Emancipation: The lasting legacy of Sherman’s March

Often when historians offer a “wrap-up” of Sherman’s March to the Sea, there is focus, for good reasons, on this letter to President Abraham Lincoln: It is the numbers – 150 guns and 25,000 bales of cotton – which often get some play as representative of the damage to the Confederate war effort.  Facts are,Continue reading “Emancipation: The lasting legacy of Sherman’s March”

Leaving Savannah in the Night: Hardee’s evacuation

On January 3, 1861, pro-secessionist forces seized Fort Pulaski.  Events propelled Savannah into the the forefront of the secession crisis.  From the start, the Savannah was one of the Confederacy’s leading cities.  And from the start, Confederate leaders prepared to defend the city.  Fortifications ringed the city and warded off Federal threats, even after theContinue reading “Leaving Savannah in the Night: Hardee’s evacuation”

Savannah’s Siege, December 20, 1864: “The noise of the retreating enemy could plainly be heard”

For Lieutenant-General William Hardee, December 20, 1864 was a day of anticipation.  Had the pontoon bridge across the Savannah River been ready before dusk the day before, he would have started the evacuation of Savannah.  Instead, he looked to keep up the appearances of holding the city for just one more day and then evacuateContinue reading “Savannah’s Siege, December 20, 1864: “The noise of the retreating enemy could plainly be heard””