General William Tecumseh. SHERMAN
The following is from the book called The Civil War in Song and Story, By Frank Moore, published in 1889, by P.F. Collier, Publisher.
A Brave Drummer Boy- Orion P. Howe, of Waukegan, Illinios, drummer-boy to the Fifty-fifth Volunteers of that State, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Naval School at Newport. The following extract from a letter, written by Major - General Sherman to Secretary Stanton detailing an incident which transpired during the assault upon the rebel works at Vicksburg, on May 19th, doubtless secured the boy's promotion:
"When the assault at Vicksburg was at it's height on the 19th of May, and I was in front near the road which formed my line of attack, this young lad came up to me wounded and bleeding, with a good, healthy boy's cry: 'Gen. Sherman, send some cartridges to Col. Malmborg; the men are nearly all out.' What is the matter, my boy?' 'They shot me in the leg, sir, but I can go to the hospital. Send the cartridges right away.' Even where we stood, the shot fell thick, and I told him to go to the rear at once, I would attend to the cartridges, and off he limped. Just before he disappeared on the hill, he turned and called as loud as he could: 'Calibre 54.' I have not seen the lad since, and his Colonel, Malmborg, on inquiry, gives me his address as above, and says he is a bright, intelligent boy, with a fair preliminary education.
"What arrested my attention then was, and what renews my memory of the fact now is, that one so young, carrying a musket-ball wound through his leg, should have found his way to me on that fatal spot, and delivered his message, not forgetting the very important part even of the calibre of his musket, 54, which you know is an unusual one.
"I'll warrant that the boy has in him the elements of a man, and I commend him to the Government as one worthy the fostering care of some one of it's national institutions."
SOLDIER MORALS- General Sherman seemed to understand that a "hungry soldier has no morale or morals;" for when he caught a lad in blue in his wagon one night abstracting there from a large sugar-cured ham, he asked him kindly and without show of anger, "Have you no meat?" "None," said the soldier; "The regiment is one day behind on rations, and the commissary doesn't want to make extra issues." "Take the ham then," said Sherman as he resumed his cigar, "and whenever you need any more come to me and ask for them."
"Sherman's Love Of Music- A correspondent with Sherman's army recorded this incident.Memorable the music "that mocked the moon" of November of the soil of Georgia; sometimes a triumphant march, sometimes a glorious waltz, again an old air stirring the heart alike to recollection and to hope. Floating out from throats of brass to the ears of soldiers in their blankets and generals within their tents, these tunes hallowed the eves to all who listened.
"Sitting before his tent in the glow of a camp fire one evening. General Sherman let his cigar go out to listen to an air that a distant band was playing. the musicians ceased at last. The General turned to one of his officers: "Send an orderly to ask that band to play that tune again."
"A little while, and the band received the word. The tune was "The Blue Juniata," with exquisite variations. the band played it again, even more beautifully than before. Again it ceased, and then, off to the right, nearly quarter of a mile away, the voices of some soldiers took it up with words. The band, and still another band, played a low accompaniment. Camp after camp began singing; the music of "The Blue Juniata" became, for a few minutes, the oratorio of half an army.
Pg's. 186-187 -
"SOUTHERN OPINIONS- At every movement of General Sherman's army, he captured more or less of the confederates, and occasionally a few came forward and voluntarily gave themselves up. One of them being asked what he thought of the Union forces and General Sherman, replied in the following rather extravagant but at the same time truthful style: "Sherman gits on a hill, flops his wings and crows; then yells out, "Attention! creation! by kingdoms, right wheel! march!' and then we git."
"Some of the prisoners, with an air of curiosity worthy of a 'Yank" inquire where the boys get those guns which they load on Sunday and fire all week."
SHERMAN'S IN SAVANNAH
Like the tribes of Israel,
As the moving pillar shone
Glory be to God on high!
"SHERMAN'S FLANK MOVEMENTS- General Sherman's strategy in flanking the rebels out of their strong positions puzzled the natives a good deal. A young women said it was not fair to fight the Southern soldiers "on end." She then went to say, that the day before General Bragg had formed "two steaks of fight," in their door-yard with "walking soldiers," and General Wheeler formed "one steak of fight with critter soldiers" - meaning cavalry- behind the house, but that Joe Hooker had come up and flanked Bragg, and made him fall back, which he did in such a hurry, that he "upset dad's ash-hopper plant," which cost two dollars and fifty cents in Atlanta; and dad was a -goin to sue Bragg for waste."
"INCIDENTS OF SHERMAN'S MARCH- A correspondent who accompanied the army of General Sherman gives the following:
"I entered a house. The hostess was standing in a small room with closed door, looking through a small aperture, and crying: 'O! don't kill me. I am afeared of you.' I assured her my profound respect for her sex had always led me to treat them with the most tender kindness. 'O, yes,' she said, 'but- but you Yankees have been recommended to us to be a very bad and murdersome set of people!'
"In another hut I saw two women and seven small children, the oldest not more than nine years of age. They looked forlorn and hopeless. It seemed to me that death would be a relief to them all. Though they had not eaten a mouthful for three days, both women were smoking. A child was lying on the bed. I saw, by its burning cheek, that it was very ill. I said, 'Is your child sick?' 'Yes," she replied, and seemed, by her indifference, to have even lost a mother's love. I procured one of our surgeons; he examined the child , and said, 'Dying of starvation.' Before I left, the doctor had ordered provisions from the Commissary, for which he paid out of his own funds. There are some kind men left yet. The husbands of these women were in the rebel army. The authorities make no provisions for the poor. It is hard to see the suffering here endured by these harmless, illiterate people.
"One cause of their sufferings is the necessity of taking something in the way of provisions. If the supplies of forage are not up, the boys will take the corn, and other things too. I saw one fellow attacking a beehive which had been left behind. The bees were worse than rebels. He was repulsed. But, on making the second attack, he drew a large grain sack over his head and shoulders, donned his buckskin gauntlets, took the enemy, and divided the spoils. It is laughable to see the German soldiers out foraging. It is not unfrequently that an ancient hen is seen swinging from the pommel of a saddle, and a brood of young chickens following the horse."
"ANECDOTE OF GENERAL SHERMAN- On the arrival of General Sherman at Savannah, he saw a large number of British flags displayed from buildings, and had a curiosity to know how many British Consuls there were there. He soon ascertained that these flags were on buildings where cotton had been stored away, and at once ordered to be seized. Soon after that, while the General was busily engaged at headquaters, a pompous gentleman walked in, apparently in great haste, and inquired if he was General Sherman. Having received an affirmative reply, the pompous gentleman remarked, "that when he left his residence, United States troops were engaged in removing cotton from it, when it was protected by the British flag."
"Stop, sir!" said General Sherman; "not your cotton, sir, but my cotton, - in the name of the United States Government, sir. I have noticed," continued Sherman, " a great many British flags all about here, protecting cotton. I have seized it all, in the name of my Government."
"But, sir," said the Consul, indignantly, "there is scarcely any cotton in Savannah that does not belong to me."
"There is not a pound of cotton here, sir, that does not belong to me, for the United States," responded Sherman.
"Well, sir," said the Consul, swelling himself up with the dignity of his office, and reddening in the face; "my Government shall hear of this. I shall report your conduct to my Government, sir!"
"Ah! pray, who are you, sir?" said the General.
"Consul to Her British Majesty, sir!"
"O! indeed!" responded the General. "I hope you will report me to your Government. You will please say to your Government, for me, that I have been fighting the English Government all the way from the Ohio River to Vicksburg, and thence to this point. At every step I have encountered British arms, British munitions of war, and British goods of every description- at every step- sir. I have met them, sir, in all shapes; and now sir, I find you claiming all the cotton, sir. I intend to call upon my Government to order my Nassau at once."
"What do you propose to do there?" asked the Consul, somewhat taken a back.
"I would," replied the General, "take with me a quantity of picks and shovels, and throw that cursed sand-hill into the sea, sir; and then I would pay for it, sir- if necessary! Good day, sir."
"INCIDENT OF SHERMAN'S MARCH- General Howard, in a speech at the celebration of the Christian Commission, related the following little occurance after the battle of Chattonooga. "My corps, with Sherman's," said he, "had been in pursuit of the enemy three days. We had marched nearly one hundred and twenty miles, and then marched back again. the result of it was, that our clothes and our shoes were worn out; the men had scarcely any blankets to cover them, or pants to wear. they were toiling along on their journey home. Just as we had passed through the mountain ridge, the division commander, thinking that the men had marched far enough for one day, put them comfortably into camp, told them to make their coffee, and then sent word to me to know if they had permission to remain there during the night. It was raining hard, very hard. It was a severe storm. But I knew the position was an improper one. It was not the fulfillment of my orders. I sent back word, 'No; march forward to Tungstons Station. March!' It was dark- it was cold- it was stormy. The poor men had to be turned out once more, to march. Notwithstanding their labor, notwithstanding their toil and fatigue, they marched. "What did they do? How did they take it?' Do you ask? They took it as I hope you will take my speech. they went singing, singing, singing along the route- noble, patient fellows! - without complaining a word."
Pg's. 428-429 -
"A LOUD OUTCRY- General Sherman, before starting on that great campaign, passed some part of the winter of 1863-4 in Huntsville, Alabama.
"As his community had been from the first intensely and bitterly disloyal, he did not regard them as entitled to any special leniency or protection. Houses vacated by fugitive rebels were generally taken for quarters by his officers, and the expression of open and defiant disloyalty was checked by the bayonet. This natural result of the success of the Union arms is commented on and described in the following terms by a Huntsville correspondent of a Southern paper, signing himself "Exile:"
"It is but a short time since I left Huntsville, Alabama. This iron hand of despotism is upon the people; not perhaps as roughly, nor as grossly, as two years ago, when the impotent Mitchel commanded there; nevertheless, the hand is iron, and thumb-screws are in it, which daily are tightened, slowly, but surely, a little more and a little more. The people, as a body, are true to our cause, and the principles involved in it; yet there are few, four or five at the most, who are not only untrue, but vilely and fetidly dishonorable in their conduct towards men who are honorable, and whose degradation to their unholy level is a prime object in their movement. It would do no good to name them; the absentees, refugees, and exiles from Huntsville know them; but personal wrongs inflicted by these men tempt strongly to name, and hold the wretches up to a just and blasting reprobation. A few days ago, a body of gentlemen, unexceptionable in character, and conservative by age, were exiled upon fourteen hours' order to leave, because they refused to take an oath of allegiance to a Government they abhor in their inner souls. The promptness and alacrity with which they obeyed the order appeared to chagrin the domestic traitors, and rather exasperate the enemy in possession of the place. This is evidenced by a change of policy after the departure of the gentlemen alluded to, because the grace with which they left, indicated that it was no trial at all to their faith or spirit of martyrdom, if you choose so to call it. They -the officers in charge- have determined not to make any any more exiles, by sending the recusants of the oath South; they will, henceforth, be ordered North, and buried in Northern bastiles. Already they have immured one heroic old soul, William McDowell, in the penitentiary in Nashville. They intend to murder him, and in this way- but, thank Heaven, they have elected one, who, God willing, will be up to the emergency. If this country calls on him for the sacrifice, I know no man (and I know him will) who will more cheerfully, more heroically, make it. As another indication of Yankee barbarism, brutality, cruel and relentless, I will mention it involved not wounds to the body, nor torture of the nerve and flesh, but terrific convulsions of the soul itself, and the more painful because that soul, or rather those souls, are up to the highest standard of moral perfection, and susceptible of keenest torture. The venerable Ex-Governor Chapman received an order, on the 19th of January, to leave his house and family at nine o'clock A.M. on the 2oth; and when in the arms of his family, bidding adieu to the loved ones, on whom the winds of heaven had never blown roughly, - at that painful moment, as if to sound the depths of his own depravity, and the unknown depths of sensitive souls, a Yankee order was thrust into his hands, requiring wife and daughters to vacate their premises by two o'clock P.M. the same day, not allowing any article to be removed; and a guard was placed to t carry out that order. The circumstances, with the fortitude manifested, presented to me a spectacle of moral grandeur occasionally read of - rarely witnessed. Whilst speaking of the heroism of the old Governor, I will mention an incident that occurred in an interview between him and the Yankee colonel commanding the post. the Governor, knowing he would be compelled to leave in a day or so, to secure some of the commonest claims of humanity towards his family during his absence, approached the Colonel, who replied: "Governor Chapman- I believe that is your name.' Yes, sir.' did you not, in a public speech, in Huntsville, say, that to secure secession, you would sacrifice your property and your life?' After a moment's hesitation, the venerable man replied, with emphasis, 'No sir. To the best of my recollection, Colonel, I have made no public speech since the revolution commenced. I was in Europe at the time. You know my principles, Colonel, from the conversations I have had with you; and though I do not recollect any such "speech," or lead in that direction. and, lest you might suppose I would desire to evade consequences and responsibilities attachable to such principles,' rising to the full height of person and dignity, I will say it now, and more- not only will I sacrifice myself and property, but, sir, wife and children, to the preservation of our holy cause.' The statement of these honorable incidents runs out this to great length; but I will state a fact or two: 'Greeenbacks' are two and a half for one in gold in Huntsville and Nashville; and though the money quotations in Northern papers place them one hundred and fifty-nine to one hundred and sixty, the truth is, two months ago, in New York, in Wall Street, no 'operation' could be performed at less rate than two for one. The Yankee troops in Huntsville, whose term of service has expired, are converting their 'greenbacks' into Confederate currency to take home. I state this for an incontrovertible fact. Not in one instance only, but I witnessed several of the same. The streets are becoming foul; the groves and woodland around the town being swept away, all the lesser houses about the town are being torn down to floor and weather-board winter quarters for them. Every house in the city has been surveyed for occupation by them- not in a desultory manner, but regularly and systematically. It is the duty of an officer, one Lieutenant Cliff, to assign these quarters; thus, according to rank or personal standing (if any) at home, are they placed in places of average respectability in appearance. Colonel G. P. Birney's mansion is assigned as headquarters or General Sherman & Co. a regular system of operating is this instituted, and a an entering wedge to confiscation, this is the object of this procedure. But, through all, the people are true and devoted. I would mention more, but already I have written at too much length. You may rely on the women- God Bless them- in North Alabama. I do know, however, one or two disgraceful and unpatriotic exceptions."
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