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In Their Own Words

December 22, 1864

Sherman Sent Lincoln Christmas Gift

Just arrived in Savannah, Gen. William T. Sherman accepted Charles Green’s offer to use his luxurious house as his headquarters. Here, Sherman met with U.S. Treasury agent A.G. Browne, who came requesting that the Treasury Department be allowed to claim all cotton, rice, and public buildings in Savannah. Sherman agreed to turn over what his soldiers didn’t need. It was at this point that Browne commented that a ship was about to depart Savannah for Fort Monroe and asked if Sherman didn’t want to send a Christmas gift to the President. In response to the suggestion, Sherman reached for a piece of paper and wrote a brief note to Lincoln:

“I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the 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. 783.