pleasure, and insults continually offered.
Corn cribs emptied of so much of their contents as sufficed to fill the commissary wagons, were often either pulled to pieces or committed to the flames.
Cotton-houses, gins, screws, and cotton were universally consumed.
were broken up or carried away, and horses, mules, cattle, and hogs were either driven off shot in the fields, or uselessly butchered in the pens and lots.
Such was the wholesale destruction of animal life that the region stank with putrefying carcasses.
Earth and air were filled with innumerable turkey buzzards battening upon their thickly strewn death feasts.
Even churches did not escape the general wreck—their wooden benches, doors, and sides being used for camp-fires, and their pulpits stripped of their scanty vesture.
Grist, flour, and sugar mills shared in the common ruin.
Labor was sadly disorganized, and the entire region swept by the Federal
columns was left in poverty, ruin, demoralization, and ashes.
To repress the commission of these enormities and prevent this prodigal and unwarrantable waste, effort was seldom used or disposition manifested by subordinate officers.
Soldiers often vied with each other in acts of violence, insult, outrage, pillage, desolation, and murder.
These intolerable violations of the rules of civilized warfare are, by the commanding General
when, in the official report to which we have already referred, commenting upon the conduct of the rank and file of his army, cavalierly dismissed with the remark, ‘a little loose in foraging, they did some things they ought not to have done, yet, on the whole, they have supplied the wants of the army with as little violence as could be expected, and as little loss as I calculated.’
This General complacently and boastfully announces to his government that eighty million dollars' worth of the property destroyed in Georgia
by his army while on this march was ‘simple waste and destruction,’ in no wise contributing to the wants of the invader, but plunging the unarmed invaded in a sea of sorrow, tribulation, and ruin.
The picture is not overdrawn, and this march of Sherman
through the heart of Georgia
forms as memorable and mournful an epoch in the history of this State as in Roman annals does the passage of the victorious Goths
, encumbered with weighty spoils, through the southern provinces of Italy
, annihilating whatever opposed, and madly plundering an unresisting country.
The key note to the conduct of the whole campaign is sounded in the letter to General Grant
from which we quoted at the commencement of this address.
set out to ‘make Georgia