Savannah’s Siege, December 17, 1864: “I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city….”

On December 17, 1864, Major-General William T. Sherman determined the time was right to formally press his opponent in Savannah, Lieutenant-General William Hardee.  So in the morning Sherman sent over a flag of truce with this message: General William J. Hardee, Commanding Confederate Forces in Savannah: General: You have doubtless observed from your station atContinue reading “Savannah’s Siege, December 17, 1864: “I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city….””

Savannah’s Siege, December 17, 1864: Savannah to be defended, but not “to the sacrifice of the garrison”

Yesterday I focused on the correspondence between Major-General William T. Sherman and his superiors in Washington.  As we saw, Sherman’s orders governed his actions with respect to the siege of Savannah, and thus the overall success or failure of the March to the Sea.  Ordered to withdraw the armies and head for Virginia by boat,Continue reading “Savannah’s Siege, December 17, 1864: Savannah to be defended, but not “to the sacrifice of the garrison””

Savannah’s Siege, December 16, 1864: “to take Savannah, if time will allow” Two messages that shape the campaign

Sometimes a campaign is decided by action, such as a daring assault or rapid march.  Other times, more often than not, a campaign turns on some written words, expressing intentions, which usher a chain of events.  Such is the case with the Savannah Campaign.  And those words were written down in two messages – oneContinue reading “Savannah’s Siege, December 16, 1864: “to take Savannah, if time will allow” Two messages that shape the campaign”