Sherman Burns Columbia, Marches On

The fall of Savannah resulted in the adoption of the plan which Sherman had contemplated. In a letter dated December 24th Sherman says:

 

"Many and many a person in Georgia asked me why I did not go to South Carolina, and when I answered that we were en route for that State, the invariable reply was, 'Well, if you will make those people feel the utmost severities of war we will pardon you for your desolation of Georgia.'"

 

About one month was spent in Savannah in clothing the men and filling the trains with ammunition and rations. Then commenced the movement which was to make South Carolina feel the severities of war. The right wing, with the exception of Corse's division of the Seventeenth Corps, moved via Hilton Head to Beaufort. The left wing with Corse's division and the cavalry moved up the west bank of the Savannah River to Sister's Ferry, distant about forty miles from Savannah. Sherman's plan was similar to that adopted on leaving Atlanta. When the army had started from Atlanta, the right wing had moved direct toward Macon and the left toward Augusta. Both cities were occupied by Confederate troops. The movements of our army had caused the Confederate authorities at each of these important cities to demand not only the retention of the troops at each place, but had induced them to demand help from every quarter. Sherman had had no thought of attacking either place, and at the proper time the movements of both wings of the army were so directed as to unite them and leave both cities in our rear, with little or no force in our front. 

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