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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

September 09, 1864

Sherman Letter on Immediate Plans

Sherman wrote to one of his generals on this day, explaining how serious he was about his plan, and to vigorously pursue Confederate guerilla resistance. He also planned to exchange some prisoners with the Confederates.

“Your dispatch is received. Even sutlers must be prohibited from coming to Atlanta. I will as soon as the railroad is open make arrangements for opening and supplying three stores, one at Atlanta, one at Decatur, and one at East Point, and allow them jointly one car a day. Telegraph all parties to push Wheeler and his bands to the death. Now is the time to strike hard, and to wipe out all guerrilla bands. Show them no mercy. I will exchange with Hood about 2,000 prisoners that I have in hand. Our success has been very complete, and I want to make it thorough from the Ohio River to Atlanta, so that we may use Atlanta hereafter as a base.” Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (originally printed 1891, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Part 5, Vol. 38, pp. 839-840.