The Criminal General
William Tecumseh Sherman
"That the Southern people literally were put to the torture is vaguely understood, but even historians have shrunk from the unhappy task of showing us the torture chambers." --- Claude G. Bowers
The concept that the United States was fighting a just war, cannot stand up in the light of historical truth or of the unalienable rights of the Southern People to have seceded, then formed their own government and nation. Abraham Lincoln knowing South Carolina and the Confederacy would defend its own territorial sovereignty, instigated the firing on Fort Sumter, as a means of justifying the opening of the war.
The slaves would have been freed, even had the South been allowed to depart in peace, but would have entered society as an educated people, prepared to take on the responsibility of freedom. In any case the subject of slavery did not emerge as a justification until the mid-point in the war and Abraham Lincoln by his own admission would have fought the war, whether or not the slave were to be freed as a consequence..
Additionally, Lincoln knew the slaves could have been freed at a fraction the cost of the war, simply by claiming the right imminent domain and paying a far market price for each slave. Neither the abolitionists or the bankers and merchants of the north, which had supported the Lincoln Administration, wished to admit their own involvement in transporting and selling Negroes into slavery, thereby putting all the blame on the buyers, rather then the slave merchants of the North.
General William Tecumseh Sherman
to the Mayor and Councilmen of Atlanta
"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.” --- General W.T. Sherman
The victor in this case has effectively revised history and regretfully that revision has been accepted as factual by a larger percentage of the population, while men such as William Tecumseh Sherman are lifted up as patriots and heroes of their cause. When if the truth were revealed, he was less of a General and more of a criminal, who should have been put on trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
We the Confederate and Southern People, above all others, should understand what happen! Unless we are prepared to look into the face of the horror and finish the work of our forefathers, we cannot rightfully claim Confederate history, heritage, culture and nationhood as our own. This page is dedicated to presenting, if only a small fraction, the criminality, heaped upon a rightfully free and independent people and nation.
"Modern abolitionists, known in our time as liberals, stand in judgment over the South due to their having owned slaves, when they themselves are responsible for the murder of something over 60 million innocent and unborn babies. We hesitate to consider this an atrocity, because there are no memorials or marked mass graves, but when measured against the approximately 50 million who died as a result of Second World War, the abortionists are indeed mass murderers. These same mass murders now sit in the judgment seat over the Confederacy and the South." --- Sheldon Sullivan
The combined numbers that died on both sides added up to more than those, which died in all the other wars United States, have fought throughout its history.
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The Confederate Legion has a greater purpose in presenting this page of William Tecumseh Sherman, since there is precious little incentive for tolerating the image of the Criminal General, let alone a reminder as to the atrocities he committed against the good people of the City of Atlanta and of Georgia. It has long been proposed that a movie reenactment be produced, accept that in this version Sherman is captured and his army forced to surrender at some point in his campaign through Georgia. He is escorted back to Atlanta in shackles and placed on trial as a criminal; however, the court scene should be as authentic as possible. There should be a Judge, Jury, Prosecuting as well as Defense Attorneys.
Collectively our people have the talent as well as the equipment necessary, and there is little doubt as to our ability to tell this story. Such a movie would provoke endless criticism and receive terrible press coverage, however it would result in many millions seeing the movie and coming to the realization ‘the real criminal elements was that of the Abraham Lincoln and his cohorts.’ One need only compare the difference between Union Forces and those of the Confederacy by noting the wonton rape, robbery and pillaging which took place in their path of destruction.
Confederate Armies invading the north respected women, children and private property; this was not the case with Union Armies in their invasion, occupation and subjugation of the Confederacy. 'Those people' conducted themselves as barbarians and criminals, no just and honorable judge and jury could come to any other conclusion. We as Confederates and Southerners should ensure the world is told the truth!
There are those who will simply say ‘you are just embittered by the South having lost the war’ and to that idocy let us consider a scenario which will make the point clear, even for our skeptics. Those of you having, let us say two teenage daughters, let us imagine for a moment that by some strange coincident of nature you and your family manage to accidentally slip through a worm hole or an electronic fog and are thrown backward in time.
Your dress, speech accident and mannerisms are strange to both Northerners as well as Southerners of the ‘Civil War’ period. You realize you won’t be believed and will be taken prisoner of war by either the Confederates or Yankees; now which army would you rather entrust your lovely young wife and teenage daughters? Suddenly the reputation of honor, integrity and just plain ‘good Southern morality and manners’ then held by Confederates, will become the most critical item in your decision making!
Sherman's March to the Sea, 1864
A Southerner's Perspective
Atlanta fell to Sherman's Army in early September 1864. He devoted the next few weeks to chasing Confederate troops through northern Georgia in a vain attempt to lure them into a decisive fight. The Confederate's evasive tactics doomed Sherman's plan to achieve victory on the battlefield so he developed an alternative strategy: destroy the South by laying waste to its economic and transportation infrastructure.
Sherman's "scorched earth" campaign began on November 15th when he cut the last telegraph wire that linked him to his superiors in the North. He left Atlanta in flames and pointed his army south. No word would be heard from him for the next five weeks. Unbeknownst to his enemy, Sherman's objective was the port of Savannah. His army of 65,000 cut a broad swath as it lumbered towards its destination. Plantations were burned, crops destroyed and stores of food pillaged. In the wake of his progress to the sea he left numerous "Sherman sentinels" (the chimneys of burnt out houses) and "Sherman neckties" (railroad rails that had been heated and wrapped around trees.).
Along the way, his army was joined by thousands of former slaves who brought up the rear of the march because they had no other place to go. Sherman's army reached Savannah on December 22. Two days later, Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln with the message "I beg to present to you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah..."
It was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Sherman stayed in Savannah until the end of January and then continued his scorched earth campaign through the Carolinas. On April 26, Confederate troops under General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Sherman in North Carolina; seventeen days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.
"Oh God, the time of trial has come!"
Dolly Sumner Lunt was born in Maine in 1817. She moved to Georgia as a young woman to join her married sister. She became a school teacher in Covington, Ga. where she met and married Thomas Burge, a plantation owner. When her husband died in 1858, Dolly was left alone to manage the plantation and its slaves. Dolly kept a diary of her experiences and we join her story as Sherman's army approaches her home:
November 19, 1864
Slept in my clothes last night, as I heard that the Yankees went to neighbor Montgomery's on Thursday night at one o'clock, searched his house, drank his wine, and took his money and valuables. As we were not disturbed, I walked after breakfast, with Sadai [the narrator's 9-year-old daughter], up to Mr. Joe Perry's, my nearest neighbor, where the Yankees were yesterday.
Saw Mrs. Laura [Perry] in the road surrounded by her children, seeming to be looking for some one. She said she was looking for her husband, that old Mrs. Perry had just sent her word that the Yankees went to James Perry's the night before, plundered his house, and drove off all his stock, and that she must drive hers into the old fields. Before we were done talking, up came Joe and Jim Perry from their hiding-place. Jim was very much excited. Happening to turn and look behind, as we stood there, I saw some blue-coats coming down the hill. Jim immediately raised his gun, swearing he would kill them anyhow.
'No, don't!' said I, and ran home as fast as I could, with Sadai.
I could hear them cry, 'Halt! Halt!' and their guns went off in quick succession. Oh God, the time of trial has come!
A man passed on his way to Covington. I halloed to him, asking him if he did not know the Yankees were coming.
'No - are they?'
'Yes,' said I; 'they are not three hundred yards from here.'
'Sure enough,' said he. 'Well, I'll not go. I don't want them to get my horse.' And although within hearing of their guns, he would stop and look for them. Blissful ignorance! Not knowing, not hearing, he has not suffered the suspense, the fear, that I have for the past forty-eight hours. I walked to the gate. There they came filing up.
I hastened back to my frightened servants and told them that they had better hide, and then went back to the gate to claim protection and a guard. But like demons they rush in! My yards are full.
To my smoke-house, my dairy, pantry, kitchen, and cellar, like famished wolves they come, breaking locks and whatever is in their way. The thousand pounds of meat in my smoke-house is gone in a twinkling, my flour, my meat, my lard, butter, eggs, pickles of various kinds - both in vinegar and brine - wine, jars, and jugs are all gone. My eighteen fat turkeys, my hens, chickens, and fowls, my young pigs, are shot down in my yard and hunted as if they were rebels themselves. Utterly powerless I ran out and appealed to the guard.
'I cannot help you, Madam; it is orders.'
...Alas! little did I think while trying to save my house from plunder and fire that they were forcing my boys [slaves] from home at the point of the bayonet. One, Newton, jumped into bed in his cabin, and declared himself sick. Another crawled under the floor, - a lame boy he was, - but they pulled him out, placed him on a horse, and drove him off. Mid, poor Mid! The last I saw of him, a man had him going around the garden, looking, as I thought, for my sheep, as he was my shepherd. Jack came crying to me, the big tears coursing down his cheeks, saying they were making him go. I said:
'Stay in my room.'But a man followed in, cursing him and threatening to shoot him if he did not go; so poor Jack had to yield.
...Sherman himself and a greater portion of his army passed my house that day. All day, as the sad moments rolled on, were they passing not only in front of my house, but from behind; they tore down my garden palings, made a road through my back-yard and lot field, driving their stock and riding through, tearing down my fences and desolating my home - wantonly doing it when there was no necessity for it.
...As night drew its sable curtains around us, the heavens from every point were lit up with flames from burning buildings. Dinnerless and supperless as we were, it was nothing in comparison with the fear of being driven out homeless to the dreary woods. Nothing to eat! I could give my guard no supper, so he left us.
My Heavenly Father alone saved me from the destructive fire. My carriage-house had in it eight bales of cotton, with my carriage, buggy, and harness. On top of the cotton were some carded cotton rolls, a hundred pounds or more. These were thrown out of the blanket in which they were, and a large twist of the rolls taken and set on fire, and thrown into the boat of my carriage, which was close up to the cotton bales. Thanks to my God, the cotton only burned over, and then went out. Shall I ever forget the deliverance?
November 20, 1864.
About ten o'clock they had all passed save one, who came in and wanted coffee made, which was done, and he, too, went on. A few minutes elapsed, and two couriers riding rapidly passed back. Then, presently, more soldiers came by, and this ended the passing of Sherman's army by my place, leaving me poorer by thirty thousand dollars than I was yesterday morning. And a much stronger Rebel!"
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"We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we ask no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms." --- President Jefferson Davis - 29 April 1861