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In Their Own Words

December 21, 1864

Savannah Mayor Letter of Surrender

Savannah mayor R.D. Arnold surrendered the city to Union forces with the following letter addressed to Gen. Sherman:

“The city of Savannah was last night evacuated by the Confederate military and is now entirely defenseless. As chief magistrate of the city I respectfully request your protection of the lives and private property of the citizens and of our women and children.

“Trusting that this appeal to your generosity and humanity may favorably influence your action, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant.”

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of \he Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 772.