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[414] up by blasting down the banks and every tie burned up. Kilpatrick reported to Sherman that the break could not be repaired in a month, but the cars were running in less than sixty hours. Ten thousand Federal cavalry worked for a month to cripple the Macon line, but could not do it. Sherman had to move his whole army before he could accomplish that event. As soon as the Federals had cut and destroyed the line and retired, a force of Confederates set to work on the road-bed and a few hours would place it in order. Fresh ties were cut, rails were brought up from the store laid aside for such an emergency, and trains were soon running. The ties would be twice the usual distance apart and not bedded, but as trains reached these breaks they slowed down and crawled safely over.

It was the same when Forest and Wheeler were operating on Sherman's lines. Twelve miles of road was destroyed on one occasion, and and this destruction included the blasting down into cuts of so much rock and earth that a Confederate civil engineer said that ten thousand laborers could not repair the damages in three weeks. They were repaired within four days. While soldiers became adept in the work of destroying railroads, they became equally skillful in the matter of repairing them. Sherman had to destroy thirty miles of the Augusta road before he could permanently cripple it.

At the very opening of the campaign at Dalton the Federal soldiery had received encouragement to become vandals. Not one private soldier out of every forty in that army turned robber and incendiary, but there were enough to cast a stigma on the whole. From Dalton to Atlanta every house was entered a dozen times over, and each new band of foragers robbed it of something. When there was nothing in the shape of money, provisions, jewelry or clothing left, the looters destroyed furniture, abused women and children, and ended by setting fire to the house. As these parties rode back to camp, attired in dresses and bon nets, and exhibiting the trophies of their raids, and nothing was said to them, others were encouraged to follow suit. The treatment of colored women was brutal in the extreme, and not a few of them died from the effects. One who has the nerve to sit down and listen to what they can tell will find his respect for the ignorant and savage Indians increased.

But these were preparatory lessons. When Sherman cut loose from Atlanta everybody had license to throw off all restraints and make Georgia drain the bitter cup.

In the first place Sherman intended to subsist on the country. Details were made from every regiment to forage. The quartermasters

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