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[412] pans, and flocked to the fields to pick up lead and iron. There were tons of metal lying upon the ground, and it was not a long day's work to pick up all that one could carry. Some of the people found knives, watches, jewelry and money, while all had good picking, so far as lead and iron went. They were thus battling on the battle fields — not for glory and renown, but to win a victory over starvation and suffering. Whatever had value could be sold to traders, and whoever had money could purchase something to eat and wear. After Sherman was well on his way to Savannah, some of the people of Marietta, then living in old tents, took junk and drove up into mountain towns where war had not set its foot. The blacksmiths would buy all the iron brought them, and the sellers would invest their money in cloth, provisions and live stock. The garrison left at Marietta knew all that these people had suffered, and could see how hard they were seeking to secure the necessaries of life, and yet it happened in a score of instances, that the calves, pigs and poultry, brought back after a journey of five or six days, would be stolen by the soldiers on the day of their arrival. He who asks those women and children to forget the insults heaped upon them that year, is asking more than human nature has ever yet granted. It is not the bitterness of battle and defeat which rankles in the hearts of people who felt the tread of Sherman's march, but of such acts of oppression, insult and cruelty, as few conquerors have been guilty of. There was not the shadow of an excuse for burning Marietta, and Sherman's excuses are becoming fewer each year.

When Sherman issued his proclamation to the effect that all the inhabitants must leave Atlanta, the people were appalled. The city was over-crowded with refugees from Dalton, Resaca, Marietta and the country between. Many of them had come bare-handed and without means. If they left Atlanta where could they go to, and how subsist? That was a matter which did not worry Sherman in the least.

The only excuse urged by the Federal commander was that, with the city held by his troops, the inhabitants would have no means of subsistence. If they starved outside the city limits he would not be worried. The real motive that guided his actions appeared later, when men were detailed to deliberately burn the city to the ground. Sherman s own book settles this question. In it the author writes: “We then deliberately destroyed Atlanta.” It was deliberate. The intention was to burn every building, and only a few escaped.

The appeal was in vain. Some few managed to evade the order to vacate by hiding and remaining in seclusion, but the great majority obeyed it. Such as were transferred to Hood's lines, to be sent further

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