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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 08, 1864

Swamps, Argumentative Minister on March to the Sea

Henry Hitchcock, military secretary to General Sherman, wrote in his diary of encountering some south Georgia swamps, and of one minister who argued with General Sherman about cotton.

“[T]wenty-third day out, … .Roads today heavy sand and both yesterday and today very bad at swampy places and creek crossings – same thing in fact, for all the creeks seem to spread into swamps … . Stopped at house of Rev. Mr. Heidt – fifty-four years old, Methodist, very well off, barns, etc, full of all sorts of forage when we came. Fluent talker, pretty shrewd, but foolish enough to argue with General about importance of cotton; General down on cotton.” 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. 156-157.