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"Atlanta is Ours, and fairly won"....."However....... - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2006 11:27 pm
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Bill
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This topic owes much to Margana and David L.White. In particular their most interesting correspondence, from the pages of ‘Latest Non-Civil War Reads’ extracted from the ‘The Lounge’. 

So who did burn Atlanta? Good question. But what I have always believed is of more interest is not the question as such but the the passion that CW buffs bring to the question. 

Sherman, Hood; Hood, Sherman.  The incompetent burning of war stocks that could not be carried away, that just happened to get out of hand. Or the actions of a merciless steamroller, that could not be stopped. 

Well it may be sufficient to say: Atlanta was burning when Sherman arrived on the scene. When he left it was burnt. 

So what do you the reader, feel, you notice I said feel. Because in reallity matters of such historical importance should not be left to historians and curmudgeons who only confuse a good story, with their impossible attempts to define facts and apply logic to war.

 

With Regards to all

Bill Wyndham

Melbourne (Not the Florida one)
Oz (Not the Dorothy one either)

 

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2006 06:14 am
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Kent Nielsen
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Hi Bill:) Sherman had the public buildings and anything of military value burnt.  Some of his men and I think, some civilian looters did the rest but I suspect and feel  he had come to regard such things as a natural byproduct of the Southerners decision to go to war.  



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2006 07:18 pm
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David White
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Sherman likes to point at the Confederates as ultimately responsible because they stored munitions in a machine shop at the railroad yard, the destruction of which led to more destruction than he really intended.  Suspiciously like his later excuses for what would happen in Columbia, SC.  However, he is more convincing with his Columbia excuses than he is with Atlanta.  Don't you check what is in a building before you torch it just to make sure you don't blow yourself up too?  Also why completely evacuate the town of all civilians if it is not your intention to lay waste to the place?  Sorry (and pardon the pun) where there is smoke there is fire and there are too many smoke trails following Sherman and his men to think they were all accidents out of control.

Sherman advocates say he started total war as if it was a good thing, so why does he avoid taking credit for total war and provide weak excuses?

BTW, I am an advocate of making war so terrible on the enemy that they will quit as quickly as possible, so I see no problem with his burning of Atlanta assuming he intended it, as I suspect he did. 

Last edited on Wed Jan 11th, 2006 07:27 pm by David White



 Posted: Wed Jan 11th, 2006 07:51 pm
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javal1
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Sherman advocates say he started total war as if it was a good thing, so why does he avoid taking credit for total war and provide weak excuses?

BTW, I am an advocate of making war so terrible on the enemy that they will quit as quickly as possible, so I see no problem with his burning of Atlanta assuming he intended it, as I suspect he did. 

Bravo David! I've always felt this way, and thought maybe I was the only one. If Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, that's war. I get a little sick to my stomach every time I hear the term "a gentleman's war". Hogwash. And frankly, if I had been Lee, Gettysburg would have been a pile of ashes before I left. The idea that civilians should be somehow excluded from the horrors of a CIVIL war always seemed a bit absurd to me.



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