This Day in Georgia Civil War History
December 04, 1864
March to the Sea; Rice Fields
Henry Hitchcock, military secretary to General William T. Sherman, wrote in his diary of finding lots of food, but little cotton. They had finally reached some rice fields in south Georgia.
“Nineteenth day out Sunday, December 4, 1864…Abundance of forage – chiefly fodder – hardly ever twenty minutes together out of sight of cornfields, though land is sandy and unpromising. No cotton today, as usual. That monarch [referring to King Cotton] is evidently an exile from the present from where he once reigned…We stopped for lunch today in a rice-field by the road..the first we have seen.” Source: M.A. DeWolfe Howe (ed.), Marching with Sherman: Passages from the Letters and Campaign Diaries of Henry Hitchcock, Major and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers, November 1864-May 1865 (Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1995), pp. 136-139.