Amusements of the Yankee generals in Georgia.
In the raid of Sherman
, all of the outrages were not perpetrated by privates and subordinate officers.
In proportion to their number the officers of high rank were as guilty of as many acts of infamy as the scum comprising their commands:
"In the county of Burke
, General Kilpatrick
stopped at the house of an estimable lady and demanded a dinner for himself and others.
When the dinner was ready, the lady of the house was required to sit by the fireside while Kilpatrick
, with three negro wenches,
who were his traveling companions, took their dinners together, indulging, during the repast, in the most familiar and indecent conversation.
"The day after, Kilpatrick
dined at the house of another lady, of similar character; and when he had finished his dinner, turned his hireling escort loose upon the furniture and other contents of the house, destroying with their sabres the fine cutlery, glass and chinaware, etc., winding up the scene by ordering the corn-cribs and other out-buildings to be fired.
A faithful servant put the flames out, when one of the Vandals threatened to shoot him; but at this moment the cry of 'Wheeler
's men' caused the party to depart precipitately, and thus the buildings and contents were saved.
"To leave nothing undone to complete the infamy of this Yankee general's conduct, he caused all the sugar of the lady, whose hospitality, he had forced, to be filled with sand, as well as her jars of sweetmeats and preserves.
Such was the conduct of General Kilpatrick
We can well understand what the lower officers and privates of such a General would do. At the plantation of General Cobb
, in Baldwin county
, where General Sherman
made his headquarters for thirty-six hours, everything was destroyed by his order, and his soldiers robbed the negroes of their shoes, blankets, clothing, knives and forks, and cooking utensils.
Negro women were thrown down and their shoes taken off their feet, and their cabins pilfered of everything they could put their hands upon.
As none of his negroes could be induced to go off with them, they stole a boy about twelve years old and carried him off, in spite of the tears and entreaties of the child and his mother.
A widow lady, whose plantation joined General Cobb
's, was found guilty of being the nearest neighbor of this notorious rebel,
and she was made to suffer for it.--Though a defenceless widow, advanced in years and confined to her house by sickness, she was robbed of all that Yankee rapacity could find, and then the torch was applied to the balance; and in a few moments she and her dependents were deprived of their last morsel of bread.
This was at Sherman
's temporary headquarters.
"These incidents are mentioned because of the connection of their leading generals with them; others, far exceeding those in enormity and brutality by lesser officers and privates, could be enumerated without number.
"While the Yankees
were at Milledgeville
, a General Williams
and staff made their headquarters at the house of a lady, who, hoping her private and personal property would be protected by the presence of so many officers, gave them the best room in the house, and dispensed the enforced hospitality with what grace she could General Williams
promised her that her property should be respected, and yet, at the first meal, he and the thieving scoundrels of his staff stole the silver spoons and forks off the table.
In the room they occupied was a bureau, belonging to the lady of the house, containing a number of dresses and a set of furs.
After remaining three days, General Williams
left, and the lady going into her room and finding the bureau unlocked, congratulated herself that her personal apparel was, at least, unmolested.
Upon opening the bureau, however, it was found to be empty.
The Yankee thieves had found a key to fit the lock, and had stolen the dresses and furs of the lady whose roof sheltered them and at whose table they were fed. Petty larceny, however, has become so common with Yankee officers and men that it may justly be considered 'an institution,' and hardly entitled to special notice."