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[439]

General Sherman's method of making war.

As General W. T. Sherman is so fond of coming to the front in denunciation of Confederate leaders and Confederate methods and motives in the conduct of the war, we feel called upon to put on record from time to time the truth about his methods of warfare, and instead of imitating his example and dealing in reckless assertions, we have generally sustained our arraignment by the most unimpeachable official records. We were, however, induced to publish in our issue of Match, 1884, a ‘Letter from one of Sherman's Bummers,’ which we received from a responsible source, and the authenticity of which we had no reason to question. But we have the following contradiction from Colonel Stone, formerly Assistant Adjutant-General Army of the Cumberland, which we cheerfully publish in our first issue after its receipt, as we are unwilling to do the slightest injustice even to the men who ‘made South Carolina howl.’ Although the letter was ‘not intended for publication,’ yet, as Colonel Stone gives us permission to do so, we deem it best to give the letter in full.


Letter from Colonel Stone.

Independence Square, Boston, March 19, 1885.
Rev. J. William Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va..
Dear sir,—In the number of the Southern Historical so-Ciety papers for March, 1884, under the heading, ‘How they made South Carolina “ Howl” —Letter from one of Sherman's Bummers,’ you publish what purports to be ‘a letter found in the streets of Columbia after the army of General Sherman had left.’

The contents of the letter are enough to satisfy any unprejudiced mind that it could not have been written by any officer of General Sherman's command—except, possibly, as the broadest kind of a hoax. But conceding, for the moment, that such a letter might have been written by ‘one of “Sherman's bummers,” ’ it is demonstrable that the letter under consideration is not genuine. If any such letter exists, it is a forgery.

The statement is that it was ‘found in the streets of Columbia after the army of General Sherman had left.’ The last of that army left Columbia on or before February 21. This letter purports to be dated


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