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In Their Own Words

December 18, 1864

March to the Sea and Sons in Diary

From Columbus, Georgia, John Banks wrote about the status of Sherman’s March to the Sea, as well as the location of three of his seven sons who fought for the Confederacy:

“Sherman’s army passed on via Sandersville and to Waynesboro, Burke County, skirmishing all the way without any important fight. A branch of his force turned to the west and reached Thomasville near the Florida line, and thence on to Savannah, where they now are, from the reports that reach us.

“George, Sims and Gilmer are at Savannah. Had no letters from them for some days. Reports say Sherman has surrounded Savannah. This is a day of great anxiety with us. Our forces, or a part of them, have crossed the Savannah river and had a fight at Grayhamville, some miles from Savannah in South Carolina. The result seems to be uncertain. We are daily looking for a decisive battle at Savannah.

“Provisions still going higher and higher. Corn, $10 per bushel, wheat, $40, pork, gross, $24. Cotton, 75 to 80 cents.”

Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), p. 35.