tv The Civil War Shermans March American Memory CSPAN December 29, 2018 6:00pm-7:06pm EST
tuesday at 8 p.m. eastern. you're watching american history tv, only on c-span3. author on the civil war, anne sarah rubin talks about her book "through the heart of dixie: sherman's march and the american memory" she describes the path of union general sherman's march through part of the confederate states that argues that has often been misunderstood and at times overstated for the destruction caused. pamplin historical park in virginia hosted this hour-long talk. >> well, we have a great speaker coming up. joined therah rubin university of maryland baltimore county history department in the fall of 2000. her teaching and research focus on american civil war, the u.s. 19th century american and digital history, sherman's march
in america, which explains the war the way americans remembered sherman's march was published in 2014. and that is the subject of her talk today. her first book, "the rise and fall of the confederacy, 19861-1 868" won the 2006 craven book prize. valley ofhored "the the shadow" that won the first eve lincoln prize for the best digital project in the american civil war history. and james harvey robinson prize. i'm very pleased to introduce dr. anne sarah rubin. [applause] dr. rubin: thank you so much. and everyone here at pamplin.
it has been a real treat to be here with some of my civil war sisters. and i think that what has been great about this week, weekend, rather is that the range of talks you are hearing really represents a variety of work that women are doing in this field. as for me, i worked on sherman's march for actually about a dozen years. nine eyears on "throug the heart of dixie that has a companion website at sherman's march.org. and another project that fell into my lap just as through the heart of dixie was coming out. which was the previously unpublished memoir of george cloonequimby who was a scout for sherman and whose story highlighted a lot of the things i was working through in the first book. what i'm going to do this afternoon is weave them together and then there will be plenty of time for questions. ok.
in the summer of 1963, john lewis was the recently elected chairman of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. he found himself writing the most important speech of his life. he would be speaking along with civil rights leaders from the steps of the lincoln memorial. as part of the march on washington for jobs and freedom. and what john lewis wanted was for this speech to show the students frustration at the slow pace of change, to show angery, . so, he wrote "the time will come when we will not confine our marching to washington. we will march through the south, through the heart of dixie, the way sherman did. we shall pursue our own scorched-earth policy and burn jim crow to the ground nonviolently." so, this was 99 years after
william tecumseh sherman had let his 52,000 men out of atlanta towards the sea and up to the carolinas, leaving devastation in their wake. and the power of that event still resonated. in fact, 99 years later, the image of the march still angered, because of the last-minute john lewis was asked to remove that sentence along with a couple of others that were seen as too inflammatory from his speech. and he did. he actually made the changes literally in the shadow lincoln 's statue as the early speeches were going on that day. namesherman's march, this a colleges up a host of images and references and myths for americans. and scarletrhett silhouetted against the flames in "gone with the win." chimneysof lone
standing sentinel of all that remained of historic plantations. we think of soldiers feeling -- stealing silver, chickens and jewelry. as hell and 40 acres and a meal, of the birth of total war. 's march ist sherman really one of the most embolic with powerful aspects of the civil war. one that's come to dominate a lot of our cultural understanding of the war. standing in for devastation and destruction, fire and brimstone, war being made against civilians, echoing a lot of margaret seems from this morning. it's almost a civil war in microcosm. sherman's march in various ways has been memorialized in fiction , in film, to explain both america's involvement in the vietnam war and as a metaphor
unsuccessful search for romance and uses a metaphor for the burned-out south bronx of the 1970's, for gerrymandered electoral districts. sort of everywhere. and so, when i kind of came to this topic, obviously, i'm not the first person to write about sherman's march. there are scores of books about it, whether it is the military aspects, strategic, the impact of the war on female civilians, the role of the march in emancipation. there's dozens and does the bite off his of sherman himself. -- dozens and dozens of biographies of sherman himself. projectid in this instead of retelling the story of the march is what i did is i looked at the way the march has affected american culture and the ways that americans remembered and retold and reimagined sherman's march. and i think of it as a project that is less about memory, which often has a sort of presumption
about, well, is memory accurate, correct? and more about stories and storytelling. so, as i was doing this research, i was not really all that interested in debunking myths. no, they do not actually burn the house or what have you. as i was about trying to get at why certain stories were told and retold and other stories were forgotten. and what happens when you layer these stories together to discover what they meant. ad so, to that end, i took wide friday of approaches to sherman's march. i looked at southern white civilians, african-americans, i looked at union veterans. i'll use george quimby as an example. through travel accounts, dozens of travelers from the 1860's of to the present have retraced sherman's march, and often, in the 20 century there
has been this voyage of self-discovery along with it. i've look at the way that sherman has been pretrade as the architect of total war and debates over whether he was a war criminal and not. to fiction andot film, music, poetry, photography, art. a tossed a really broad net, basically. just a kind of set up what we are talking about, it's the fall of 1864 it is late in the, war. grant and lee are outside petersburg where we are exactly. sherman's army took control of the city. on september 2. and pretty soon after he occupied atlanta, sherman decided he wanted to evacuate the city's population. he wanted atlanta to fortune as a purely military base. he didn't want to have to deal
with feeding or protecting civilians, with guarding against guerillas or spoies. he did not want to detail any soldiers to hold the city. it had to be done in memphis or new orleans. this was the indication -- the occasion, the exchange of letter that resulted in sherman writing. as a result, about 1600 whites and several hundred or thousand african-americans literally had to pack up what they ownedd and head out of the city, take trains and so forth. his next plan, was to march across georgia. 285 miles to savannah. making it howl. living off the land. an destroying everything thatd could aid the confederacy. obviously risky. he would be cut off from his base. john bell hood still had about
40,000 men in northern alabama. i sort of going to the march, i actually use this image in part because this image is a total misrepresentation of sherman's march. because, as you can see, it is the big wide, it's pretrade is this big wide swath. it is not. this is one of the biggest misconceptions. swat 50s march cut a miles wide across georgiah. it's not, like, i describe it as not a lawnmower stripe. not a 50 mile wide swath. because the way the march work, it was actually in four columns. there was a left-wing and a right wing of two columns. i think it is better to think about it, as i a use a metaphor of a row of stitches.
there are spaces in between so that there are areas of george's that are actually not touched by sherman's march. -- in areas of georgia. it is a massive army. it is 62,000 strong. there are 218 regiments. i like the factor there are 52 from ohio alone. they traveled only about 10 miles a day. this very leisurely pace for these veterans. so, they finally step out on november 15. this is them just doing some departure from atlantic, ripping up the railroad ties and so forth. so, they finally are given permission. they depart november 15. sherman orders that everything of military value be burnt.
flames destroyed a third of the city of atlanta. this is the one of the ways that sherman's march is often betrayed. you'll see other ways it is more usually pretrade. this is the sort of idealized version of sherman's march. very orderly, very structured, everyone is right in line. before setting out, sherman did try to set some ground rules. his special feel orders number 120. this is just an excerpt. to forceed the men literally on the country. houses,estroyed mills, cotton gin but within limits. there actually limits placed on them. the foraging parties are supposed to be regularized and under the control of officers. soldiers were not supposed to enter private homes. on thearmy was left listed they were supposed to leave southern civilian property alone. also, which i think is really
interesting, sherman order that when season livestock, his men were supposed to discriminate between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. there is this kind of class dimension he tries to inject into it. as for african-americans, sherman was willing to permit commander -- able-bodied, men who could be of service into the pioneer corp.. in fact, some of these men were in the grand review at the end of the war. as part of the grand review. but he urged them always to be reminded of their limited siz e. sherman did not want his army to be slowed down by women and children. so, we'll talk more about that in a minute as well. a lot of these rules are honored more in the breach than in
reality. i'm not about to make the artemis in sherman's march was not destructive. i would argued that it was perhaps less destructive. to haves mythologized been. but i think it gives them this degree of el elasticity and they could treat and do and up treating people more harshly in some places, more leniently in other circumstances. sherman initially traveled with the west wing of the army. they marched out of the city. he describes marching out to the strains of "john brown's body" playing. and, as they are moving across georgia, on november 21, the men of the right wing fought one of the true -- few true battles of the campaign, campaign with few actual battles
leaving behind recognizable battlefields. but there was one. in georgia. on november 22. into marched milledgeville, georgia, the capital at the time. they are cheered by african-americans. welcome to much less warming by the remaining civilians and the governor joe brown and the state legislature had fled ahead of time. and this relationship between enslaved people in sherman's men is compensated to -- is complicated. they are greeted as liberators. you can make the argument they are the greatest army of liberation in the civil war. there is no hard figures on how many enslaved people were liberated by sherman's men. for what i did is, i'm not great at math or what i did is i took all the county sherman's march
passed through and i looked at their enslaved population and added it up. ,000 african-americans. that is a rough measure. very rough. were followed by thousands of african-americans as they marched across georgia. ultimately probably about 20,000, of all ages and healths. hireers and soldiers african americans to work as cooks, quarters and ask them to do their laundry. sherman does not want his men doing that. sherman does not want to have to deal with women and children, as i mentioned. there is also tragedy. there's clearly black women were sexually assaulted. slave cabins were ransacked and destroyed. hurt od that was taken african-americans as well. babies died. there is a horrible incident at a place called ebenezer creek where one of sherman's hornet commanders pulled up pontoon
bridges -- one of sherman's subordinate commanders pulled upon pontoon bridges leaving african-americans trapped between the swamp an confederate cavalryd and hundreds of people drowned trying to cross the river. issue.t's one as sherman and his men are crossing across, is how much devastation did they really cause? sherman estimated about $100 million worth of damage. those would be 1864 dollars in georgia along. and you could make the same estimation roughly for the carolinas. as one soldier described it, he said" we had a gay old campaign, destroyed all we could not eat, stole from the be gross, burn their cotton and spilled their sorghum, turned and twisted their railroads and race hell -- raised hell."
their stories of men boiling coffee over fires made of confederate money. in milledgeville, georgia, they actually had a mock legislative session in which they had georgia rejoin the union. then they ransacked the state library. they stole food and clothing and valuables from civilians. civilians' struck at sense of safety, sense of protection. the other big problem, or the essential problem with the unauthorized, they were known as bummers. crew were foragers not under official controls, they were stragglers, deserters. they were responsible for a lot of this devastation. confederates also caused some destruction under orders from richmond to remove what they could and burn what they couldn't before sherman reached there. so, it's a generalized, i
think, disaster. they arrive outside of savannah. 10, found the city defended by 10,000 confederates. temporarily bypass the city. he captured fort mcallister. i will come back to that when i talk about george quimby. they closed in on the city of savannah which earned the energy of its fellow southerners by surrendering. rather than allowing itself to be shelled. i'ts, you kow, it is -- you know, it is a judgment call. and sherman famously sent a telegram to lincoln giving him the city of savannah as a christmas gift on december 22. then the army spends the month in savanna and sherman and his men start moving out of the city marching through the swamps of south carolina. come on.
there we go. the swamps of south carolina. there the union troops vented their anger on the place they believed started the civil war. and sherman has this great passage in his memoirs which he wrote in the 70's. " somehow our, men had got the idea that south carolina was the cause of all of our troubles. somehow. her people were the first to fire on fort sumter. had been in a great hurry to precipitate the country in civil war. and therefore on them should fall the scourge of war in its worst form. i saw and felt that we would not be able any longer to restrain our men as we had done in georgia. and i would not restrain the army less its vigor and energy should be impaired." he's like, well, you know. and it's really all to true.
most of the damage in georgia was really confined to out buil ding, barns and smoke houses and chicken coops. it's a lot of damage. a lot of destruction. in south carolina, it is really homes. people's homes are targeted. there is a certain sort of deeper the business -- viciousness in south carolina. they arrived then. outside the state at the state capital of columbia on said your 1865. on february 16, sherman and his men have long been charged with burning the city, although there is pretty good evidence that the fire started with wade hampton and his men torching the city on their way out that sparked the conflagration. circui sherman's men were not necessarily so quick to put those fires out -- certainly. the army then moved from
columbia into north carolina to see -- a place to which they were more favorably disposed. although sherman talks about telling his men, we are coming into north carolina. lets that the gloves back on. i'm goingm is, once, to mix up my metaphors, once the genie is out of the bottle, it is hard to put it back in. by march 15, all of the marchers were across the cape fear river. and the left wing was fainting towards raleigh. the right destined for north carolina. at this point he is trying to get there before the confederate army under joe johnston. there's two battle for north carolina. down, but they really cannot change the kind of in next will progress -- inexorable progress of sherman's march. on april 13, they marston to raleigh, there th state capitali
andrd on april 17, at the bennett farmhouse, sherman and johnston begin negotiations for peace. sherman wanted a soft peace. the thing about sherman you need to keep in mind is he actually loved white southerners. he'd spent a lot of time in the south, both as a younger man and right before the war. he was very clear eyed. he said, he wanted to make war horrible so they would surrender. as soon as they surrender, he said, then that would be fine it would be ok. ao, he wanted a soft peace, general amnesty, but if you, i'm guessing a lot of people in this audience do, have the civil war calendar and are clicking through your brain you know by april 17, lincoln is dead. and that really changes the calculus. and the terms of shermans were rejected in washington. and, ultimately, on april 26,
sherman and joe johnston signed terms that are like those at appomattox. the march is over. they do actually march up through virginia to take part in the grand review at the end of may 1865. the kind of big contours of the march. what i want to do now for the rest of my time is really talk a little bit about the kinds of stories people told and tell about the march, and unpack some of them. so, the easiest to stories to tell, i think our to find are the was about devastation and destruction. and one of the most often quoted incidents comes from the diary -- who lives near covington, georgia. she frantically prepared for the arrival of the marchers. "where shall i go? what to do? she amended on the night of november 17. by the following day she had sprung into action.
she arrange for livestock to be hidden. barrel of salt in the garden of an enslaved woman. she packed up her clothing in case she needed to flee. on november 19, as the first soldiers approached, she steeled her nerves, told her slaves to hide and walked out as you said "to claim protection and a guard." to her dismay, like demons, they rush in. "my yards are full. to my smokehouse, my dairy, pantry and kitchen and cllear like feminist -- clellar, like famished wolves they come. my smokehouse is gone as a twinkle in, my lord, butter, alex, pickles. bat turkeys and my hands
and chickens and folws. wls. are shut down and hunting. her horses and meals and whatever takes they had not cot were rounded off. -- they had had not cot were rounded off. -- they had not caught were rounded off. money and clothing belonging to her and her slaves were taken. they took her coffee pot. her flower cisterns, her dutch ovens, her skillets. everything was seized. all of this was happening, even though her home is being guarded, at least nominally. there were union guards placed outside her home, and perhaps that would help save it, because asdiers torched her cotton they left the plantation and these guards helped put it out. the following morning she actually asked -- she writes
very specifically that she used their coffee ration, copy was in very short supply at this point in confederacy, -- coffee was in short supply to it she had to make the coffee in her teakettle because they had, other soldiers had stolen her coffee pot. all has by leaving her poor by $30,000 and a much stronger rebel. for all the terror that she fared bettersurely than many neighbors because she had managed to hide. some flour, some syrup, a little bit of meat. some of her cows water home. she actually found the still edible carcass of a hawk numeral families graveyard which had been left undisturbed. , it ishink in her story more than just this recitation of horrors. she was guarded nominally. she still retain some
provisions. she didn't see any of her outbuildings or her home destroyed. these interactions between marchers and southern whites are cruel, but also in frequently involve small kindnesses. property is spared for a variety of reasons. lots and lots of stories about people hanging a masonic apron on the door and a protected their house. stories about her house being protected because they were pretty girls who lived there. because sherman had been in love with someone who had lived there once. lots of that. because there were little kids, because there was sickness, just out of luck. and i would argue that one of the reason there are so many stories it's planning individuals homes were spared along the march is because so many homes were spared along the root of the march. if the legend is that everything is destroyed, there is a lot of
antebellum homes in georgia that are still there. why were they spared? it is not to minimize the real destruction but to encourage you to think about variations across time and across place. dolly'story doess not really engage with african-americans and their expenses. as one might expect from a woman of her class, she really thinks about them only in relation to herself. but african-americans have their own memories of the march. and their own really complicated stories that they tell of the march, because for them, there is often intertwining of cruelties and kindness. shermans meant are -- men are both liberators bringing emancipation, yet many of them are profoundly uncomfortable in that role. shermans men, a lot of them don't join the -- the sherman himself did not have
african-american regiments in his army because he did not want them. an it's in some ways unwilling or incidental army of emancipation. african-americans realize this. they recognize the complexities of their position. claiborne moss had a sense of resentment toward sherman's men. he is telling this story in the 1930's of what happened to him as a child. he lived on a plantation 15 miles from sanders bill, georgia. when the march came through, he recognized somebody with them.
a peddler. he had joined the union army and he described how he was hanging back at first because he was afraid of being recognized. when the majority of the soldiers had passed, he came back and stole everything they could lay their hands on. all the gold and silver in the house and everything they could carry. recalled thes african-americans having to feed union officers for a night. he was angry that they did not pay for what they were fed and they took every horse and mule we had. is other thing he describes when the marchers moved on, they took his uncle ben with them. this is the word he uses. he says they took my uncle with them. we don't know if his uncle went
of his own accord or not. says, theys on and got in a fight. they gave uncle ben horses, five sacks of silverware, five saddles. the goods were taken in the fight. uncle ben brought it back with him. the boss took all of the silver away from him. uncle ben didn't know what to do with it. it to him. he come back because he wanted to. what might uncle ben have thought of all of this? the yankees are stealing from the planters. they give their gains to ben. presumably for safekeeping. ben's master steals them from him. he also seems to have fallen into the population who don't want to follow sherman's men.
they would rather -- rather stay with the devil he knows with his former master in the short term rather than take his chances on the march. this passage gives me chills because it is so complicated and brings us to the human drama that is at the heart of the civil war. to turn to union soldiers and see how they saw themselves. i looked at veterans writings because ifascinated thought they might be troubled to what they had done along the march. they were not. quite the opposite, they were proud of themselves.
they did not have any qualms about what they did to southern civilians. they thought of themselves as the people who won the civil war. the war would not have been one without them. what they did was instrumental. they also thought that the march -- they described it as like a sunday school picnic. these are veterans. that makes sense. they are used to marching a lot more. not 10. a day, they had so much more food to eat than they had had at any other time. they talk about the variety of food they are getting to eat. soldier talks about getting his first drink of milk in 11 months. it is fun for them. think, a lot of them
are young. enjoys an age where men thingsg and breaking when they are drunk. [laughter] then, but it fits into that paradigm. it is a good time for them. where does george quimby fit into all of this? his memoir was discovered in the house of a descendent. his grandson was a hoarder. ofthe midst of dumpsters trash, his descendents found a copy of the memoir.
it was transcribed. it was published a year ago. ways, quimby was a typical civil war soldier. he was born in ohio in 1842. his family had migrated west. by the time the war began, he was living in wisconsin. the average civil war soldier was a white nativeborn farmer, protestant, single, between 18 and 29. stood five soldier foot eight inches tall and
weighed 143. the average age was under 26. the mode was 19. he enlisted along with his older .rother he was six feet tall, light hair, blue eyes. gave his occupation as farmer. six weeks later, he was in oshkosh where he was officially mustered in as a sergeant. they bounced around for two years. in the summer of 64, they are engaged at the battle of jonesboro than they are part of the siege of atlanta.
as sherman's army made ready for the march, the 32nd wisconsin was transferred to the 17th corps under general blair. george quimby story parts company from the wisconsin because he was plucked under theome a scout command of general howard. quimby, as he writes in his memoir, and describing the qualifications necessary of a good scout, i can only say that one should be quick to think, quick to act, and have a general knowledge of the geography of the country in which he operates and with all she he should have gentlemanly instincts. while he should be a strict partisan, he should also be possessed of a large amount of human kindness. not be blind to the wants acts likes and dislikes of the enemy home people. he should be familiar with the provincial dialect and have a
thorough knowledge of their sympathies and hates. these necessary qualifications, he would still be useless as a scout if he did not possess the required amount of moral courage to enable him to fly to the rescue of a friend or comrade if there be a greater probability of saving their life than that of living his own. he does demonstrate these attributes. his memoir is of tremendous value because there are not a lot of books about union scouts. --uting work is that is conflated with that of spies. words about scouts have tended to be independent partisan captainike those of a who skirmish with moby -- most b's men in virginia.
general howard put the men under the command of captain william duncan. they received extra pay. they had their own baggage wagons and they got a fresh horse every morning when they went out in advance of the main columns. as they rode across georgia and the carolinas, they provided services. they scouted out for new campsites. they would carry dispatches from one column to the other. destroy railroad or telegraph lines. they captured prisoners. they would ride up to 70 miles per day. they were often taking new horses.
it a rule among ourselves never to do any foraging except in the matter of horses and wheelers men did that also and never to ask for anything without offering pay for the same. we had a double reason for this rule. first, we were liable to be captured at any time. after foraging if we should be captured near the scene, it would go very hard for us. is other thing they would do because of close contact with southerners white and black, we came to feel a degree of empathy if not sympathy. we became accustomed to their methods of receiving strangers and never did anyone declined to furnish a dinner of feed for their horses.
it is true that we were dressed in confederate uniforms, that might have an impact. [laughter] and often considered as confederate soldiers but after being informed that we were yankees, it seemed to make little or no difference in their conduct toward us. his writing is incredibly vivid. on a daily basis, they get into all kinds of adventures. they almost always rode in confederate uniforms. tone has a jovial -- stories about the men drinking too much or carousing a bit. on localed frequently african-americans to guide or hide them. they would flirt with southern white women.
quimby met his wife along the route and then he returned and married her the following year. i was able to go back into the official records and find dispatches describing his famous missions. what i want to do is tell you a bit about how he interacted with civilians. foraging ifopposed it was done rudely. he illustrates that with a story about his arrival on a plantation in south carolina. they had 25 slaves.
how worried he was about their ability to care for themselves if they were set free. the plantation owners had two tons of meat in their snow smokehouse. quimby said you want to hide that before the main force of the army arrives. the plantation owner replied that he could not do it because if he was asked if this was all he had he would be compelled to answer that he had some concealed for his own use. my heart went out to him quimby wrote and i thought of a plan whereby i could say for him something and still preserve his truthfulness.
i went into the yard and ordered the slaves to bring me 12 or 15 good hams. them to be thrown in a corner of the parlor and had the carpet ripped up and thrown over them in a manner that made it look like the house had been ransacked. mine dohese hams are not touch them or tell the army where they are. grows turned to the knee and told them i would return and if i did not find the hams i andd hold them responsible would take that much out of their hides. after dismissing the servants, the old gentleman told me that his eyesight was very poor and that he had some time secured some gold spectacles but he thought that they would take them and that if he had had his wife hide them. he asked me if i thought it was safe for him to put them on while the army was passing. after stating we wanted to see
them, i told him he better let them remain where they were. the foragers came and took a bunch of stuff. back, the oldmes gentleman and his wife are still there. he had his glasses. quimby says i stripped off the carpet and told him that in token of the fact that i had found him an honest man, i wished to present him with 15 find hams. tears ran down their cheeks and i had to turn away to hide my emotion. he insisted on remaining with but i could not
think of staying there and assisting them but i could not think of staying there and assisting them in eating up their provisions. there is no reason to doubt quimby's veracity. it is consistent with the way he talks about foraging and his sympathetic attitude. his dismissive attitude toward african-americans which is to say that he is happy they helped then heall the time but was also nasty to them when he needed to be. reflectsizes -- it these stereotypical features of these stories. the other interesting thing about the memoir is that he hise that around 1903, nonideological. it exhibits a spirit of
sectional reconciliation which was pretty common at the time. is the counterpoint to the one cause. the takeaway i want you to take is that there is not just one story or one sherman's march. there is a kaleidoscopic event and it changes. the stories we tell about it .hange with changing views it is ever in motion. thank you. [applause] >> we definitely have time for questions.
>> i try to remember a time when sherman was critical of the army at the potomac and when george meade heard about it he was outraged and called sherman's army an armed mob. >> that is incredibly believable. quimby talks about it in his memoir. the westerners think the easterners are to clean and tidy. the easterners think the westerners are slobs. i think there is a degree of antagonism.
i forgot to talk about my favorite image of sherman's march ever. this is by a cartoonist. is liket because it howdy what a cute confederate baby you have. it is so unrealistic. it is such an idealization. it is a twist on the more popular image of sherman's march with these hordes of marauders. >> [indiscernible] sherman's march destroyed everything.
how do you respond to people who continue without mythology? complexityd with the . they did destroy a lot. they did not destroy everything. i did a book tour and went to milledgeville and agusta. they were allthey were all prete to it. agusta people seemed disappointed that sherman had not burned agusta. [applause] [laughter] in columbia people were not. said columbia burned and they would have none of it.
it is so much more complicated than that. for every story of destruction, i can give you a counter story. what is also interesting is the way that sherman's march has spread all over so people will say we have this chair that is scorched by sherman's men. and i will say where is it from and they will say alabama. georgia once 50 miles south of atlanta. it was untouched by sherman's march. shop was a brochure in a that said come shop in the historic town that sherman didn't burn. it's a selling point.
to awas speaking next fellow who runs historic columbia. he said urban renewal destroyed three times as much as did sherman. >> exactly. deanlin graham who is the of georgia historians said atlanta has destroyed more of atlanta than sherman ever did. it is catchier to blame sherman. >> since we were in virginia, if you could speak comparatively about [indiscernible] in the way in which sherman gets the attention while they are
-- how didting out sheridan and hunter don't get the same vitriolic response is sherman? >> sherman is not the first person to do what he does. it happens months before in the valley. i think sherman gets a lot of the blame because for some that took hold in popular culture in a way that the burning of the valley did not. i'm not sure why that is. i have not looked at that in popular culture. read was 1866. particularly in the present day, it is impossible to overestimate the cultural importance and impact of gone with the wind.
the novel and then the film. where sherman never appears but he is the driver of a lot of the action in the first half. where margaret mitchell was very careful to do deep research and to get all of the military maneuvers right. the other reason was sherman that sherman goes back to atlanta when he is general and chief of the army in 1879. generalrt of this military tour of the south. it is a big deal. they have a ball for him. they have little jokes like hide the matches, sherman is coming. [laughter] but he is welcomed warmly. he is delighted by that. expositionck for an
and he speaks briefly on mexican war veterans day and he is still welcomed warmly. point then is a pivot that some have argued davis goes off on sherman about the burning of columbia. that at that point sherman's reputation starts to tank. i think there is something about the inherent drama of the march to the sea that captures the imagination and awaited the carolina's carolinas campaign does not.
>> i wanted to ask about something you said. sherman dideral [indiscernible] two colored troops. ithe got pushed back about but ultimately there were not colored troops attached to his army. they would honor his wishes on that one. he has a terrible relationship with stan because of it. champion of great civil rights for blacks. is a combination of not allowing black troops.
sherman didn't make the order but soldiers are so appalled that they write to their congressmen. stanton comes down to savannah to chastise sherman and say you have to do something about this. they had a meeting with african-american ministers then sherman comes up with a plan that he thinks is so far-fetched that stan won't go for it. that is to take abandoned lands on the coast of georgia and set it aside for african-americans to give it to them in 40 acre plots and settle them on it. and stan saysis it's a great idea. [laughter] it.man says great do you can tell sherman doesn't because the next
year when it was voided sherman did not say anything. >> there is a contrarian view of sherman's march from atlanta to savannah that [indiscernible] >> i wouldn't say that they did more damage, i know they did some damage. i don't think they did more because sherman's army was so large. i do think there was blame enough to spread around. the people who were hurt by this are the ones who in the end are always hurt by war which are civilians
and women and children, black and white, who are really left struggle. part of the reason, too, that sherman -- one of the things i about the dolly birch quote of food, a has a ton lot of food that plantation in lot more than a you would find in virginia, and area largelyis an untouched by the war and that's part of the reason sherman's going through there but i don't wheeler's cavalry did more damage but they certainly did their part. i'm relatively new to this notion that there were men in war, especially northern men. but now that i'm working on it, in sherman has really been piqued. his insanity and breakdown play a role in this
because i am just fascinated by reading the headlines on sherman his were published upon withdrawal as some people call it, or his rest, in the middle of the war. i'm wondering, is there any way to connect as you see it withng out in the any way individuals or with the mass and, of course, that look, that portrait of him has just got a tinge of the it.ess in so i'm asking this question scholar.o >> he was a ginger, catherine. i think sherman -- i think sherman's breakdown was sort of depression or what today we would consider depression. think sherman and grant are which isa lot of ways that the thing they are best at destruction and war. verynk sherman is
clear-eyed and that's what i or there's a him lot of things i don't like about sherman, clearly. about him iske that he's very clear-eyed about nature of war. war is cruelty and you cannot and his premise is i'm going to make war so horrible, that you give up. you can seenow if lingering questions of his sanity. you could look at michael fell at citizen sherman which is a pretty deep psychological portrait of sherman himself, which was a book that was really readingial for me through. but i think that he's pretty sane when he's doing what he does and he's pretty controlled about it. about it.ized and i think he also is someone who -- i can't remember who said take me so i don't want to
credit for this idea. i'm not the first to say it. but he's also sort of a born number one. doesn't want to be number one. overarchingant that command, responsibility. numberch happier being two to grant. this is why if nominated, i will not run. president.want to be he doesn't need that. this slightppier in back position. >> very good. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] announcer: learn more about the that shape thets civil war and reconstruction saturday at 6:00 p.m. only
on american history tv here on c-span3. announcer: one of georgia's 14 congressional districts will send new representation to the u.s. house of representatives. lucy mcbath was elected to represent georgia's sixth district in the next congress. debates,e of their ms. mcbath talked about how the shooting death of her son in 2012 spurred her to run for office. >> i am lucy mcbath. and in 2012, my son was killed. questioning our leaders. why were these kinds of tragedies continuing to happen. continued to ask more and more questions, why were our to keepors not willing our families safe, there was silence. there was complicity. to understand is that no one was going to be willing to do anything, that's andreason why i stood up that's the reason why i'm taking action. overi've noticed over and
again is that karen handel and other republican legislators refused to do anything about this unnecessary gun violence. they will not take action. end, the only things i'm beholden to in this district are talk to everyt i single day and my son's legacy. i'm running because i'm a mother on a mission. here in marietta, to represent everyone. announcer: new congress, new c-span. watch it all on announcer: american history tv recently at ford's theater in washington, d.c. for the 21st symposium hosted by the abraham lincoln institute and society.eater next, michael burlingame. he talks about the president's treatment of african americans visiting the white house and those he met during his travel. this is about m