Sherman’s March in Myth and Memory

“Then Sir, we will give them the bayonet.”

On Mackey’s blog page at

he uses a book by Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown — Sherman’s March in Myth and Memory as a historical reference to dismiss any negative commentary about Genl. W. T. Sherman. Mackey goes on to give several cherry picked examples of how good Sherman was and how he never did any of the things Southerners blame on him. Now keep in mind this is from others who may have an agenda to forward.

That being said, and from what Mackey has posted I believe the book has no value as a historical tool. The reason is simple I can go to Sherman’s memoirs and find this quote in his own words.

If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives most stop the war.

That one sentence pretty much sums up Sherman’s actions in the war.


4 thoughts on “Sherman’s March in Myth and Memory

  1. On Facebook I can post pictures of articles which is much easier. Maybe I can collaborate with some info I have.
    Southern Recorder, May 31, 1864 — page 3
    ” The large brick edifices at Manassas, Bartow County, occupied by the Female Colleges, one under Baptist, the other under Methodist control, have been burnt by the enemy, together with all the fine residences in the vicinity. A day of retribution will surely come to the Yankee demons. ”

    Kennesaw Gazette March 1st 1889 Vol IV No.5
    Old Cassville Ga
    Editor Kennesaw Gazette
    Cassville was once a beautiful and attractive village
    situated within a little less than three miles of the W. &
    A. Railroad, north of Cass Station, near the center of
    Bartow County; but happening to be directly in Sherman’s
    war-path, it was shorn of its glory and laid in ashes by
    the federal Torch. Various reasons are assigned for the
    cruel deed. Some said it was on account of the name of the
    place being changed by our legislators from Cassville to
    Manassas, soon after the battle of Bull Run; others said
    it was done in revenge for the waving of a black flag at
    Cass Station by two young ladies whose patriotism was
    greater than their prudence. Again it was said that being
    so near the railroad it was a harbor for the rebel scouts.
    The Federals entered Cassville on the night of May
    19th 1864, and seemed eager to apply the torch at once.
    Early the next morning they burned one of the hotels. Next
    day Col. Akins residence was burned. On the 24th Wheeler’s
    cavalry made a raid on a wagon train near Cassville and
    captured a number of prisoners, wagons, mules, etc. Orders
    were repeatedly issued for the citizens to leave, and the
    utter destruction of the place was threatened; but the
    threats were not executed till October 12th, when the male
    college and several private residences were burned. The
    male college was burned by a detachment of Wilders brigade
    composed of parts of the 98th Illinois, 1st, 3rd & 4th
    Ohio regiments and on the 5th of November Col. Heath of
    the 5th Ohio came with about three hundred cavalrymen and
    completed the destruction which left many poor women and
    children without shelter from the storms of winter which
    were fast approaching.
    The morning was bright and clear, but in the
    evening the smoke arose and formed a dark and threatening
    clouds, which for a while suspended over the doomed spot
    and then seemed to melt away in the tears of grief. It
    seemed as if nature was weeping over the sad fate of old
    Mrs. B.B. Quillian

  2. I would like to comment too on the lack of evidence out there when it comes to events like Cassville, Etowah and other cities
    1.- Why would Sherman share what happened in his memoirs? Oh by the way I had troops loot homes, destroy food stuffs and steel property. He will never call his actions into question.

    2 – A question I ask all the time is why are there pictures by Bernard of Resaca and the Bridge of Etowah but no pictures at Cassville or other areas when the destruction went on. We all know Sherman’s dislike of the press. So if there was nothing to hide why not show the pictures.

    3 – Why didn’t more people speak out publicly about this. Well some did like Bill Arp and Lizzie Gaines but why not others. First you have to consider the South was under Federal Control. and in Georgia part of Federal District Number 3. Newspapers of the era began to beat the federal drum. We were occupied. Many asked for claims from the Southern Claims Commission but the effect of Sherman’s Belt had left lasting marks. Women still weren’t able to speak out. The Roswell women were shipped north and just released. You can’t find proper documentation because A. the Mill owners fif not want to reveal who they hired and the US government did not want to acknowledge any involvement. luckily newspapers provide some evidence.

    The thing is I found a great deal of evidence, All one has to do is look.

    • It is post and support like this that gives me the energy to maintain 3 fact based websites and now a blog. I get an extra push to sit at my computer when I had rather be fishing.

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