NOT HAVE EVEN GOTTEN
TO A TOWN, BUT SOMEONE’S AFRAID
HE’S COMING TO MY TOWN AND WHAT HE MIGHT DO. AND THOSE WOMEN BEGAN TO WRITE
LETTERS TO THEIR HUSBANDS IN THE ARMY AND THEY SAID
YOU MUST COME HOME. WE CAN — THIS IS RIDICULOUS. WE CANNOT CONTINUE THIS
STRUGGLE. narrator:
ON NOVEMBER 23RD, SHERMAN’S MEN ENTER
MILLIDGEVILLE, THE CAPITAL OF GEORGIA. IN THE ABANDONED STATE HOUSE THEY HOLD A MOCK
LEGISLATIVE SESSION IN WHICH THEY REPEAL THE
ORDNANCE OF SECESSION. Dr. Brian Willis:
WHEN THE FEDERALS MOVE INTO
MILLEDGEVILLE, THEY HAVE A LOT OF FUN. THEY FIND A WHOLE LOT OF
CONFEDERATE CURRENCY, SO THEY END UP TAKING –
STUFFING MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS SO THAT THEY CAN,
AS THEY SAY SPEND IT WHEN THEY GO DEEPER INTO THE SOUTH, narrator:
WITH THEM,
GO THOUSANDS OF SLAVES. BY THE TIME THEY
ARE NEAR SAVANNAH, THOUSANDS OF REFUGEE SLAVES
ARE FOLLOWING SHERMAN’S ARMY, SEEKING FREEDOM AND OFFERING
INFORMATION ON CONFEDERATE MOVEMENTS. SHERMAN IS AFRAID THEY
WILL CLOG THE ROADS AND SLOW DOWN HIS ARMY. TWENTY MILES OUTSIDE OF
SAVANNAH AT EBENEZER CREEK, ONE OF SHERMAN’S COMMANDERS
ORDERS A TEMPORARY BRIDGE DISMANTLED AFTER THE
ARMY CROSSES…. BUT BEFORE ANY
REFUGEES CAN FOLLOW. SOON, TO THEIR HORROR, SOME
CONFEDERATE CAVALRY – WHO HAVE BEEN SHADOWING
SHERMAN’S MOVEMENTS – COME UPON THEM MANY ARE
CLUBBED OR STABBED. SOME SWIM ACROSS.
OTHERS DROWN. Dr. Richard Pratt:
. . . SIGHTS OF – OF ELDERLY
MEN HOBBLING CROSS AS BEST THEY COULD, WOMEN WITH
BABIES IN ARMS TRYING TO CROSS. IT WAS ONE OF THOSE –
IT WAS A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY. narrator:
AFTER BRUSHING ASIDE
A SMALL FORCE OF CONFEDERATE DEFENDERS,
SHERMAN’S MEN ENTER SAVANNAH. IT IS DECEMBER 21, 1864.
A TRIUMPHANT SHERMAN TELEGRAMS PRESIDENT ABRAHAM 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.’ William T. Sherman narrator:
IN 37 WEEKS,
SHERMAN’S ARMIES HAVE MARCHED MORE THAN 300 MILES ACROSS
GEORGIA. ATLANTA – INDUSTRIAL HUB OF THE
DEEP SOUTH – IS IN RUINS. BRIDGES, COTTON, LIVESTOCK, FACTORIES, TELEGRAPH LINES, AND HUNDREDS OF MILES OF
RAILROADS ARE DESTROYED. IN SAVANNAH, SHERMAN MAKES THE CHARLES GREEN
MANSION HIS HEADQUARTERS…. AND IT IS HERE THAT SHERMAN
CALLS AN UNUSUAL MEETING OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS. . . MOTIVATED PERHAPS BY THE
TRAGEDY AT EBENEZER CREEK. BUT HIS REAL OBJECTIVE
WAS TO SOLVE A MILITARY PROBLEM. Dr. Robert Pratt:
WHAT TO DO WITH THESE
THOUSANDS OF — OF FORMER SLAVES WHO
WERE FOLLOWING HIS — HIS MILITARY SOLDIERS AT CAMP. Dr. Todd Groce:
IT’S PROBABLY THE FIRST TIME
IN AMERICAN HISTORY IN WHICH A WHITE MAN ASKED
A BLACK MAN FOR ADVICE. WHAT DO YOU THINK
THAT WE OUGHT TO DO? narrator:
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS TELL SHERMAN THAT OWNING
THEIR OWN LAND IS THE ONY WAY TO ASSURE THEIR
FREEDOM. BUT SHERMAN IS FAR LESS
CONCERNED ABOUT FREEDOM THAN HE IS ABOUT WINNING THE
WAR. FOUR DAYS AFTER THE MEETING, SHERMAN ISSUES FIELD ORDER 15 – WHAT CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THE
FORTY ACRES AND A MULE PLAN Dr. Gordon Jones:
THE IDEA WAS TO TAKE ABOUT 400
THOUSAND ACRES OF THESE COASTAL RICE AND
COTTON PLANTATIONS, DIVIDE IT UP INTO 40 ACRE
PARCELS, AND THEN DISTRIBUTE THOSE
PARCELS TO THE FORMERLY ENSLAVED PEOPLE. narrator:
IT DIDN’T LAST LONG. BELIEVING
THE LAND REDISTRIBUTION PLAN WAS TOO RADICAL, THE NEW PRESIDENT,
ANDREW JOHNSON, REVOKES FIELD ORDER 15
WITHIN A YEAR . Dr. Robert Pratt:
SO, THE LAND THAT THE FREED MAN
HAD BEEN WORKING THAT THEY HAD EVER EXPECTATION
WAS GOING TO BE THEIRS IN A FEW YEARS IS SUDDENLY
TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM. narrator:
SHERMAN’S MAIN OBJECTIVE WAS
ALWAYS TO RESTORE THE UNION – NOT TO FREE FOUR MILLION
ENSLAVED AMERICANS. IN THE END,
SHERMAN’S MARCH THROUGH GEORGIA ACCOMPLISHED BOTH. Dr. Charmayne Patterson:
I THINK THAT’S WHERE THAT
AMBIVALENCE COMES FROM. THERE’S SOME WHO RECOGNIZE
THAT SHERMAN WAS JUST IN FACT DOING HIS JOB
AND THAT PART OF THAT JOB MEANT THAT THEY WOULD
BENEFIT IN SOME WAY BUT NOT THAT HE WAS NECESSARILY
PERSONALLY INVESTED OR INTERESTED IN WHAT THAT
OUTCOME WOULD BE FOR THEM. narrator:
IT WAS THE MOST DECISIVE 37
WEEKS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, FOREVER CHANGING WHO WE
ARE AS A NATION. . . AND REDEFINING FREEDOM. . . AND THE ONE FIGURE WHO AFFECTED
THAT OUTCOME MORE THAN ANY OTHER IS ALSO IT’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL
. . .WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN. BY THE 1870S, HE IS THE COMMANDING
GENRAL OF THE U.S. ARMY . . .AND ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR
FIGURES IN AMERICA Dr. Gordon Jones:
DURING RECONSTRUCTION,
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WAR, A LOT OF WHITE SOUTHERNERS
ACTUALLY SAW SHERMAN AS A PRETTY GOOD GUY. HE WAS A DEMOCRAT, HE IS CLEARLY
A WHITE SUPREMCIST, AND HE THINKS THAT REPUBLICAN
EFFORTS TO IMPOSE CIVIL RIGHTS ON THE SOUTH WAS
GOING TOO FAR. AND THEY SAY AS FOR WHAT HE
DID DURING THE WAR, WELL, HE JUST DID WHAT HE HAD TO
DO. narrator:
IN 1879 AND AGAIN 1881
THOUSANDS TURNED OUT TO WELCOME THE AGING GENERAL
BACK TO ATLANTA. NEWSPAPERS JOKINGLY THANKED
SHERMAN FOR TEARING DOWN THE OLD CITY
TO MAKE WAY FOR A NEW ONE. AN AGING SAM RICHARDS
WRITES SARCASTICALLY: ‘GENERAL SHERMAN HAS JUST
HONORED OUR CITY BY A VISIT TO SEE HOW NICELY
WE HAVE BUILDED IT UP AFTER HE BURNED IT.’ RICHARDS WAS ONE OF HUNDREDS
OF BUSINESSMEN WHO INVESTED IN REBUILDING THE CITY. TODAY S.P. RICHARDS COMPANY IS ATLANTA’S OLDEST BUSINESS IN
CONTINUAL OPERATION. AFTER THE WAR SHERMAN ALSO
BEFRIENDED HIS OLD FOES — JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON
AND JOHN BELL HOOD. THE EX CONFEDERATE GENERALS ARE
FIGHTING A WAR OF WORDS IN THEIR MEMOIRS, BLAMING EACH OTHER FOR LOSING
ATLANTA – AND THE WAR. BOTH WANTED SHERMAN
TO BACK UP THEIR STORIES. SHERMAN TRIED TO HELP THEM BOTH – BUT THE CONTROVERSY
OVER WHO LOST ATLANTA CONTINUES TO THIS DAY. IN 1891,
AT THE AGE OF SEVENTY ONE, WILLIAM T. SHERMAN DIED AT
HIS HOME IN NEW YORK CITY. EIGHTY-FOUR YEAR-OLD
JOSEPH E JOHNSTON IS ONE OF THE PALLBEARERS.
IT IS A COLD AND RAINY DAY. IN A SHOW OF RESPECT
JOHNSTON REFUSES TO WEAR A HAT. HE DIES OF PNEUMONIA
A MONTH LATER. TOWARDS THE END
OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, THE WHITE SOUTHERN VIEW
OF SHERMAN IS CHANGING. SHERMAN BECOMES
THE MOST HATED MAN IN THE SOUTH — HIS NAME SYNONYMOUS
WITH THE BRUTALITY OF WAR. AND YET HE ALSO BECOMES ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED
OF MILITARY LEADERS. Dr. Todd Groce:
PATTON AGREED WITH SHERMAN.
THIS WHOLE IDEA THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO MAKE WAR EASY, TO MAKE IT SOFT
IS GOING TO LEAD TO DISASTER BECAUSE IT’S JUST GOING
TO DRAG IT OUT AND MAKE IT LONGER AND BLOODIER IN THE
END. THE IDEA IS TO MAKE IT FAST AND,
AS BRUTAL, AS VIOLENT AS POSSIBLE AND
GET IT OVER WITH. AND SHERMAN ENDS UP BEING A HERO FOR SO MANY AMERICAN
GENERALS IN THE 20TH CENTURY. narrator:
STILL, THE SCORCHED EARTH OF
GEORGIA IS A LASTING MEMORY. . . TODAY, THE ATLANTA OF 1864 HAS
DISAPPEARED. BUT THANKS TO THE PHOTOGRAPHS
OF GEORGE BARNARD, WE KNOW WHAT ONCE WAS. HIS PANORAMIC VIEW TAKEN FROM
THE TOP OF THE FEMALE INSTITUTE LATER DESTROYED BY SHERMAN’S
ENGINEERS HERE IS THE VIEW TODAY FROM THE
SAME SPOT. . . A BALCONY OF THE SHERATON HOTEL
AT COURTLAND AND ELLIS STREETS. DECATUR STREET THEN. . . AND TODAY WHERE GEORGIA
STATE STUDENTS BUSTLE ABOUT. AND THIS VIEW OF ASLAVE AUCTION
HOUSE ON PEACHTREE STEET.. TODAY HOME TO THE FIVE
POINTS MARTA STATION. THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA IN EAST
ATLANTA AT BALD HILL. . . . . .A HILL THAT WAS CUT THROUGH
TO MAKE ROOM FOR INTERSTATE 20 AT MORELAND AVENNUE. SHERMAN’S HEADQUARTERS AT WHAT WAS ONCE ATLANTA’S
FINEST HOME, THE NEAL RESIDENCE. . . TODAY, ATLANTA CITY HALL. JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY
ON FAIRLIE STREET, THE HOME OF CARRIE BERRY
AND FAMILY. CARRIE, THE LITTLE GIRL
WHOSE DIARY TOLD US SO MUCH ABOUT THAT TIME, NEVER FULLY
ESCAPED THE HORRORS OF WAR. HER SON SERVED
IN WORLD WAR ONE AND WAS THE VICTIM OF A
GAS ATTACK AND COMMITTED SUICIDE I AFTER
THE WAR HE IS BURIED IN ATLANTA’S
OAKLAND CEMETERY NEXT TO HIS MOTHER . Dr. Gordon Jones:
WELL IF WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN
WOULD PAY ATLANTA A VISIT TODAY. HE WOULD HAVE COME DOWN I-75. BACK IN 1864, HE CAME DOWN THE
WESTERN AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD.

100 thoughts on “When Georgia Howled: Sherman on the March

  1. James Cockburn. That is not what this video States. Post Eisenhower Presidents would do well to remember Sherman Total destruction of the entire enemy society is what it takes to win a war. It is horrible and if you are not willing to engage in that brutality then do not fight it.

  2. Nathan Bedford Forrest-Patrick Cleburne and John Singleton Mosby! All the Yankees had was more soldiers to blood. Damn! Damn! Yankees!14th Virginia Cavalry Rockbridge Dragoons Captain James Strain My kin! Rebel Yell!.

  3. Sherman’s subsequent march through the Carolinas was a much more impressive military feat. His forces had to cross many more major rivers instead of moving along them, it was a worse time of year (Jan-Apr) for foraging, and they moved through much less fertile territory. They did receive more reinforcements and supplies via rivers and faced generally less capable resistance, but to march through the swamps of SC and NC in winter rains and sleet was a truly remarkable achievement.
    Confederate General Joe Johnston famously said, “When I heard that Sherman’s army was marching through the Salk swamps, making its own corduroy roads at the rate of a dozen miles a day, I made up my mind that there had been no such army in existence since the days of Julius Caesar.”

  4. thx god for the US. a civil war cannot happen today since the country is stable and has an intelligent government, admired by all the rest of the world. Especially from Denmark.

  5. Whitewashing. None of it was necessary. Sherman could have achieved the same result by capturing Atlanta and not burning it down, could have not isolated the slaves following so they got massacred, was not a humanitarian by making war cruel. He was successful. There is no proof that the cruelty led to a surrender, it was the battlefield victories and the capture of territory that led to victory.

  6. I think Georgia should be made to howl every 20 years or so. Torch Atlanta…just for the sake of tradition. Keep the memory of Sherman alive while the boys have some all-American fun. Anyway, Georgia is too humid for human endurance which makes me believe Georgians are those shape shifting lizards we keep hearing about pretending to be humans. There can be no other explanation for their ability to survive in that sweltering God for saken climate.

  7. Is it just me, or does laying destruction to the American homeland and bragging about it just a bit over the top ?

  8. This country of ours America will always have a bigotry problem.It will be our greatest failure and downfall.

  9. The whole South should've been burned to a cinder. Every frigging Mansion and city burned.
    They were traitors fighting against the United States of America. I still hate the South.

  10. If Southerners want to see monuments to their heritage, the cemeteries are full of headstones of the Confederate dead. That's all the monuments they need.

  11. The Confederates took up arms against our country as traitors and terrorists. You don't negotiate with traitors and terrorists.

  12. What you never hear about is Shermans investigation of "The Fort Pillow Massacre" and the involvement of Nathan Bedford Forest who was acquitted after being tried more/less at the mercy of his arch-enemy .The Union General had the chance to take revenge on the man who many times had shamed him in strategic matters , but did not. General Nathan Bedford Forest did NOT start the Klu Klux Klan but was its first Grand Wizard whose first order was too SHUT IT DOWN. He even offered to hunt down those involved with any Freedmans lynching. The Klan didnt exist for 30-40 years until the early 1900's. Thats Why there was a statue of the man in Memphis and Id bet if the truth were known, there were donations from African-Americans that helped build it. The same ex-slaves that wept openly at his funeral unsure of what would come to their aid" Now that Mr. Forrest is Gone !!"…Look it up…

  13. Every member of the Confederate Army or government should have been imprisoned for at least 10 years or executed for treason. Every single one.

  14. This is when us men were real men and we went off to fight in the war and women were real women and they stayed home and acted like ladies this is how manhood and womanhood should return to

  15. Me and my beautiful wife live in rural Tennessee and I got a confederate flag on my shed I have family who fought and died in the civil war and guess what me and my wife as black friends that come over and not once says anything about my confederate flag because I treat them with respect nor are we racist racism as no place in America I also have a thin red line American flag in our house because I'm a firefighter I got a passion to save human life I love humans of all colors man or woman gay or lesbian i don't care i will do what I need to do to try and save your life

  16. Don't worry, it was only "Georgia" that howled. No real people were harmed. Otherwise, the title might have been, "When Babies Were Killed."

  17. . he slaughtered all the peaceful tribes they could find, and burned half the state. this is after the confederate solders were beeten. at one point he ordered his men to bash in the heads of females children and old people with rifle butts and to stomp heads with boot heels. to save bullets. I am from that area. whats left of the native tribes pass down stories about his troops doing horrid things. the tribes he slaughtered had nothing to do one way or another with the war. that was a land grab ) there is a native saying. "when white men war, they kill everything and burn the land" doesnt translate well. but you get the point.

  18. Fortunately the Civil War leaders, especially this one, did not have Avro Lancasters and Boeing Flying Fortresses to play with.

  19. War – is Ego, lack of a desire to adjust, communicate, or compromise. The only Victors are the Financiers, and now also owners of the USA Federal Reserve Bank Corporation

  20. Sherman had in mind to end the war, but NOT to masacre civilians. Now compare this to US air attacks killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Japan (including Nagasaki, the center of Japanese christians), Korea, Iraq, Syria, Lybia.

  21. I'm Canadian. it starts off by saying the war is for freedom of slaves. Well it should not be and wasn't. they are not worth killing/dying for . Also they would not just be free but getting america as citizens. Why the term African American(not americans) but the term white Georgians in contrast?? Words matter before muskets matter!
    Sherman came from above average intelligent people. thats why he was better. Georgia/Atlanta was not more anti secession because of railroad men running things etc. thats just left wing marxists attempts to define motives by money. thats why women should not be in these history subjects about mens affairs.

  22. I love mild dislexia….in the column of other selections was one about George Soros…when i scrolled back, i thought this one read as When George Soros Howled…!….lol…i was dissapointed to be honest.

  23. It's a good thing the Internal Criminal Court was not around in 1864 or Sherman would certainly have been indicted as a war criminal.

  24. "Move by the left flank." Sherman, multiple times…probably
    I heard that the confederates that stumbled upon MacPherson had ordered him surrender. Macpherson replied by tipping his hat and saying something along the lines of "My apologies. I'm afraid I can't do that." before wheeling his horse around in an attempt to make his escape. At which point he was shot in the back by one of the confederates ending his life.

  25. "Johnston refused to wear a hat out of a show of respect.
    Beat
    He died a month later of pneumonia"

    Not sure if they intended to deliver that as a joke, but they did

  26. I was born and raised about as far north(Alaska) as one could go in this country.I had ancestors from Georgia (Cherokee/Lumpkin Co.)from my grandfathers Lance side of the family. My fathers side Pope from the north/ Most likely had Pope's & Lance's shooting at each other during this terrible tragedy in our county's history.So many lost their lives on both sides,so many records lost,and unknown dead on both sides.i hope someday to visit Georgia,such a beautiful place.

  27. I really wanted to watch this video. By 4:32 in, I realized it was slanted against the south. So I watched something else. And I was born a Yankee by geographic birthplace.

  28. There are only three men whose pictures I have on the walls of my home who are not my relatives…Abraham Lincoln, King James the first of England (for the King James Bible) and William Tecumseh Sherman…the greatest General the United States of America ever produced!

  29. Till this day I've never understood why Sherman skipped Augusta on his way to Savannah. Augusta was the ammunition hub for the Confederate army. The old rumor is his girlfriend was living in Augusta.

  30. OK. So this war was only in North America? That was a missed opportunity. They should have made it like a North vs South Superbowl. USA, Canada and Mexico up against the might of Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia – destination Panama – AND THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL!

  31. People here acting like he was a righteous hero destroying slavers when in reality he was destroying normal southern people and those people know that and are happy because of that but know they need to act like they aren't just hating normal white southern folk because hollywood/reddit told them too

  32. When my cousins in Atlanta trolled me by sending me an Atlanta Braves cap, I responded by sending them a postcard I bought, when I was in Harper's Ferry, a card I bought celebrating the general who shares my birthday, February the 8th. They have not to this day forgiven me.

  33. Very well made documentary. I want to know everything there is to know about The Civil War! I’m reading The Civil War Battle Series by James Reasoner. If you love reading about The Civil War check it out

  34. If Sherman was able to bombard Atlanta for 5 weeks, that’s at least 4 weeks that Hood could have surrendered the city, or at the very least arrange for the evacuation of the remaining residents himself. People forget that there were two commanding officers during the battle for Atlanta….the only name they remember is Sherman.

  35. A bizarre conflict. Hard to grasp the incredible arrogance of the southern planters. But, before 1861, the South in itself had the fourth largest economy in the world. Mississippi was the richest state in the country. Half of the equity in the South was invested in slaves. The planters went to war because they felt slavery was under threat. And dragged the rest of the South with them. The Southern states never recovered. And the black population were more vulnerable than ever, because emancipation meant they now had no inherent financial value.

  36. I have heard an urban legend that the reason Augusta wasn't burned was either it was where his mistress lived (or from) or that his mistress asked him not to. I wonder what is true

  37. Rules of war now there's a contradiction war by its nature is destructive so setting rules for war is nothing more then limiting ones ways of winning it.

  38. I agree with Sherman that slavery is good for blacks, I believe letting loose the black population on America in that sense would ultimately prove far more destructive then the succession of the confederate states. I think the degeneration of inner city’s and the pollution of black communities stems from the sudden freedom that they were not suited for or prepared for.

  39. He should've BURNED his way to Virginia and salted the ground. He should've shot Robert E. Lee at the surrender. That would've been the proper way to deal with traitors

  40. Sherman was once brought before a congressional committee after federal Indian agents, who were supposed to be supervising the Indians who were on reservations, witnessed "the horror of women and children under military attack." Nothing came of the hearings, however. Sherman ordered his subordinates to kill the Indians without restraint to achieve what he called "the final solution of the Indian problem," and promised that if the newspapers found out about it he would "run interference against any complaints about atrocities back East" (Fellman, p. 271).

  41. Some of the states are once more in open rebellion against the union. And we have had open
    conflict on the streets of our cities. When Trump is reelected in 2020., will he be the Lincoln of our day? Where will it end?

  42. I just love how everyone thinks the war was ALL about Slaves . You Yankees got what you deserved 155 years later look what ya got ! Homeless people littered throughout your cities , crime , drugs , NO FREEDOM what so ever . The Union Army destroyed the SOUTH and continues to do so . When you try to take the Guns and YOU WILL cause ya just can't resist . THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN

  43. They didn't go into depth on this mater while I was in school, and I can't help but to feel cheated seeing as how it shaped the very city we live in.

  44. Well I am black from Atlanta and Sherman is a hero. He should have been allowed to follow the Constitution and execute every confederate soldier an official for treason.

  45. It is funny – while it is factually true that many people saw the war as god's wrath for slavery, the Bible is pro-slavery and never says anything against it – except for Hebrews.

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