Many poor women are in advanced state of pregnancy, others now having young children, and whose husbands, for the greater part, are either in the army, prisoners, or dead. Some say, I have such a sick one at my house, who will wait on them when I am gone? Others say, what are we do? We have no house to go to, and no means to buy, build or rent any; no parents, relatives or friends to go to.This being so (they say) how is it possible for the people still here (mostly women and children) to find any shelter? And how can they live through the winter in the woods—no shelter or subsistence, in the midst of strangers who know them not, and without the power to assist them much if they were willing to do so.
This (they say) is but a feeble picture of the consequences of this measure. You know the woe, the horrors and the suffering cannot be described by words; imagination can only conceive it, and we ask you to take these things into consideration.* * To this pathetic appeal, Sherman coolly replied on the next day, his letter commencing as follows: “I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a petition to revoke my orders removing all the inhabitants from Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your statements of the distress that will be occasioned, and yet I shall not revoke my orders, because they were not designated to meet the humanities of the case, but to prepare for the future struggles in which millions of good people outside of Atlanta have a deep interest,” &c. * * After he had started on his ‘march to the sea,’ he gives an account of how the foraging details were made and carried out each day, and concludes by saying:
Although this foraging was attended with great danger and hard work, there seemed to be a charm about it that attracted the soldiers, and it was a privilege to be detailed on such a party. Lastly, they returned mounted on all sorts of beasts, which were at once taken from them and appropriated to the general use, but the next day they would start out again on foot, only to repeat the experience of the day before. No doubt (he says) many acts of pillage, robbery and violence were committed by these parties of foragers, usually called “bummers,” for I have since heard of jewelry taken