War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign

War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign

by Anne J. Bailey

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Overview

'I can make this march, and make Georgia howl.' -William Tecumseh Sherman The 'March to the Sea' shocked Georgians from Atlanta to Savannah. For the first time, suffering and carnage came to their very doorsteps in the form of 60,000 battle-hardened Union troops led by General William Tecumseh Sherman. In the late autumn of 1864, as his troops cut a four-week long path of terror through Georgia, Sherman accomplished his objective: to destroy civilian morale and with it their support for the Confederate cause. His actions elicited a passionate reaction as tales of his dastardly deeds and destruction burned Sherman's name into the Southern psyche. He became the ruthless personification of evil, an arch villain who made war on innocent women, children, and old men. But does the Savannah Campaign deserve the reputation it has been given? And was Sherman truly this brutal? In her new book War and Ruin, Anne J. Bailey examines this event and investigates just how much truth is behind the popular historical notions. Because Sherman's dash through Georgia was so terrifying, it left an indelible impression on the people who were unlucky enough to be in the Union army's way. Bailey contends that the psychological horror rather than the actual physical damage-which was not as devastating as believed-led to the wilting of Southern morale. This dissolution of resolve helped lead to ultimate Confederate defeat as well as to the development of Sherman's infamous reputation. Although he rarely carried out his threats to the South in full, Sherman's thunderous rhetoric nevertheless would resonate through the generations. War and Ruin looks at the 'March to the Sea' from its inception in Atlanta to its culmination in Savannah. This fascinating text is a chronicle of not just the campaign itself, but also a revealing description of how the people of Georgia were affected. War and Ruin brilliantly combines military history and human interest to achieve a convincing portrayal of what really happened in Sherman's epic effort to smash the Confederate spirit in Georgia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780842028509
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Series: American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era Series
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Anne J. Bailey is professor of history at Georgia College and State University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 List of Maps Chapter 3 "A Haven of Bliss": Savannah Chapter 4 "The Blue Jackes Rule the Day": Atlanta Chapter 5 "Our Cause Is Not Lost": The Confederate Response Chapter 6 "John Brown's Soul Goes Marching On": Sherman Leaves Atlanta Chapter 7 "Leaving Suffering and Desolation behind Them": Milledgeville and Griswoldville Chapter 8 "We Hear of Terrible Times Below": Southeast Georgia Chapter 9 "Almost Starved and Ragged": Nearing Savannah Chapter 10 "I Regard Savannah as Already Gained": The City's Defense Chapter 11 "A Season of Sadness": Savannah at Christmas Chapter 12 Epilogue: "A Grand Innovator": Sherman and Total War Chapter 13 Bibliographical Essay Chapter 14 Index

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