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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 26, 1864

Sherman Entered Sandersville

In his memoirs, Sherman wrote of entering Sandersville, Georgia on this day.

“I accompanied the Twentieth Corps, which took the direct road to Sandersville, which we reached simultaneously with the Fourteenth Corps, on the 26th. A brigade of rebel cavalry was deployed before the town and was driven in and through it by our skirmish-line. I myself saw the rebel cavalry apply fire to stacks of fodder standing in the fields at Sandersville and gave orders to burn some unoccupied dwellings close by. On entering the town, I told citizens that, if the enemy attempted to carry out their threat to burn their food, corn, and fodder, in our route, I would most undoubtedly execute to the letter the general orders of devastation made at the outset of the campaign. With this exception, and one or two minor cases near Savannah, the people did not destroy food, for they saw clearly that it would be ruin to themselves.” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman’s Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p.156.

A Wisconsin soldier in Sherman’s army wrote home to his wife - he had entered Sandersville too and correctly guessed that Savannah was now their objective.

“We have just arrived at Sandersville and gone into camp. Our advance had a slight skirmish with rebel cavalry today, but drove them back easily. We left Milledgeville day before yesterday and traveled all through a very cold night, yet we are all in very good condition. We have employed two mulatto brothers, Hillard and Bill Ford. One is assistant cook, the other is hostler. I suppose Savannah to be our objective point; we are about half way now. I hope the remainder of our journey will be as successful and pleasant.” Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, 1864 in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page