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[411] Butler at New Orleans, nor McClellan on the Peninsular. All had the same excuses as Sherman, or could have found them, but none had his malignity. He meant to destroy Atlanta before he left it, and he must first get rid of the women and children. Atlanta could have been made a great base of supplies without disturbing a single person, as dozens of other points had been, but Sherman had a further plan. He could not take the city with him, when he started for Savannah, and he would not leave it to be reoccupied by the army which had defended it so well.

One of the most devilish acts of Sherman's campaign was the destruction of Marietta. One of the present editors of the Marietta Journal was then a boy of fourteen, but he has a vivid remembrance of every incident, from the hour he heard the cannon shot which killed Polk, to the afternoon he stood on the street and saw the family homestead in ruins, and the Federal soldiers mocking at the grief of his poor old mother. If there was any excuse for destroying Marietta, then Lee may be blamed for not burning every building in every Pennsylvania town he passed through. The military institute, and such mills and factories as might be of benefit to Hood, could expect the torch, but Sherman was not content with that. The torch was applied to everything, even to the shanties occupied by colored people. No advance warning was given. The first alarm was followed by the crackling of flames. Soldiers rode from house to house, entered without ceremony, and kindled fires in garrets and closets, and stood by to see that they were not extinguished. In some cases a few articles of furniture had been saved. In others, the women and children stepped forth bareheaded, to make the ground their bed, and the sky their roof. If anyone protested or asked for time, a revolver or bayonet silenced and drove them out.

When night fell, Marietta was no more. Three or four half-burned dwellings, and the smoking heaps of ashes alone remained of one of the handsomest towns in the South. The people had not only been deprived of their homes, but of clothing and provisions as well. Next morning the hungry children were prowling around the Federal camps in search of bits and bones, and the women had nothing. Sherman should have been there to gaze on the picture, and to hear what was said by Federal soldiers who had wives and children at home, and who had the hearts of men beneath the discipline of the soldier.

What could the women and children do? It will surprise many to know what they did do. Right there at hand were the battle fields of Lost and Kennesaw Mountains. They took baskets, sacks, pails and

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