- Historic Sites
From Atlanta To The Sea
A newly discovered Union diary shows that Sherman’s march was about as Ruthless as Southerners have always said it was
December 1978 | Volume 30, Issue 1
12th. We were relieved by the 20th Corps and we pass on farther to the right and here we are yet, with good strong works. In our immediate front is a canal known as the tide water canal built by Gen’l Andrew Jackson during the Indian War. Sav. was then his base of supplies and this canal was used to transport supplies to the army. It runs from Savannah River to the Ogeechee, the distance I have not learned. We are using it now for the same purpose. Our base of supplies is at the mouth of the Ogeechee and when the tide rises and flows from the Ogeechee the boats come up and when it ebbs they float back. No horses are used for transportation. You may think it is a novel way but it wins. Our present situation is all right. With our base of supplies firmly established we are safe. That was the only question of doubt, when we started upon the expedition. Could we sustain ourselves after we got here? Of course we had no fears of getting here and now all fears of subsistence have passed away. Savannah is besieged and sooner or later it must fall. It is estimated that there are 25,000 troops in the city. We cannot well advance upon their works for the swamps that intervene, but we have them surrounded and every R.R. that the state of Georgia contains is destroyed beyond repair. We have destroyed millions of property and lain waste an immense scope of country. We have had a gay time. The weather has been beautiful, very warm, so much so that we have not used our tents except when it rained. Today is uncomfortably warm in the sun. You in Ohio I imagine are hovering around the fires to keep warm. Here the roses are yet in bloom. We find a good many curiosities growing in this climate. The palm leaf from which the palm fan is manufactured grow by the acre. Our trip has been attended by a great many pleasant scenes as well as sad. The Rebs have captured several of our men and brutally murdered them after having surrendered. Some of my Regt, have shared that fate. A great many rich scenes among the foragers have occurred, one of which I was witness. The boys were cleaning out a house, the woman was taking on awfully crying, and snivelling, one of the boys remarked “My God, madam, don’t take on so, you hurt my feelings.” What the inhabitants are going to do for subsistence is more than I can tell. They must emigrate or starve.
You ought to see the train of niggers which have followed our army. What disposition will be made of them is hard to tell. They are a squalid set. I must now leave you for the mail leaves at 2 P.M. We expect a mail tomorrow.
Please accept these few hastily penned pages as a faint witness of Sherman’s Georgia Campaign.
Yours truly, James Royal Ladd, Adjutant 113th Ohio Vol.