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In Their Own Words

December 05, 1864

Confederate Looting Recorded

Sherman’s secretary, Maj. Henry Hitchcock, recorded evidence in his diary for this day that Sherman’s troops were not the only looters of innocent civilians:

“We rode on to ‘Ogeechee Church’ …but presently learning of good house nearby we went there. Found that the house was a Mr. Loughborough’s - a former New Jersey man … .

“Evidently, L. was man of wealth. Inside house everything in dire confusion - bureau drawers pulled out, furniture upset, books piled and tossed about, house evidently ‘ramsacked’ as Aleck calls it. Glad to learn from L.’s servants - all I asked telling the same story - that the rebels did this. L., it seems, left here yesterday (Sunday) after dinner; the main body of rebs staid, camped in his fields, till daylight this morning - the left, but their pickets remained, some few at work near creek, others at the house, - and these did the mischief at the house.”

Source: M.A. DeWolfe Howe (ed.), Marching with Sherman: Passages from the Letters and Campaign Diaries of Henry Hitchcock, Major and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers, November 1864-May 1865 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995), pp. 146-147.