November 14, 1864
Atlanta, GA

Before midnight, Scouts laying about in their camp at night. Some reading, eating, playing poker, passing the time. Someone looked to Atlanta and it was nearly as light as day. Shannon says, “Boys, that means work and lots of it for us. We’re off before sunrise. Better lie down and sleep if you can. About to nap, but hear shells bursting. Ordnance they burned. Two Rangers at 2 AM had visited friends in the city and saw everything from 4 or 5 miles away. Rumor: Sherman plans to march to the sea.

Sherman's March

November 15, 1864
Atlanta, GA
Sherman orders a third of the city burned and then begins his March with four corps of 62,000 men 40-80 miles apart snaking eastward feinting toward Augusta (down the RR) and Macon, singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. 60 artillery guns, 25,000 horses and mules pulling wagon trains 25 miles long, 2,500 wagons, 600 ambulances, pontoon bridges, 10,000 head of cattle. 15 miles a day slowed to 10 miles. To converge on Milledgeville, the capitol. “Forage liberally,” is often quoted. Wheeler skirmishes south and east of Atlanta, at East Point, Rough and Ready, Jonesboro, Stockbridge, Lovejoy, and Bear Creek. Then falls back. Later, delayed in only in Buck Head Creek, Griswoldville, Waynesborough. Outnumber them 20 to 1. Rangers are 12 miles below the city on South River. Scouts mount up by daylight and ride 8 miles below Atlanta and turn when they spot the advance guard and ride through the woods until they are in the rear. In the morning 3 miles from camp discover. Yanks while passing on the road driving off a lady’s cattle. Drop hams or pork with hide and hair on a bayonet, pickles, preserves, and honeycombs. “Scattered their brains” and crossed the RR in cloud of smoke from burning buildings in Synthiana (Lithania?) Move down the enemy’s flank, searching for more. None, so camp in a thicket within a half mile of the enemy. Eat potatoes and meat for supper.

Madison, GA
Rolling from east to west. Trees hang overhead. Some Greek Revival homes. Courthouse square: high ground, mostly brick buildings, post office, impressive Morgan County courthouse E. Jefferson & Hancock (Washington runs parallel to Jefferson). 4 stories but facing from corner middle of square with ornate clock. William T. Thompson: founded The Mirror (Family Companion and Ladies Mirror) with Augustus Longstreet. Leave on S. Main Street. Foster St.? Joshua Hill home. Adams’s brigade of Stoneman’s cavalry already came through in July during Siege of Atlanta. Sherman strikes the Georgia RR in town. 20th Corps camped 2 miles west of town (on Covington road). Jackson’s division marched through town and camped 4 miles south on the Eatonton road. Destroy depot, water tank, warehouses, switching tracks, overturning cars.

Augusta, GA
The Georgia RR destroyed from Atlanta to Augusta. Sherman bowties? Kilpatrick?


November 16, 1864
Lithonia, GA
Sherman stops in Decatur for a half hour. Burned houses at nightfall. Rose and dahlia gardens trampled. Cotton presses, gins, mills burned so that the sky is red. Think Scouts are their own cavalry. Catch 10 Yanks. Carry them south of the town. One would not shut up, very boisterous. Cusses Scout when told to shut up. He shoots him in the eye through the head. Cold, but Yanks burn fences along the road. Chilly rain falls. Rainstorm that morning. Chicken goes for a dollar a head, outrageous. When Scouts return, the town is gone. Catch 3 Yanks on the way. Give them to citizens to send to Athens: the guns, ammunition, an old horse or two. Sherman camps in Lithonia, near Stone Mountain, which is outlined by the glow of myriad fires. Scouts camped 1 ½ miles nearby.

November 17, 1864
Lithonia, GA
Up early the next day, good breakfast. Yesterday’s prisoners had a lot of ground coffee, sugar, some pork, even cornbread. Capture 20 Yanks. Kill a few. Farmers told to send them to Athens. Sell a good horse or mule for $25, though worth $150. Give the cattle to the citizens.

Covington, GA
4 miles north of town, cross Alcove River, big as a creek when low. Ascend when entering town. Square (circle) between Usher & Floyd, red brick buildings, L.Q. Lamar practiced law on corner of Floyd and Pate St. (1847-54) before elected to Newton County state legislature. White clapboard houses, occasional brick, some columns, trees overhang, on Floyd. Yellow River west of town. Covington road provides a vista. Sherman neckties begin to get wrapped around the trees. Some twisted into the letters US. Slaves begin fleeing toward the March. Slaves told that Yankees had horns on their heads. Man named Jones the sole defender of the city, left dead in the street. More looting: hams on bayonets, dripping chunks of honeycombs, canteens filled with sorghum. Covington plundered. Steal clothing, some wearing women’s hats. The bummers all have beards. Four separate parties dig up the same dead dog in a pine box, looking for silver spoons or gold. Call slaves Sambo or Dinah. Steal every horses, even buggy ones. Stolen mule during a funeral procession in Chamblee’s Mill. Family carriages drawn by a goat, a cow with a bell, and a jackass, with a sheep and calf tied behind. Loaded with pumpkins, chickens, cabbages, guinea fowls, carrots, turkeys, onions, squashes, a shoat, sorghum, a looking-glass, Italian harp, sweetmeats, a peacock, a rocking chair, a gourd, a bass viol, sweet potatoes, a cradle, dried peaches, honey, a baby carriage, peach brandy, a plug hat replete with captured military plume, a citizen’s saddle with bed quilt or table cloth, shavedtail knockkneed railfence mules, sacks of meal, pecks of potatoes, coffee pots, jugs of vinegar and a bed cord, razorback hogs. Scouts camp near Oxford.

November 18, 1864
Sunday
Near Oxford, Newton County, GA
Pastures on Walton/Morgan county line. Walton/Newtown line, more brushy undergrowth. Covington road rolls, hilly. Scouts discover hogs some Yanks had penned up and apparently went to town to get help to drive them off. Ride toward town and find 9 Yanks. Yanks pick up guns and fire at them. Scouts chase them 2 miles, kill 3 or 4, wound 4. 1 gets away. 1 slightly wounded in the left side above the hip bone. No more than an inch or two deep. But he begs to be put out of his misery. Scout (Cat) accommodates him by shooting his brains out. Pass through Covington. Burney has kinfolks there. Leave the road, shadowing the enemy route. Camp at a house some Yanks had just left on Burney’s grandfather’s farm, where his mother was raised, near a place called Social Circle. When they go through killed Yanks pockets, they find false teeth on gold plates, silver spoons, knives, and forks, jewelry. Quilts, feather beds, clothing, jellies, preserves, hams, potatoes. Hogs buried in caves covered with boards covered with earth. Chickens under the house. Butchered on the spot. Tons of supplies wasted on the roadsides: corn and fodder, sweet potatoes, gigantic yams and potatoes. Drink blackberry wine and cordial. Telegraph line from Macon to capitol cut.

November 18, 1864
Sunday
Near Oxford, Newton County, GA
Pastures on Walton/Morgan county line. Walton/Newtown line, more brushy undergrowth. Covington road rolls, hilly. Scouts discover hogs some Yanks had penned up and apparently went to town to get help to drive them off. Ride toward town and find 9 Yanks. Yanks pick up guns and fire at them. Scouts chase them 2 miles, kill 3 or 4, wound 4. 1 gets away. 1 slightly wounded in the left side above the hip bone. No more than an inch or two deep. But he begs to be put out of his misery. Scout (Cat) accommodates him by shooting his brains out. Pass through Covington. Burney has kinfolks there. Leave the road, shadowing the enemy route. Camp at a house some Yanks had just left on Burney’s grandfather’s farm, where his mother was raised, near a place called Social Circle. When they go through killed Yanks pockets, they find false teeth on gold plates, silver spoons, knives, and forks, jewelry. Quilts, feather beds, clothing, jellies, preserves, hams, potatoes. Hogs buried in caves covered with boards covered with earth. Chickens under the house. Butchered on the spot. Tons of supplies wasted on the roadsides: corn and fodder, sweet potatoes, gigantic yams and potatoes. Drink blackberry wine and cordial. Telegraph line from Macon to capitol cut.

November 19, 1864
Monday Rutledge Station, GA
8 miles west of Madison on Covington road. RR runs south of town. High but level ground, open. Small town, not yet a town. E. Main St: Rutledge Baptist Church: red brick, no spire but brick colonnades on facade? Methodist Church: red brick, white spire. Up early, pass through where the Yanks slept. A good deal of blood where they slept. They cross the Alcove River, ride along the RR tracks through Social Circle Station to Rutledge Station, watching closely. Kill 2 Yanks in the evening. Ride to within six miles of Madison, near the rear guard of Sherman. Watch the guard drive a two horse wagon, an oxcart with two wheels (handy for country roads). They stop to build fires for their meals. 50 or 60 Yanks behind the Scouts. Rear guard to the main guard, not the actual rear guard. Take the woods to reconnoiter. Scouts turn out into the woods and pass around them. Move around them, come back on the road between Yanks and Sherman. Form in line of battle. Shannon sends a white flag of truce. Unconditional surrender. Cut off and surrounded. Their captain wants to see what they have first. Scouts makes to ride back. Captain surrenders. Scout tells him to stack arms and he’ll send a posse to take them (13 Scouts). 56 “cave” and taken “in out of the weather”. 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 5 horses, 27 head of cattle, a cartload of potatoes, flour, and bacon, a wagonload of beds and household goods. Sweet Brayton, a 28 year old New Yorker, among them. “Time to join the prison glee club.” Scouts give 2 horses to 2 war-widows (Atlanta, Virginia), sell the rest and leave the cows. Ate the dinner they cooked. Leave the road ½ away and camp. Bitter cold and rainy. Usually take all prisoners to Jonesboro.
Howard’s columns pass through Hillsboro. Drive livestock away, steal grain and beehives, burn cotton gins, blacksmith shops, and cotton bales. Red sky again. Takes 4 days to pass. It is cold. Icy wind at 4 AM. Bands are poorly organized, inept. Slaves throng the roadsides. “Boys, this is a review and there’s your reviewing officer!” Dance, sing, juggle, play banjos and fiddles, rattle bones, homemade drums. Attractive ones ride in carriages dressed in stolen finery. Last Confederate train leaves the state capitol. 500 militia left, led by the son of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. GMI cadets under 17. Insane asylum here. State penitentiary here. Cits flee on foam-flecked jaded horses. Dogs barking, mules braying, slaves laughing.
Sherman fires Cobb’s plantation outside of the city at before sunup. Slaves told Yanks make the slaves fight in the front and throw women and children in the Chat.

November 20, 1864
Tuesday Madison, GA
Northern wing of the Army passes through. In the morning Scouts arm Rutledge citizens, and let them send prisoners off (to Florence, S.C. or Atlanta?). Guns for trouble. Stand the 56 in lines and while they bid them goodbye, Scouts go through their pockets. Yank captain: “Well, this is one thing I didn’t know.” Scout: “Captain, what you don’t know would make a damned big book.” $200 in greenbacks, new, a foot long. $1400, 12 watches ($100 ones), a prisoner goes crazy and tries to kill a Scout. Shannon tells a few to take him into that thicket and kill him. Yank begged for his life then. Head to Athens, but the rear guard is looking for them. Return to Rutledge? Catch a dutchman, Haggarty shoots him in the right eye. Thinking him dead, he takes his shoes (lives). Scouts pass through the market town of Madison early. 6 Yanks at a house. 4 at the next one. Came up with the wagon train and charge. Leave in a hurry though, 10 prisoners. Sent off, take a thicket, camp. Cuff coaxes bummers by waving a white shirt on a stick and telling them, “I’se surrender!” Last bummers pass through Covington. Sherman halts a few miles east.

Athens, GA
Magnificent mansions by cotton and sugar planters further south. Beautiful town. Hot weather in the autumn. Sandy, lightly shaded lowland levels. Springs in a sandstone basin overhung with shady bushes and vines, pure cold water. Water oaks abound on stream banks and in damp hollows. Tall, canelike grasses. 10 foot with superb panicle of glossy purple flowers in sunny meadows and along wet borders of slow streams and swamps.

Milledgeville, GA
Militia flees.

November 21, 1864
Wednesday
Athens, GA
Follow Sherman but run into the rear guard, have to run out. Move about until dark, camp. Begin to find carcasses of bloodhounds and dogs of all variety in their path. 100 miles of marching without revealing their destination. Beauregard sends appeal for Georgians to fight. Hardee in Macon. Bragg in Augusta with 10,000 Tar Heels. Wheeler claims to save the town of Griffin. Rides into Macon on the heels of Kilpatrick’s cavalry, but it was just a feint. Howard crossing the Ocmulgee River, moving east.

Griswoldville, GA
Cavalry repeatedly charges against Kilpatrick. He burns most of the town: soap and candle factory, pistol and saber one, the depot and several houses. Greasy smoke clouds until dusk. Driven out, captures Osterhaus’s chief of staff, narrowly the general himself.

November 22, 1864
Thursday
Milledgeville, GA
Vanguard of left wing (Slocum) arrives in the afternoon, Wisconsin and New Yorkers, XX Corps. Bitter cold, color guards break out flags and play “Yankee Doodle”. Sherman plunders the state capitol for two days. Scouts follow Sherman. Whip 1000? slaves on their way to him. Fallen behind the line of march? At dark, camp.

Macon, GA
At dawn, Dick Taylor arrives from Montgomery, AL, in a cape. Sifting snowfall. Governors, senators, congressmen, secretaries, etc. Cobb in command of the state militia. Toombs hates West Pointers and hoped Wheeler would never return to Georgia because of the cavalry consumes more than the whole army. Legislators in flight from Milledgeville, nearly conscripted. Wheeler ordered to screen General Smith’s Georgia militiamen’s movement toward Augusta. Boys and old men herded into battle by cavalrymen like prisoners. Central RR runs from Macon to Savannah. Only 16 miles of track left intact.

Griswoldville, GA
Militia meets Fed pickets. General Phillips drunk. Lose, survivors return to Macon at 2 AM. Hardee in Savannah, concentrating his infantry. Wheeler passes the Fed flank, bound for the Oconee River to impede Sherman’s progress.

November 23, 1864
Friday Five miles of Sparta, GA
Scouts ride through plantations to the Oconee River, swim their horses. Ride 3 miles and charge 25 to 30 Yank cavalry. Fire a round or two and Yanks run. Killed and wounded several. Give chase, but run into a brigade. Run out. Take to the woods upward near Sparta. Camp. North: Beaver Dam Creek. Birds of prey, 4 ft. wingspan. Whitten Creek. More orange dirt in small hills than sandhills, not rocky. Copeland Creek. Greene County line. White Plains not yet a city, just a village. Home of Nathaniel Greene? Pear orchard? Rolling country.

Milledgeville, GA
Main body of Sherman’s army arrives. U.S. flag on the capitol and Sherman makes the governor’s mansion his headquarters. Troops stage a mock legislative session in the statehouse. Kilpatrick drunk as usual. They rush out in bedlam, laughing, imitating the lawmakers: “The Yanks are coming!” Loot the statehouse. Horses trampling over books. Arabs sacking Egypt. Billions of dollars worth of unsigned Georgia currency used to light pipes and kindle fires, or stakes in poker games. Pay women textile workers with it. Burn the penitentiary in the afternoon. Conscript female convicts and dress them in uniform. Fences fuel fires. Spared: two cotton warehouses and a flour mill. What happened to the insane?

November 24, 1864
Saturday Sparta, GA
Scouts in camp till 11 AM. Pass through Sparta on the Milledgeville road, 8 miles. Cut left?, through Linden, down Buffalo Creek, camp. Sparta: level ground, unimpressive square and homes, courthouse? Sherman en route, but Capt. Perry Culbert, CSA, gathered as many men he could and shouted orders as though he had an entire army behind him. Met them south toward Sandersville.

Milledgeville, GA
Sherman moves out. Arsenal blown up and damages churches in the square. Pews already chopped up for firewood and the pipe organ of St. Stephen’s poured full of molasses. Some Yanks wear stolen Mason and Odd Fellows aprons. Wheeler arrives too late, though the cits all cheer them.

November 25, 1864
Sunday
Buffalo Creek, GA
Scouts ride out early. Citizens report party of Yanks in search of Scouts. Ride a half mile and find them, 30 strong. Pitch into them, run them 3 miles to main army. Kill 5, capture 5. Take to the woods, cross the creek, find 3 more at a house. Kill 2, capture 1. Near Sandersville, find in the heart of Sherman. Can’t get away from any direction. Hide in the woods. Yanks kill hogs all around them. After dark, move out, avoiding campfires that abound. Ride till near daylight. Camp at Worthing’s Crossroads. 10 miles from Sparta.

Milledgeville, GA
9AM last brigade leaves and soon crosses the wooden toll bridge to the east bank of the Oconee, then fires it to the chagrin of the owner.

November 26, 1864
Monday
10 miles from Sparta, GA Eat breakfast, but Kilpatrick’s special scouts come in sight, 28 men. Shannon takes 15 to charge them and runs them 2 miles. Kills 2, captures 2. Horses so jaded, no use following. Ride back into the timber and camp. Cow pastures before then? Cross Ogeechee River in Warren Co. toward Ford’s Creek before Mitchell, not too big. Some rocky, bushy bluffs. Hardly a fence left standing. Fields trampled down. Carcasses of horses, cattle, hogs line the road. Great stench every hundred yards. Charred remains of gin houses and packing-screws. Lone chimney stacks (Sherman’s Sentinels). Hay ricks and fodder stacks demolished. Corn cribs empty. Cotton bales burned. Patches of grain on the road. Crowds of soldiers on foot, some on the roadside eating raw turnips, meat skins, parched corn, even loose grains Sherman’s horses had left.

November 27, 1864
Gibson County, GA
Town in a hollow, surrounded by forest vistas. No longer rocky. Rest till 2 PM. Ride road to Vining’s Bridge on the Ogeechee River. Large force camped. Turn off to May’s Bridge, camp. 9 prisoners, 30 Yank horses. Glascock County, 1857? Beechtree Creek outside of Gibson city limits. Before crossing Deep Creek, great view of forest, almost like Asheville.

November 28, 1864
Gibson County, GA
Cross the Ogeechee early. Meet a friendly scout who takes prisoners off their hands. Hudson, a cook from Michigan, remains. Scout buys most of Scouts stock. Follow down the river 10 miles, camp. Duhard Creek, some vistas, hills and hollows, east of county line.

November 29, 1864
Four miles of Sourville, GA
Turn out early, find some Yanks near Sourville, charge them. Kill 3, capture 3. Run a whole brigade for a mile. Turn left?, find 9 Yanks burning houses, cotton, cotton gins, barns, etc., Scouts charge them killing all of them. Fall back, camp satisfied.

November 30, 1864
Ride out early, run into infantry command. Retreat to the woods. “Mr. Minnie’s near proximity to our ears.”
December 1, 1864
On the road all day. Nothing. Stop to rest. “Bad day’s work.” Dense smoke rising to the right. “Mount your horses!” Shannon yells. Mile away, a house, barn and cotton gin in flames. Negroes and Yanks just left. Ride a fast gallop 1 ½ miles. More smoke, so follow. Just missed them. Ride on. “Faster! Faster!” all riding to get ahead for the first shot. Soon overhauled them to their death. 20 to 25 slaves, 40 to 50 mules and horses, a carriage loaded with whiskey, brandy, wine, chickens, turkeys, knives, forks, spoons, ladies’ shawls and silk dresses, a myriad other things. Take the whole, move to the woods, camp.
December 2, 1864
Buckhead Creek, GA
Out early. Cross the creek, large body of cavalry near the burnt mill. Take the backtrack? Cross a field and meet a squad of 10 Yanks from the rear. Charge them, kill 2. Cross the creek again. Cross the August & Savannah RR. Camp.

Greenesboro, GA
Small town square, Methodist church, Greek revival brick homes, cross RR. 19 miles east of Madison. Cross Richland Creek into Oconee forest, taller trees. Some shallow hollows on roadside. Lake Oconee, vast. Farms, pastures. Hills 5-10 ft. Apalachee River near Ft. Andrews.

Waynesboro, GA
Brick houses. 1 day’s ride to Augusta. Washington stayed during his southern tour. Methodist and Baptist churches near town square. Presbyterian church some ways off. All brick. Cotton west of town? Trees not very tall: 25-30 ft. Pastures, Brushy Creek before Wrens. More rolling country, northwest. Taller trees.

December 3, 1864
Scriven County, GA
Ride slowly, tired, jaded. Bad weather. Ride ten miles, hear report a party of Yanks and cut for them. Find 12 at a house. An old man getting choked to death for running his people off to keep them from cooking for the Yanks. 6 ready for the ditch. 6 prisoners. Poor country. Pine timber. Take a few stragglers, horses, and mules. Burn a few wagons. Several gins, barns, dwellings, and a mill burned by the evening. On the other side of a bad bottom, had 5 bridges to cross. All mixed up. Camp 5 miles from Silvania, the county seat.

December 4, 1864
Near Silvania, GA
County seat of Scriven County (1793), Courthouse and Jail, 1847. South Main St. Methodist and Baptist church. Small town square on highest point. Road to city from south slopes 20 degrees upward. Occasional palm. Augusta and Savannah Rivers too close together? Can’t play any longer? Cross the Savannah at Herndon’s Ferry. Pass through the bottom 7 miles wide and camp. Cannot cross back till they get to Augusta. Ride for four days. 60 foot long-leaf pines and tall grasses. Excellent for ships in Galveston. Sandy soil with quartz pebbles and clay seams. Standing water. Spanish moss? Long moss? Drape the trees. Rich, dense, vine-clad forests. Scuppernongs, but less asters and solidagoes. Sedges rare. Leguminous plants abound. Apricot vines (a flower) has delicious fruit. Pomegranates cultivated. Cypress trees in the swamps. Flat crowned forest. Groves and thickets evergreen vines, heavy. Alligators? Cotton fields, cape jasmine in the gardens. Low bottom forest of the Savannah wrecks of Rough Hair Grass. Pines array. Pine barrens: low, level, sandy tracts. Pines wide apart, grassy in sunny spaces, solidago and palmettos. No catclawed vines or shrubs like in alluvial bottoms. Many dwarf live oaks. Banana grows in wayside gardens. Immense swamps and thoroughly aquatic. Boundless cypress with silvery skeins of Spanish moss. Most trees and shrubs are evergreen with thick polished leaves. Magnolias. (Elms, fewer pines? Timber company. Petrified forest near Newington? Flattens and straightens toward Ebenezer, more enclosed space) Near Savannah areas with dense growth of woody leguminous plants 10 feet high, pinnate leaves and suspended rattling pods. Bonaventure cemetery? On Augusta road going north: Schweighoffer and Dasher creeks in Winton north of Savannah. Little Ebeneezer Creek, near Old Ebenezer (the stone of help): just off the road, first settlement of Salzburgers in Georgia. Gen. Oglethorpe marked out their town. 2 years of hardships. Difficult to navigate stream in which town was situated. 1736 abandoned the site for New Ebenezer, south of Springfield. Ogechee Creek en route to Millen. Cotton? Horse Creek before Jenkins county, more open, vistas (Petrified forests?) Sandhill Baptist Church. Sandhills abound. 20 miles south of Waynesboro, then prairieland. Darker undergrowth on Burke Co. line, less than South Carolina. Bellevue plantation?

December 8, 1864
Shannon ordered to report to Hood in Tennessee. Killed and captured 459 Yanks. Praying Yanks, no mercy. Well outfitted with Yankee clothing and greenbacks.
December 10, 1864
Saturday
Rumor: Sherman to strike the coast of Savannah instead of Beaufort. Short of provisions, so ravage Georgian coastline.

Charleston, SC
The “Queen City.” All hotels and boarding-houses in shelled district, abandoned. Temporary ones open in upper portion beyond their reach. Difficult to get quartered on any terms. Charlestonians moving toward Columbia. Only kitchen lights or dining-room. Use wood or coal for cooking only. No fire except in kitchen. All chairs packed, except one apiece. Rumor: the road from Savannah near Pocotaligo or Coosahatchie captured by Yank detachment from Beaufort. Savannah and Ogeechee river bridges partly or thoroughly burned by Confeds night before. No way to Florida now. Can’t cross Coosahatchie by day safely.

December 11, 1864
Sunday Hardeeville, SC
RR station and roadside commissary store-house. 2-3 miserable huts in piney woods, like a solid wall of enormous shrubs, some palms, with very tall underbrush. Bright day, no sun. Wind blows a gale all night.
December 12, 1864
Monday
Coosahatchie River, SC
Pine barrens. No houses. Coldest morning all winter, so far. Must break ice in ditches to wash face and take a drink. Hardtack 3 sq. in. Yank batteries shelling trains, 3-4 shells, even when train at top speed. Cold night.

December 13, 1864
Tuesday
12 miles near Charleston, SC
Can still find sausages, hominy, sweet potatoes, cornbread in well-to-do houses. Charleston houses shut up, deserted, mutilated by shells. Silent and desolate, even in the shelled district. Truce for prisoner exchange.

December 14, 1864
Wednesday
Columbia, SC
Two-day journey from Charleston?
December 16, 1864
Friday
Nashville, TN
Thomas defeats Hood.
December 18, 1864
Sunday
12 miles from Covington, GA
Cat has a brace of pistols that never snap. Scouts are welcome guests. None injured. News: Thomas defeats Hood. All RR in Georgia Sherman tore up. Govt. supplies and granary from SW GA pass now from Macon to Mayfield by wagon-road.

Mayfield, SC
Crowds en route to Milledgeville, Macon, etc., dumped on the roadside only 2 “small hacks” to carry them on. Rumor: Liberty SC? ravaged.

December 19, 1864
12 miles from Covington, GA
Scouts (and Rangers?) attend a nearby dance. “So let the wide world wag as it will, I will be gay and happy still.” Dark and solemn piney woods. Wash face in clear, swamp water in ditches on the roadside. Commissary stores along roadside shut-up and abandoned. A potato or gnawing on a square of hardtack found hidden away in the deepest corner of overcoat pocket. Deserted houses. Poor country. Basket of provisions: ham, bread, biscuit, crackers, butter, cheese, pickles, cakes, sweetmeats, candies. Where is Screven’s ferry? 10 miles from Hardeeville, more than 50 from Columbia? Savannah planters fleeing in every direction. Tales of panic, tales of plunder.

Mayfield, SC?
Rumor: Yanks destroy everything in Liberty.

December 20, 1864
Savannah, GA
City falls to Sherman. 250 miles in 25 days. Rangers travel through rice regions for weeks. Milledgeville to Albany by rail: must pass Andersonville. Locals claim not to have heard of harshness or cruelty practiced there. Bitterly cold night. Winds blowing a gale. Very dark. Roads cut up by Govt transportation wagons.

December 21, 1864
Savannah, GA
Feds occupy city. 60,079 men. 2,500 wagons. 600 ambulances. Not sacked.

December 22, 1864
Thursday
Savannah, GA
Sherman presents city to Lincoln as a Christmas gift.