Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Interesting letter: Sherman to Rawlins, August 4th 1863

Expand Messages
  • gnrljejohnston
    ... What has always struck me, however, is how completely the Confederates lostcontrol of their own people, and how Wheeler s Cavalry visited equally harsh
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 20, 2007
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@... wrote:

      What has always struck me, however, is how completely the
      Confederates lostcontrol of their own people, and how Wheeler's
      Cavalry visited equally harsh destruction and vandalism on their own
      people. ...... The more I research this aspect of the campaign, the
      more I am stunned at how badly the Rebels behaved, and how little
      influence Wheeler or his officers had in controlling their men.

      Of course, Wheeler also had orders to inflict a scorched earth
      campaign on the countryside ahead of Sherman, in order to deny the
      Yankees supplies. This meant that Wheeler destroyed hundreds of
      mills, thousands of bales of cotton, thousands of head of livestock,
      etc.

      Wheeler's orders in the end accomplished nothing: Sherman got his
      food, and the bulk of the people Wheeler harassed only met with the
      same treatment from the Yankees a few days later.

      A sad state of affairs.

      Dave Powell

      The sad thing may be also Dave, that there were many times Sherman's
      troops were blamed for the destruction that Wheeler's troops did.

      JEJ
    • DPowell334@AOL.COM
      In a message dated 1/20/2007 6:57:42 P.M. Central Standard Time, GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com writes: The sad thing may be also Dave, that there were many times
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 20, 2007
        In a message dated 1/20/2007 6:57:42 P.M. Central Standard Time, GnrlJEJohnston@... writes:

        The sad thing may be also Dave, that there were many times Sherman's
        troops were blamed for the destruction that Wheeler's troops did.

        JEJ
        I have come to the opinion - best guess - that the majority of predation was inflicted by the approx 12,000 stragglers that followed both armies, just out of reach of the law of either Sherman or Wheeler, and who felt they could cut loose during the march. I think that Sherman had better control over his 60,000, but that larger number yielded several thousand stragglers who felt they could operate beyond discipline.
         
        Wheeler, of course, had much less - 10,000 - but lost control of 2/3, so that the cloud of stragglers that followed both columns  came from both armies in about equal proportions.
         
        to me, the iconic letter is from a guy in Terry's Texas Rangers (8th Texas Cav) who boasts to his fiancee in Houston about getting a fine set of Silver Candlesticks. This happens, BTW, just outside of Savannah.
         
        War is immensely destructive. Young men - and these were all young men, for the most part - need close discipline or they will succumb to the seductive lure of destruction for its' own sake. I feel that this is exactly what happened to both sides during the march, but I must conclude that it happened to Wheeler's men at least as much as Shermans'.
         
        Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this opinion in other fora, As Jim aluded to, this is an extremely sensitive subject for CSA-leaning folks.
         
        Dave Powell
      • keeno2@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/20/2007 8:35:51 PM Central Standard Time, DPowell334@AOL.COM writes: Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 20, 2007
          In a message dated 1/20/2007 8:35:51 PM Central Standard Time, DPowell334@... writes:
          Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this opinion in other fora, As Jim aluded to, this is an extremely sensitive subject for CSA-leaning folks.
          If it weren't, Dave, I'd be a bit worried about the CSA-leaning folks. Unfortunately, it's very easy to explain away the depradations caused by the passage of 62,000 fed-up, angry, and very vigorous young men, a goodly portion of whom remained outside the direct control of their commanders (and many with the approval of their commanders). It's a bit more difficult to explain away the destruction attributable to  Wheeler's troopers.
           
          Sherman tried to exert control but confessed on several occasions that keeping track of all the soldiers, all of the time, was quite impossible. In effect, he knew there would be some extracurricular activity but, at that time in the war he apparently figured some inadvertent "collateral damage" would help make his point: "the war is over -- call your menfolks home." Sherman's orders were to leave the little people alone. Although that intention may not have been strictly followed, it is clear to me that Wheeler's people finished the job.
           
          Regards,
          Ken
           
        • gnrljejohnston
          ... opinion in ... subject for ... This may be an extremely sensitive to some, but I always have said, you cannot sweep factual history under the rug and try
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 21, 2007
            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@... wrote:
            >

            > Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this
            opinion in
            > other fora, As Jim aluded to, this is an extremely sensitive
            subject for
            > CSA-leaning folks.
            >
            > Dave Powell
            >

            This may be an extremely sensitive to some, but I always have
            said, "you cannot sweep factual history under the rug and try to hide
            it." One cannot ignore history just because it is not PC. You have
            to take to bad along with the good. You also have separate the fact
            from the myth.

            I may be wrong (and I probably am), but I think it was Patton that
            said one should honor and respect you adversary. Even Sherman had a
            high respect for JEJ as an adversary, and stated so. With that in
            mind, I shall honor Robert E. Lee this week in rememberance of his
            200th birthday and fly the First National.

            This is from a Yankee born in Illinois and lived most of his life in
            Michigan.

            JEJ
          • Carl Williams
            ... opinion in ... for ... uh oh, another topic for Shotgun to ban!
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 22, 2007
              > Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this
              opinion in
              > other fora, As Jim aluded to, this is an extremely sensitive subject
              for
              > CSA-leaning folks.
              >
              > Dave Powell
              >

              uh oh, another topic for Shotgun to ban!
            • Dick Weeks
              I hope you folks don t think that I like having topics banned in the group. I ban them because every time we start discussing certain topics that are
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 22, 2007
                I hope you folks don't think that I like having topics banned in the group.
                I ban them because every time we start discussing certain topics that are
                emotionally charged there are some, not all by any stretch of the
                imagination, but some, that resort to flaming tactics. That is they start
                saying rude things about the one that makes a post and not the post itself.
                There is a reason for this. When you are face to face with someone, a
                facial expression, a body movement, or a voice inflection can, in many
                instances, convey a persons feelings without even speaking. This is not
                possible in email. It has to be done with the written word. Therein is
                where the problems begin. Some put in email what they would never say if
                they were face to face with an individual. Just my opinion of course.

                Rest assured, a topic will not be banned unless I see that topic cannot be
                discussed in a civil manner. The decision to ban a topic is not based on my
                personal likes or dislikes. It is based solely on the actions of the group.

                I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
                http://www.civilwarhome.com

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007 5:58 AM
                Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Interesting letter: Sherman to Rawlins, August
                4th 1863


                >
                >> Interesting that I have been severely criticized for airing this
                > opinion in
                >> other fora, As Jim aluded to, this is an extremely sensitive subject
                > for
                >> CSA-leaning folks.
                >>
                >> Dave Powell
                >>
                >
                > uh oh, another topic for Shotgun to ban!
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.