Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Roswell Georgia mill women - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
You have chosen to ignore scamp. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 02:06 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Could you provide a primary source for this? I've looked all over and I cannot find anything. My guess is that many of them stayed in Indiana and started over because it was a much more prosperous region and most had lost the ties they had to Roswell: many of their husbands, brothers and fathers dead or missing, their family slaves run off or liberated by federal cavalry and their only means of income (the mill) destroyed beyond repair. Cheers.

Mark



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 04:40 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Mark-

  This short article might be of use to summarize what took place.

New Georgia Encyclopedia: Deportation of Roswell Mill Women

  And I'm sure that the Roswell Historical Society and the Georgia Historical Society would have more to say about it.

Home

Georgia Historical Society

 



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 02:41 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
HankC
Member


Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location:  
Posts: 517
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

The Roswell story makes me think 'what was Sherman thinking'. I'm unsure that sending them north was worser than leaving them in the town.

It's similar to the forced evacuation of atlanta later in the campaign, but in that case the refugees were turned over to the csa. I think sherman did not care to feed refugees, so he made them someone elses problem...


HankC



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 03:20 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
9Bama
Member
 

Joined: Mon May 10th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 106
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Mark wrote: Could you provide a primary source for this? I've looked all over and I cannot find anything. My guess is that many of them stayed in Indiana and started over because it was a much more prosperous region and most had lost the ties they had to Roswell: many of their husbands, brothers and fathers dead or missing, their family slaves run off or liberated by federal cavalry and their only means of income (the mill) destroyed beyond repair. Cheers.

Mark


Under what conditions is this acceptible? These women simply vanished from their homes and families, never to return because they worked as laborers in a Mill. They were more than likely slaveless as they werre not the owners or managers of the mill, but rather the laborers.

I find this to be a tragedy as severe as any I have knowledge of. had they desired to migrate to southern Indiana because it was more "prosperous" that would have been their business and thier decision. First of all, I have no idea that southern Indiana was indeedmore prosperous than their former homes, maybe you do. Secondly, I doubt that women alone during war time, considered the enemy, in the mid 19th century had a very easy time of it. Would you want you mother, sister, wife to endure that? I would not!



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 08:39 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I have to admit this makes no sense to me. It's actually the first I've heard about it. What possible rational could Sherman have for what appears to be a rather senseless move? I can't see any.

During the march, he had to come across hundreds of factories and manufactoring sites - why single out these women? Look, I agree with Sherman that war is hell and I would have no problem with sending the women home and burnig the mill to the ground. But on so many levels what he did doesn't make sense. Certainly doesn't on a humanitarian level. And why use scarce available infrastructure to accomplish it? Even on a military scale -why on earth would you send hundreds of hostile (with good reason after this move) "enemy" civilians behind your own lines to be released into the population. Sure seems like a bone-head move to me.

I just don't get it. Anyone run across any primary sources for this? The New Georgia Encyclpedia uses only secondary sources.



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 09:47 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

bama, I'm not saying it was acceptable... as a historian I just try to explain why things happened the way they did, I don't pass judgement. I'm just suggesting some reasons why the girls might have stayed in Indiana. Why General Sherman deported them is a different story and I'd need a lot more information before I could suggest his reasoning. I would hazard a guess that this is simply an continuation of the Federal "hard war" strategy. I also would suggest that General Grant's burning of settlements along the Mississippi that harbored partisans earlier in the war was even less humanitarian.

Cheers!

Mark



 Posted: Fri Oct 15th, 2010 11:54 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

  More on the topic, for those interested, as well as a relatively new (and expensive) book.

Women Will Howl  -Well organized and interesting narrative, photos, and drawings.

  Photos of some of the Roswell and New Manchester mill workers and their relatives from the website linked to above, as well as information on their fates.

Mill Worker Photographs

 



Last edited on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 12:43 am by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Nov 1st, 2010 06:54 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
Unionblue
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 23rd, 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 56
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Mark,

You also might want to check out the book, Charged With Treason: Ordeal of 400 mill workers during military operations in Roswell, Georgia, 1864-1865, by Michael D. Hitt.

Hitt is a former police officer from Roswell and it states on the book's jacket that he used those investigative skills to track down the Roswell women and the events that took place.

Hill makes the following comment in the end of his book:

"With the war over, most of the mill workers, charged with treason, returned home.  Samuel Farr and his family returned to Roswell and they are buried in the Roswell Methodist Cemetery.  Many others returned, according to S. H. Causey, a former Sweet Water Factory Employee:

"Great was the rejoicing when the smoke of battle had cleared, and by the end of the summer of 1865 practically all of them rejoined their husbands, fathers and sweethearts in their former Roswell and Sweetwater homes. ...as soon as peace was declared they returned home, making the trip aboard the same train which had taken them north a year before. [208]""

[208] The Atlanta Journal, Magazine Section, February 28, 1932, p. 6.

Made for a very good read.

Sincerely,

Unionblue



____________________
Belief does not make truth. Evidence makes truth. And belief does not make evidence.


 Posted: Mon Nov 1st, 2010 06:24 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks for the reference Unionblue. I am quite intrigued by the part about charging the workers with treason. While I'm not very well read up on the legal history of the war this instance is the only occasion I can think of that civilians were charged with treason for simply producing goods that would have supported the Confederacy. I wonder what made them different. Unfortunetly I'm rather short on time for reading at the moment, but if anyone does read that book I would sure like to hear back from them on the treason charges.

-Mark



 Posted: Mon Nov 1st, 2010 10:31 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
Old Blu
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 16th, 2008
Location: Waynesboro., Virginia USA
Posts: 330
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Mark, I don't believe there were any Roswell employees charged with treason.
It appears he is talking about the owners of the 2 flag owners.

OR Series 1, Vol 38 part 5, pages 91-92

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Near Chattahoochee, July 9, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I telegraph to you, and Mr. Secretary Stanton answers. Drop me a word now and then of advice and encouragement. I think I have done well to maintain such an army in such a country, fighting for sixty days, and yet my losses are made up by the natural increase. The assault I made was no mistake; I had to do it. The enemy and our own army and officers had settled down into the conviction that the assault of lines formed no part of my game, and the moment the enemy was found behind anything like a parapet, why everybody would deploy, throw up counter-works and take it easy, leaving it to the "old man" to turn the position. Had the assault been made with one fourth more vigor, mathematically, I would have put the head of George Thomas whole army right through Johnston's deployed lines on the best ground for go-ahead, while my entire forces were well in hand on roads converging to my object, Marietta. Had Harker and McCook not been struck down so early the assault would have succeeded, and then the battle would have all been in our favor on account of our superiority of numbers, position, and initiative. Even as it was, Johnston has been much more cautious since, and gives ground more freely. His next fighting line, Smyrna Camp-Ground, he only held one day.
I have got General Schofield across the Chattahoochee with two good pontoon bridges, without loss, and momentarily wait the news of my cavalry being across at Roswell Factory, where is the best ford on the whole river, but before going ahead I will there a good pier or trestle bridge and will at some point intermediate, convenient to roads, put down two more pontoon bridges, making five bridges and three fords, before I put the army across the Chattahoochee.
I call your attention to the inclosed paper* in reference to the Roswell factories. They were very valuable, and were burned by my orders. They have been engaged almost exclusively in manufacturing cloth for the Confederate Army, and you will observe they were transferred to the English and French flags for safety, but such nonsense cannot deceive me. They were tained with treason, and such fictitious transfer was an aggravation. I will send all the owners, agents, and employee up to Indiana to get rid of them here. I take it a neutral is no better than one of own citizens, and we would not respect the property of one of our own citizens engaged in supplying a hostile army.
Write me a note occasionally and suggest anything that may occur to you, as I am really in the wilderness down here, but I will fight any and all the time on anything like fair terms, and that is the best strategy, but it would not be fair to run up against such parapets as I find here.
Your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding.


My hi-lite.



 Posted: Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 11:52 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks for the info Old Blu. I looked your reference up in the OR and I think you are right... GEN Sherman seemed furious that the factory owners attempted to pull the wool over his eyes (sorry couldn't resist the pun), but it doesn't appear anyone was actually charged with treason. On page 92 Sherman informs the military authorities in Nashville that,

"I have ordered the arrest of the operators at the Confederate manufactories at Roswell and Sweet Water, to be sent North. When they reach Nashville have them sent across the Ohio River and turned loose to earn a living where they won't do us any harm. If any of the principals seem to you dangerous you may order them imprisoned for a time. The men were exempt from conscription by reason of their skill, but the women were simply laborers that must be removed from this district."

Thanks for the discussion all. This is very interesting stuff to me.

Mark



 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2011 07:13 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
pender
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 148
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

As many know I am new. Just looking over some of the threads. Very interesting threads on here. IF we agree are not, still seems good to discuss the war, with people who have a great deal of knowledge. Would like to mention a book on this subject. That I read a few years back. Dragged it out of the book shelf, soon as I read this thread. If anyone is still interested(seeing it as been 7 months since the last post). The name of the book is North across the River. A civil war Trail of tears. The authors name is Ruth Beaumont Cook. Copy right 1999.

 



 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2011 11:14 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
Captain Crow
Proud Southerner


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Posts: 542
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I have to admit this is something I as well have never researched....yet another reason to dislike Sherman for many diehards I would think. Interesting topic.



 Current time is 05:40 pm
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4032 seconds (9% database + 91% PHP). 27 queries executed.