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[111]

But we also find, on page 287, that he confessed having told a falsehood about General Hampton, so that we cannot credit his statement that the foregoing was his only act of vandalism. Indeed, we think we have most satisfactory evidence to the contrary. (It will be noted, however, that Sherman makes a distinction between his personal acts of vandalism and those he committed through others.) A part of this evidence is to be found in the following letter from a lieutenant, Thomas J. Myers, published in Vol. 12, Southern Historical Society Papers, page 113, with the following head note:

The following letter was found in the streets of Columbia after the Army of General Sherman had left. The original is still preserved, and can be shown and substantiated, if anybody desires. We are indebted to a distinguished lady of this city for a copy, sent with a request for publication. We can add nothing in the way of comment on such a document. It speaks for itself.

The letter, which is a republication from the Alderson, West Virginia, Statesman, of October 29, 1883, is as follows:

Camp near Camden, S. C., February 26, 1865.
my dear wife:

I have no time for particulars. We have had a glorious time in this State; Unrestricted license to burn and plunder was the order of the day. The chivalry have been stripped of most of their valuables. Gold watches, silver pitchers, cups, spoons, forks, &c., &c., are as common in camp as blackberries. The terms of plunder are as follows: The valuables procured are estimated by companies. Each company is required to exhibit the result of its operations at any given place. One-fifth and first choice falls to the commanderin-chief and staff, one-fifth to corps commander and staff, one-fifth to field officers, two-fifths to the company. Officers are not allowed to join in these expeditions, unless disguised as privates. One of our corps commanders borrowed a rough suit of clothes from one of my men, and was successful in his place. He got a large quantity of silver (among other things an old milk pitcher), and a very fine gold watch from a Mr. DeSaussure, of this place (Columbia). DeSaussure is one of the F. F. V.'s of South Carolina, and was made to fork out liberally. Officers over the rank of captain are not made to put their plunder in the estimate for general distribution. This is very unfair, and for that reason, in order to protect themselves, the subordinate



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