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27378Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Sherman, US Census, and Providential Knowledge

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  • Bill Brown
    Apr 30, 2004
      > > I am in the process of reviewing a book that has made a
      > statement noting General Sherman's superb knowledge of the
      > landscape of both Georgia and South Carolina.

      > What does the author say are the ways the census helped Sherman?

      The author uses the Sherman/census thesis to describe how local resistance
      could not stop Sherman's columns, after leaving Savannah, Ga in Jan./Feb.
      1865. She refers to the fact that some of the Federal units knew the
      countryside extremely well, and that in one example, the local landowners
      thought that the soldiers must have known where every well and farm was in
      the county. In some ways, I chalk that up to good recon by lower level
      Federal officers, who used mounted forager detachments (aka bummers) to
      scout out the countryside (since Kilpatrick was playing around with
      Wheeler). The author uses that example of Federal knowledge as a clear
      thesis to show how extremely helpless the local civilians were in the face
      of "yankee horde."

      On a another listserv, someone cited that in Lee Kennett's bio of Sherman,
      that there is a image of Sherman's Invasion Map of Georgia denoting census
      information. Another reply cited Sherman's statement regarding his use of
      the census schedules in his memoirs (which I considered not a every reliable
      source, note Castel's article in Civil War History on Sherman's memoirs). I
      am really beginning to think that much of the census work was done by staff
      officers (like a S-3 staff officer), and that Sherman claimed credit for it.

      Sorry for opining so long.


      "There are no bad regiments, there are only bad officers."
      Field Marshall Lord William (Bill) Slim
      William H. (Bill) Brown
      Editor II, Governors' Documentaries
      Historical Publications Section (Office of Archives and History)
      "Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my
      agency &
      E-Mail to and from me, in connection with the transaction of public
      is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to
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