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Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Christmas in Savannah 1864

 
 
Christmas in Savannah Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, May 24, 2009
1. Christmas in Savannah Marker
Inscription. For, Savannah, Christmas 1864 was anything but a time for merriment. Almost four years of war had taken the lives of thousands of Georgians, destroyed millions of dollars in property and left the state in chaos. As the holiday approached, so did the relentless Union Army led by William Tecumseh Sherman. For Union soldiers, it was a time for jubilant celebration as Gen. Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln, "Sir: I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift, the City of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition; also about 25,000 bales of cotton."
(Left picture)
Innocent Victims of War Face Uncertain Future
In November 1864, Sherman initiated his historic March to the Sea. With 57,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, the Union Army cut a 40 to 60 mile wide swath through " the soft underbelly of the Confederacy." Within days of Savannah's surrender a Union officer wrote, "We are in Savannah, in the full enjoyment of superb quarters, fish, oysters and other good things and our army relishes the condition of the affairs." In Southern circles, "All talk was of burning homes, houses knocked to pieces by balls, famine, murder and desolation."
(Top center picture)
Pontoon Bridges Hasten Mass Exodus
In anticipation of Sherman's occupation of Savannah,
Christmas in Savannah 1864 Marker along the riverside Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
2. Christmas in Savannah 1864 Marker along the riverside
Confederate generals ordered the construction of pontoon bridges to assist in the evacuation of the city. " Boards and timbers from the city wharves and some buildings were pried up to use for flooring, and Rebels scoured the area for rice flats to help float the bridges." An eyewitness compared the stream of wagons, soldiers, and civilians to an "immense funeral procession stealing out of the city at the dead of night."
(Lower pictures)
(l) Burning Confederate Navy Vessels Light Up the Christmas Season Sky, (r) Captured Cotton on the Docks Made a White Christmas
(Right picture)
(u) Sherman's Army Marching Down Bay Street
and
Cartoon Mocks General's Holiday Generosity
" Implacable in war," Sherman was viewed by onlookers as possessing a "nervous, rumpled, irritable" nature. Known by his men as Uncle Billy, he had little toleration and respect for journalists or politicians. Prior to his onslaught on the Southern states, Sherman proclaimed, " War is the remedy of our enemies have chosen and I say let us give them all they want; not a word of argument, not a sign of let-up, no cave in till we are whipped - or they are."

 
Erected 2009 by U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Georgia
Christmas in Savannah Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Christmas in Savannah Marker
3. Christmas in Savannah Marker
Dept. of Transportation. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Location. 32° 4.864′ N, 81° 5.276′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on E. River St.. Click for map. Between Abercorn Ramp and Lincoln Ramp , at the Riverside. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Savannah's Cobblestones (within shouting distance of this marker); Savannah's Wharves (within shouting distance of this marker); Shipping in the Port of Savannah (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Savannah (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Salzburger Monument of Reconciliation (about 300 feet away); The Georgia Hussars (about 300 feet away); Savannah Marine Korean War Monument (about 400 feet away); Savannah, Birthplace of Prince Hall Masonry in Georgia (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Savannah.
 
Also see . . .
1. New Georgia Encyclopedia- Sherman's March to the Sea. marched across Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean to prove to the Confederate population that its government could not protect the people from invaders. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. Song: Christmas in Savannah - Dale Ann Bradley
Pontoon Bridges Hasten Mass Exodus , Innocent Victims of War Face Uncertain Future Photo, Click for full size
By Christmas in Savannah 1864 Marker, May 24, 2009
4. Pontoon Bridges Hasten Mass Exodus , Innocent Victims of War Face Uncertain Future
. Written by Paula Breedlove and Mark Brinkman. “Sherman largely spared the city itself. None of the mansions were harmed, and the churches were allowed to stay open. In areas where food was scarce, the troops put together carts loaded with Christmas dinner and delivered food pulled by mules dressed as reindeer. Despite the war and occupation, Christmas still came to Savannah.” (Submitted on December 20, 2014.) 
 
Categories. MilitaryNotable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Cartoon Mocks General's Holiday Generosity Photo, Click for full size
By Christmas in Savannah Marker
5. Cartoon Mocks General's Holiday Generosity
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,250 times since then and 89 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   2. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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