Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Christmas in Savannah 1864
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
(Top center picture)
Pontoon Bridges Hasten Mass Exodus
In anticipation of Sherman's occupation of Savannah, 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."
(l) Burning Confederate Navy Vessels Light Up the Christmas Season Sky, (r) Captured Cotton on the Docks Made a White Christmas
(u) Sherman's Army Marching Down Bay Street
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
Erected 2009 by U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Georgia 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.. Between Abercorn Ramp and Lincoln Ramp , at the Riverside. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); River Street Inn (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map 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. 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. • Military • Notable Events • Notable Places • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,586 times since then and 13 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week December 21, 2014. Photos: 1. submitted on May 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 2. submitted on May 30, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.