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In Their Own Words

November 26, 1864

Sherman in Sandersville

In his memoirs, General William T. Sherman wrote of his entry into Sandersville on this day:

“I accompanied the Twentieth Corps, which took the direct road to Sandersville, which we reached simultaneously with the Fourteenth Corps, on the 26th. A brigade of rebel cavalry was deployed before the town and was driven in and through it by our skirmish-line. I myself saw the rebel cavalry apply fire to stacks of fodder standing in the fields at Sandersville and gave orders to burn some unoccupied dwellings close by. On entering the town, I told citizens that, if the enemy attempted to carry out their threat to burn their food, corn, and fodder, in our route, I would most undoubtedly execute to the letter the general orders of devastation made at the outset of the campaign. With this exception, and one or two minor cases near Savannah, the people did not destroy food, for they saw clearly that it would be ruin to themselves.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman’s Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p.156.