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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 07, 1864

Reports of Atrocities on March to the Sea

The Richmond Times Dispatch reprinted some reports from Georgia on atrocities committed by some of Sherman’s soldiers - one report accusing them of going to the “last extremity.”

From Georgia. –We find in the Georgia papers some history of the horrors of Sherman’s march through that State. In a long letter, written from Milledgeville after the Yankees had left, and written in a calm, dispassionate style, without any attempt at exaggeration, we find the following terrible paragraph: “The most dreadful thing was their violence towards the ladies. At least six or seven suffered the last extremity. One young girl became crazed in consequence, and has been sent to the asylum. Other ladies were stripped of their garments, and, in such a plight, compelled to play the piano; and, in the event of a refusal, switched unmercifully. Let Georgians remember these things in the day of battle!” The same writer, speaking of the condition of Sherman’s army, says: “The soldiers were admirably clothed and appointed. Each man had eighty rounds of ammunition, while their wagons contained fixed material without prepared, and they suffered for nothing.” A gentleman who left Atlanta after its evacuation by Sherman reports that– “Thereby guard of Sherman’s army left there on Wednesday week, leaving some one hundred of their sick and wounded in the place. Before leaving, they burned all the railroad and other public buildings, including the hotels, banking and business houses. The Masonic Hall, churches, dwellings and college buildings were left undisturbed. The State road is reported destroyed as far north as Chickamauga.”