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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 25, 1864

Not a Merry Christmas in Georgia

Most Georgians had little to celebrate on this Christmas Day in the wake of the March to the Sea. Many had homes, businesses, crops, or livestock destroyed along the march; those fortunate enough not to be in its path still suffered hardships from lack of food, supplies, and communication. Plus it was becoming more and more clear that the South could not win the war, casting an even gloomier feel over the holiday. Meanwhile, Union General William T. Sherman - architect of the March to the Sea - and his army spend a comfortable Christmas in Savannah, where they would rest, re-supply themselves, and prepare to carry their form of warfare into South Carolina.

Two days later, the Confederate Union of Milledgeville expressed Georgia’s Christmas sentiments for this year in an editorial (seen on this page).

And a Covington woman wrote in her diary of the disappointment in her home on Christmas morning.

Sadai jumped out of bed very early this morning to feel in her stocking. She could not believe but that there would be something in it. Finding nothing, she crept back into bed, pulled the cover over her face, and I soon heard her sobbing. The little negroes all came in: “Christmas gift, mist’ess! Christmas gift, mist’ess!” I pulled the cover over my face and was soon mingling my tears with Sadai’s. Source: A Woman’s Wartime Journal: an Account of the Passage over a Georgia Plantation of Sherman’s Army on the March to the Sea, as recorded in the Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt (Mrs. Thomas Burge)

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