Sherman’s Looters

J. Stephen Conn writes the Confederate Digest blog – one that should be on everyone’s regular reading list. He recently wrote about a letter written by a Yankee soldier to his family. It described the looting that the Yankees did on “Sherman’s March to the Sea”. Here is a portion of that letter:

We have had a glorious time in this State. Unrestricted license to burn and plunder was the order of the day. The chivalry have been stripped of most of their valuables. Gold watches, silver pitchers, cups, spoons, forks, etc., are as common in camp as blackberries.

The terms of plunder are as follows: Each company is required to exhibit the results of its operations at any given place. One-fifth and first choice falls to the share of the commander-in-chief [General Sherman] and staff; one-fifth to the corps commanders and staff; one-fifth to field officers of regiments, and two-fifths to the company.

While the authenticity of the letter has been verified, it is almost too convincing, so I’ll stay out of any discussion of that. What is clearly a fact though, is that exactly this sort of thing was routine in the Union’s scorched earth policy against The South.

That was done by the winning side.

That was done by the side that wrote the history books.

That was done by the side that now mocks our culture and erases our heritage.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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5 Responses to Sherman’s Looters

  1. Trevor Hewitt says:

    This is yet another reason why there was uniform hatred of the yankees and it largely still exists today. Lincoln should have let the south secceed. The realization that the south and its Christian values stands as a beacon to the real Constitution. Long live the south!

  2. Michael Simons says:

    Shameful behavior!

  3. James says:

    Dear Sirs,
    Yours truly, became interested in the Confederacy, and the South,
    from my interest in the conflict in western Missouri and eastern Kansas,
    where the war was more brutal, even than in Georgia.
    Undisciplined Unionist Kansan Jayhawkers and Redlegs, in their raids
    on Missouri in 1861, routinely executed adult male civilians,
    confiscated the valuables and livestock, they could bring back,
    and destroyed the remainder. Later, the summary execution
    of all captured Confederate guerillas was authorized,
    in spite of the quarter given heretofore by the Confederates,
    The large scale atrocities against civilains in Missouri in 1861
    was the primary motivator for the Confederate raid on Lawrence, Kansas,
    whose population had profited handsomely from the depredations.
    Finally, the Federals expelled the populations of several counties
    in Missouri, confiscatiing or destroying their property.
    Therefore, although hundreds of unarmed men were killed by both sides,
    it was the Unionist Kansans, later joined by regular Federal forces,
    who set the precedents for the merciless war in this area;
    with the domination of historiography by the victors, very few know
    of this aspect of the “Civil War”.
    A New Jersey Copperhead.

  4. The accounts that I’ve read of what went on in Kansas and Missouri are just incredible. The cruelties inflicted on Confederate sympathizers by their Yankee neighbors is near the same level of what I have read that the Japanese troops did in China.

  5. James says:

    Dear Sirs,
    Until recently, histories and historians tended to emphasize the atrocities
    of the “Bushwackers”, the Confederate guerillas,
    for example, the mention of William “Bloody Bill” Anderson
    in the documentary, THE CIVIL WAR, by Kenneth Burns,
    and the massacre at Lawrence,
    in THE GOLDEN BOOK OF THE CIVIL WAR, by Charles Flato,
    while the raids, destruction and systematic depopulation
    of large swathes of Missouri, by Unionist forces, is ignored.
    Yes, Kansans and pro-Union Native Americans took scalps,
    and cut off ears, as well. The massive robberies committed by Kansans
    in 1861 were unprovoked. The atrocities carried out after Lawrence
    were committed by Federal and Kansan forces with the approval
    of the highest civilian and military authorities. The responsibility
    for the atrocities of the Confederates, on the other hand,
    falls on individuals or leaders of smaller units. Never, in any conflict,
    whether between nations or individuals, do opposing parties share
    equal guilt; that is the fallback of the coward to avoid the consequences
    of making a righteous judgement.
    One side is always significantly more at fault.
    In this case, the opprobrium clearly falls on the Union.
    A New Jersey Copperhead

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