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In Their Own Words

December 26, 1864

Sherman Order to Savannah Citizens

General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 143 so that Savannah citizens would understand their duties and obligations during the occupation. First on his list was the following:

“During war, the military is superior to civil authority, and, where interests clash, the civil must give way; yet, where there is no conflict, every encouragement should be given to well-disposed and peaceful inhabitants to resume their usual pursuits. Families should be disturbed as little as possible in their residences, and tradesman allowed the free use of their shops, tools, etc.; churches, schools, and all places of amusement and recreation, should be encouraged, and streets and roads made perfectly safe to persons in their pursuits.”