she had freed herself because, in her judgment, that Confederation no longer promoted the ends of justice, the equal rights, general benefit, and mutual protection for which it was originally formed.
If we unhesitatingly reprobate the rigor, revenge and cruelty of the royalist, Prevost
, by what law, human or divine, do the raiding, devastating columns of the Republican Sherman
stand acquitted of even severer condemnation?
It has been estimated that not less than ten thousand negro slaves were seduced from their allegiance by the Federals
in their march through the Georgia plantations
Hundreds of them died of want, small-pox, and other diseases incident to neglect, privation, and the lack of suitable shelter and clothing.
More than twenty thousand bales of cotton were consumed in gin-houses and sheds, and some twenty-five thousand more were seized in Savannah
after that city was evacuated by the Confederates
In their official returns the United States
officers account for thirteen thousand head of cattle, nine million five hundred thousand pounds of corn, and ten million five hundred thousand pounds of fodder taken from planters and issued to the troops and animals, but make no mention of horses and mules stolen ad libitum
, or of the stock, cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry killed on every hand and in the most irregular way to satisfy the wasteful appetite of prowling bands of bummers and freebooters, and, when that was glutted, uselessly shot in yards, pens, and fields of the owners and by the road-side to gratify wanton sport, barbaric cruelty, and ribald hate.
Of the consumption of rice, sweet potatoes, syrup, peas, and vegetables, of the destruction of houses, furniture, fences and agricultural implements
, of the quantity of personal property stolen and carried away, of the insults offered, the outrages perpetrated, and the crimes indulged in, no inventory has been taken.
The record exists however, and may be authenticated by thousands upon whose homes the shadows of dire calamity descended like the black vapors of hell.
We quarrel not with the legitimate hardships of war, but in the name of humanity and civilization, we do protest against the wanton waste, the unnecessary ruin, and the unjustifiable cruelties inflicted upon Georgia
by this expedition, led by an officer whose published order to his command was: ‘The army will forage liberally on the country during the march.’
As a military movement this expedition can be justified only upon the hypothesis that it was planned and conducted with full knowledge