View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2008 02:24 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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Sherman had various reasons for his "total war" with Georgia's civilans. One was that he sought to destroy virtually anything the enemy could use for the benefit of the Confederate army: food, clothing, raw materials for war material, etc.  Even by tearing up houses for campfire wood and tearing up railroads so that war material and sustenence for man and livestock could not reach Southern armies, or killing horses and mules so that enemy cavalry couldn't use them --all of that was to contibute to the attrition and demoralization Sherman believed would shorten or eventually end the war.

He also had another reason, perhaps less justifiable, but I understand his logic. He felt the Georgian civilians gave love, moral support  and encouragement to the CSA soldiers. Some civilians could act as scouts, guides and spies, write inspirational or informative newspaper articles, or otherwise provide help to the CSA war effort.

Sherman felt that if civilians had pressured Davis to end the war, pressured their family members not to go to war and refused to contibute food and manufactured goods to the war effort, the war would end or might never have been fought.

Thus he said civilians were responsible for keeping the war going, and doing nothing to stop it. How he included children in this equation, I do not know, Children certainly suffered from the lack of food and shelter and the trauma of having had Sherman's legions pass by.

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