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Re: Sherman and Andersonville

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  • Norm Mikalac
    Thanks, Cash. So, Sherman and Stoneman tried ... and failed. Norm ... remaining ... prisoners, but ... Stoneman ... break up the ... of war ... where was the
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 20, 2005
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      Thanks, Cash. So, Sherman and Stoneman tried ... and failed.



      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, CashG79@a... wrote:
      > In a message dated 12/20/2005 1:52:14 AM Mountain Standard Time,
      > civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com writes:
      > Did Sherman ever give any reason for not liberating the
      > Andersonville prisoners while on his march through Georgia?
      > ---------------------------
      > He sent Stoneman and his cavalry on a raid to liberate the
      prisoners, but
      > that only resulted in more residents for Andersonville.
      > In his Memoirs, Sherman wrote,"On the 26th I received from General
      > a note asking permission (after having accomplished his orders to
      break up the
      > railroad at Jonesboro) to go on to Macon to rescue our prisoners
      of war
      > known to be held there, and then to push on to Andersonville,
      where was the great
      > depot of Union prisoners, in which were penned at one time as
      many as
      > twenty-three thousand of our men, badly fed and harshly treated.
      I wrote him an
      > answer consenting substantially to his proposition, only
      modifying it by
      > requiring him to send back General Garrard's division to its
      position on our left
      > flank after he had broken up the railroad at Jonesboro.
      Promptly, and on
      > time, all got off, and General Dodge's corps (the Sixteenth, of
      the Army of the
      > Tennessee) reached its position across Proctor's Creek the same
      evening, and
      > early the next morning (the 28th) Blair's corps (the Seventeenth)
      deployed on
      > his right, both corps covering their front with the usual
      parapet; the
      > Fifteenth Corps (General Logan's) came up that morning on the
      right of Blair,
      > strongly refused, and began to prepare the usual cover."
      > and
      > "Stoneman had not obeyed his orders to attack the railroad first
      > going to Macon and Andersonville, but had crossed the Ocmulgee
      River high up near
      > Covington, and had gone down that river on the east bank. He
      > Clinton, and sent out detachments which struck the railroad
      leading from Macon to
      > Savannah at Griswold Station, where they found and destroyed
      > locomotives and over a hundred cars; then went on and burned the
      bridge across the
      > Oconee, and reunited the division before Macon. Stoneman shelled
      the town
      > across the river, but could not cross over by the bridge, and
      returned to
      > Clinton, where he found his retreat obstructed, as he supposed, by
      a superior force.
      > There he became bewildered, and sacrificed himself for the
      safety of his
      > command. He occupied the attention of his enemy by a small force
      of seven
      > hundred men, giving Colonels Adams and Capron leave, with their
      brigades, to cut
      > their way back to me at Atlanta. The former reached us entire,
      but the
      > latter was struck and scattered at some place farther north, and
      came in by
      > detachments. Stoneman surrendered, and remained a prisoner until
      he was exchanged
      > some time after, late in September, at Rough and Ready."
      > and
      > "Soon after our reaching Atlanta, General Hood had sent in by a
      flag of
      > truce a proposition, offering a general exchange of prisoners,
      saying that he was
      > authorized to make such an exchange by the Richmond authorities,
      out of the
      > vast number of our men then held captive at Andersonville, the
      same whom
      > General Stoneman had hoped to rescue at the time of his raid.
      Some of these
      > prisoners had already escaped and got in, had described the
      pitiable condition of
      > the remainder, and, although I felt a sympathy for their hardships
      > sufferings as deeply as any man could, yet as nearly all the
      prisoners who had
      > been captured by us during the campaign had been sent, as fast as
      taken, to the
      > usual depots North, they were then beyond my control. There were
      still about
      > two thousand, mostly captured at Jonesboro, who had been sent back
      by cars,
      > but had not passed Chattanooga. These I ordered back, and
      offered General
      > Hood to exchange them for Stoneman, Buell, and such of my own army
      as would
      > make up the equivalent; but I would not exchange for his
      prisoners generally,
      > because I knew these would have to be sent to their own
      regiments, away from my
      > army, whereas all we could give him could at once be put to duty
      in his
      > immediate army. Quite an angry correspondence grew up between
      us, which was
      > published at the time in the newspapers, but it is not to be found
      in any book of
      > which I have present knowledge, and therefore is given here, as
      > of the events referred to, and of the feelings of the
      > actors in the game of war at that particular crisis, together
      with certain
      > other original letters of Generals Grant and Halleck, never
      > published."
      > and
      > "All this time Hood and I were carrying on the foregoing
      > relating to the exchange of prisoners, the removal of the people
      from Atlanta,
      > and the relief of our prisoners of war at Andersonville.
      Notwithstanding the
      > severity of their imprisonment, some of these men escaped from
      > and got to me at Atlanta. They described their sad condition:
      more than
      > twenty-five thousand prisoners confined in a stockade designed
      for only ten
      > thousand; debarred the privilege of gathering wood out of which
      to make huts;
      > deprived of sufficient healthy food, and the little stream that
      ran through
      > their prison pen poisoned and polluted by the offal from their
      cooking and
      > butchering houses above. On the 22d of September I wrote to
      General Hood,
      > describing the condition of our men at Andersonville, purposely
      refraining from
      > casting odium on him or his associates for the treatment of these
      men, but asking
      > his consent for me to procure from our generous friends at the
      North the
      > articles of clothing and comfort which they wanted, viz., under-
      clothing, soap,
      > combs, scissors, etc.--all needed to keep them in health--and to
      send these
      > stores with a train, and an officer to issue them. General Hood,
      on the 24th,
      > promptly consented, and I telegraphed to my friend Mr. James E.
      > Vice-President of the Sanitary Commission at St. Louis, to send
      us all the
      > under-clothing and soap he could spare, specifying twelve hundred
      fine-tooth combs,
      > and four hundred pairs of shears to cut hair. These articles
      indicate the
      > plague that most afflicted our prisoners at Andersonville.
      > "Mr. Yeatman promptly responded to my request, expressed the
      articles, but
      > they did not reach Andersonville in time, for the prisoners were
      soon after
      > removed; these supplies did, however, finally overtake them at
      > Florida, just before the war closed."
      > Regards,
      > Cash
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