|Date(s):||November 16, 1864 to January 1, 1865|
|Tag(s):||Civil War, March to the Sea, Atlanta|
|Course:||“U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction,” Richard Bland College|
|Rating:||2.33 (3 votes)|
In 1864, Union General William T. Sherman burned the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta, at the time was under control of the Confederacy and had the number one railway that was used in the South. The burning of Atlanta was the first part of General Sherman’s march through the South called “March to the Sea”; five weeks later his march ended in Savanna. This was considered a triumph for the North, but was one of the South biggest lost. For the North, it brought moral and made things worse for the southern soldiers. This form of warfare is called total warfare, destroying everything in their path, from railways to storage places where military arms were held.
General Sherman, Union general, also had a history as a military man prior to the war. He served at many battles during the Civil War; the First Battle of Sitting Run, which was where he took over operations in Kentucky. He also suffered many loses during the war which were considered a set back because of his precipitation in the Battle of Shiloh. His impressive war tactics got him his approval for the “March on the Sea” from General Grant and President Lincoln.
“March to the Sea” operation been able to happen he needed to capture Atlanta to happen he needed to capture Atlanta first. He took Atlanta by, maneuvering his troops around Atlanta and only destroying Government buildings, railways, and military installations. In the picture one can see the destruction of the railways that were there in Atlanta, after General Sherman’s march through and even though it was the beginning of his march to the sea that lead up to South Carolina. The buildings that he did not have destroyed when his army came through were destroyed by the fires that had happened. During this march General Sherman took out a lot of Confederate soldiers. When General Sherman left Georgia, the Governor had sent an officer to Atlanta to assess the damage that was done. General Sherman was in charge of a group of troops called the western theater and because of the this and having impressed General Grant and President Lincoln was able to go one the “March to the Sea” operation, and by using some gruella in South Carolina and Georgia was able to help drive General Robert E. Lee to Virginia where more officers from the Union were using this same type of warfare, which in the end help make it easier to get a surrender to end the Civil War.
When looking at General Sherman one must realize that he was not always a good leader and that he did make mistakes in his role, but he also learned from his mistakes and made himself a better leader from that. He learned from his superiors in the war and made in an incredible march that destroyed Atlanta, Georgia, up to South Carolina called “March to the Sea”. This march destroyed important railways for the south and also destroyed buildings where weapons were stored. General Sherman did what he needed to do to boost moral for the north and hurt moral for the south.