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

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  • R.W. (Bob) Taubman
    ... From: Bill Brown To: Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 4:02 PM Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re:
    Message 1 of 4 , May 1, 2004
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Bill Brown" <william.h.brown@...>
      To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 4:02 PM
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Sherman, US Census, and Providential

      > > > 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
      > information. Another reply cited Sherman's statement regarding his use of
      > the census schedules in his memoirs (which I considered not a every
      > source, note Castel's article in Civil War History on Sherman's memoirs).
      > am really beginning to think that much of the census work was done by
      > officers (like a S-3 staff officer), and that Sherman claimed credit for
      > Sorry for opining so long.
      > Regards,
      > Bill

      I am in the process of reading Sherman's Horsemen by David Evans. I read
      the following and thought it was of interest on this topic;

      "Before the campaign began, Sherman had studied the 1860 census returns from
      Georgia and a statistical abstract describing the industrial output of every
      county in the state. He knew about the mills at Sope Creek and Roswell, and
      when he sent orders for Garrard on July 4, it seems likely his courier,
      Major McCoy, intimated that Sherman wanted them destroyed."

      There is no corroborating citation in the book, however, it would appear
      that Sherman got his information from information collected by the state of

      Bob Taubman

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