preferred to ‘march through that State smashing things to the sea.’
Unfortunately for the prosperity of Georgia
, the good order of her plantations, and the peace of her defenseless women and children, he was able, almost unmolested, to carry into merciless execution this intention so ruthlessly formed.
That he could thus easily compass the desolation of this Egypt
of the South
argued most plainly the growing weakness of the Confederacy
—sore pressed at all points, isolated on every hand, overwhelmed by numbers, and despoiled of her defenders—and gave painful token that the aspirations which her sons had cherished in tears, agony, and blood, for right and liberty and independence, were doomed to early disappointment.
The student of history searching among the annals of modern warfare for examples of moderation, humanity, justice, honor, and a chivalrous recognition of the rights of an enemy, will turn with regret and disappointment from the pages containing a true narrative of ‘Sherman
's March to the Sea
It really seems as if the Federal General
on this occasion sought to rival the conduct of Prevost
when, in 1779, he raided through the richest plantations of South Carolina
Behold the picture painted by the historian, Bancroft
: ‘The British
forced their way into almost every house in a wide extent of country; sparing in some measure those who professed loyalty to the king, they rifled all others of the money, rings, personal ornaments and plate, stripped houses of furniture and linen, and even broke open tombs in search of hidden treasure.
Objects of value, not transportable by land or water, were destroyed.
Porcelain, mirrors, windows, were dashed in pieces, gardens carefully planted with exotics were laid waste, domestic animals, which could not be used or carried off, were wantonly shot, and in some places not even a chicken was left alive. * * Fugitive slaves perished of want in the woods, or of fever in the British
The enormities of 1779 committed by the British
soldiers in their effort to perpetuate English rule over a colony then in open revolt against the Crown which had planted and nurtured it, were more than repeated by the United States troops in their attempt in 1864 to subjugate and drive back into the Federal Union a sovereign State which had withdrawn from a political compact into which she at first voluntarily entered, and from which, more than three years before,