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.