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Sherman's March to the Sea

Discussion in 'World History' started by Godwynn, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    So I hear that his soldiers raped slave women during his rampage through the South, but I have never heard or read anything about this before.

    True?
    Did his soldiers do it on their own, or did he overlook it?
     
  2. steviejay

    steviejay Now in Black and White!!

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    I haven't heard anything about that personally but my American Civil War is rusty so it might have been.

    From my understanding he raised holy hell with his scorched earth policy and that, as a result, makes him not the most favourite person in Georgia, rather than the conduct of his troops but I'm hoping someone a bit more versed in the conflict could set the record straight. Perhaps the stories of rape and rampage of Sherman's troops were propaganda as a result of the scorched earth policy?
     
  3. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    I was thinking the same, wikipedia has no mention of it.
     
  4. Irish Caesar

    Irish Caesar Yellow Jacket

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    Phlegmak posted a couple of links in the OT thread about Sherman and civ leaders.

    But I found that wiki really doesn't have a whole lot to say about Sherman's march.
     
  5. Elta

    Elta 我不会把这种

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    Steven Colbert
    Spoiler :
    I don't know why I found that so funny. :king:
     
  6. sydhe

    sydhe King of Kongs

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    It seems doubtful. I've always heard the escaped slaves mobbed Sherman's Army for obvious reasons.
     
  7. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    I didn't find that site very trustworthy. I'm too tired to dig it up.
     
  8. Irish Caesar

    Irish Caesar Yellow Jacket

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    I agree; I don't think it had any references or anything.

    Here's one that briefly mentions rape; it doesn't have citations, but it takes quotes from a book by an eyewitness: http://www.lewrockwell.com/jarvis/jarvis19.html

    This site also mentions rape, but it says that letters exist which attest to this instead of actually citing them: http://www.plpow.com/Atrocities_QuotesFromSherman.htm

    I must admit, I'm not really up on the March to the Sea as I should be; I'll probably do some reading about that after the semester is over and I have a chance--I'll let y'all know what I find.
     
  9. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    Which would have made Slave women more obvious targets for rape by Union Soldiers. They certainly would have been easy targets.

    Its certainly plausible that rapes took place. I'd say its almost certain.
     
  10. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    Sorry, but that articles an embarrasment. No sources, no citation, just re-writing of history by a Soutern apologist:

    As to the 2nd source...

    Also, laughable, its says letters exist, but offers ZERO sourcing.

    That said, given the size of the army, etc... I'm sure it happened, I'd be surprised if it didn't. What matters is what was the disposition of the leadership toward these actions if they were reported.

    And please no more "thesouthwillrise.com"-type articles (a term I use very loosely here), assuming you're interested in a discussion and not an exercise in re-writing history.

    I'm sorry, but your sources are the near equivalent of using the KKK for information on Martin Luther King.
     
  11. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    Here's a quote from Sherman's autobiography:

    but, its an autobiography, so take that was a massive grain of salt. This work looks promising, let me see what I can find about the author...

    Here's some info on the author. Seems credible and has a wide-ranging body of respected work.

    Its not hard to find legitimates sources, if you're so interested. I'll try and dig more up later, its certainly an interesting question. :)
     
  12. Irish Caesar

    Irish Caesar Yellow Jacket

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    I did a quick Google search and put the first two related links I saw; I noted that there weren't citations. I never claimed to stand by those sources.

    I did read some from Sherman's letters, but I certainly wouldn't just take his word for it, either.
     
  13. North King

    North King blech

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    I was reading the book Lies My Teacher Told Me (a lovely read, really ;)) just today, and it happened to have a passage where it described that Sherman's army actually had to turn away escaped slaves from joining his army, and that the whites were far from united in their resistance against him, while at the same time the Confederates deserted in mass amounts opposing him. It is hard to understate the dislike of slavery that had begun to permeate all areas, including the South, at this time; it is mostly the rewriting of history by Confederate apologists who try to paint as noble a picture of the CSA and as horrible a picture of the Union as they possibly can.
     
  14. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    Please do, I am very interested. I'm sure that rapes did happen, but I am more concerned if Sherman overlooked them, did not know about them, or if he did, was punishment given.
     
  15. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    Of course the white washing and dismissal of Union atrocities and the highlighting of Confederate atrocities have been more successful than the vice versa.
     
  16. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    I always read that Sherman was a brutal man who burned Atlanta to the ground.

    I think it's silly to dismiss the obvious and plentyful attrocities commited by the Union. We all know that the Confederates were slave-owning aristocrats, but that doesn't give the Union carte-blanche to behave like Mongols the way they did.
     
  17. North King

    North King blech

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    Oh, those poor Southerners, having an invading army marching through, who take away their precious slaves. :rolleyes: The statistics are there--The Confederate army facing Sherman was having mass desertion. That doesn't sound like people enraged to fight a brutal enemy to me.
     
  18. North King

    North King blech

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    Sherman apparently evacuated the civilian population, while the Confederates burned their own supply depots. It's fairly ridiculous to compare that to the Mongol campaigns.

    Sherman did what he had to do to hasten the war's end. The slaves welcomed him as a liberator, and the aristocrats were usually allowed to leave in peace--hardly the most brutal behavior ever displayed by an invading army. When the Confederates invaded the Union, they took captured blacks and pressed them into slavery back down south.

    The supposition that the war was a noble Southern populace fighting for states' rights against the evil Union oppressor is a myth invented by Confederate apologists. The plain and simple truth is that the CSA was a declaredly racist and slaveholding nation, who was forced to reanalyze their convictions after it became clear that black soldiers could fight just as well as whites. It eventually was a war of survival, but mainly because they knew they'd be harshly punished if captured by the Union. At the beginning, the war was simply about slavery, and once it became clear that slavery was wrong--which was evident to Confederates after a while, they lost popular support, and the whole Confederate edifice collapsed like a house of cards.

    Comparing Sherman's men to the Mongols is like comparing Patton to Attilla. It simply does not work. There were, undoubtedly, some rapings and pillaging going on. There's always raping going on in warfare up to the modern day, and pillaging is usually the only way an army can stay alive. Yes, Sherman ordered the destruction of southern infrastructure--to pull them apart and win the war. It would be foolish to blame him for that.
     
  19. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    Keep in mind that when compared proportionately to the CSA population, 95% of the 50,000 to 100,000 civilians who perished in the Union's rampage through the Southeast were not slave owners.

    And if compared proportionately to the CS Army, 97% of the 30,000 Confederates who died in Union prison camps were not slave owners.

    I know it must gives make you tingle all over to think about how baddly the Union punished those evil aristocrats but the unfortunate fact is that over 95% of their victims were lower-class regular American farmers and soldiers who did not diserve to die like that at the hands of their American brothers.
     
  20. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    I think these 2 would make a nice contrast of perspectives. One is from the perspective of the Northern soldier in Sherman's army. The other, from the perspective of the Confederates who witnessed and were affected by this.

    Confederate view...

    Northern soldier's view...

    Its not hard to find credible works on Amazon of academic quality.
     

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