This Day in Georgia Civil War History
January 21, 1865
Sherman Departed Savannah for South Carolina
Union General William T. Sherman and his staff left Savannah, Georgia for Beaufort, South Carolina. Although some Union troops would be left behind , the same destructive force seen in the March to the Sea in Georgia would now be unleashed against South Carolina.
A Georgia soldier in South Carolina, awaiting Sherman’s onslaught, wrote home to his wife, mentioning a peace movement in Savannah, and adding that he (and many others) were also thoroughly tired of the war.
“…I see the citizens of Savannah has held a Union meeting and passed resolutions in favor of going back into the Union. They say they are going to send one copy to the Mayor of Augusta, one to the Mayor of Atlanta, one to Macon, one to Columbus and one to the President of the United States. I suppose they treat them very well in Savannah!… I had the chance of [a] lieutenant[’s] position the other day and would not accept it. All I want is to get out of this war. Sallie, when you write me let me know the people’s notions at home about the war. Let me know what your notions are. I will tell you what mine are: I am whipped. Sallie, we are a ruined people. There is no chance for us. Good many of our regiments are deserting. They are in low spirits. Tom Sanders from our county has deserted, but I don’t think I will ever desert. I will stay with them until the war ends or they kill me. I think the best thing we can do is to go back into the Union. The Negroes are certain to be set free. Sallie, we have done all that we can. That’s my notion, Sallie. Remember me in this dark hour of trial. …” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 341.