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Dan Kelly

Mr. Peck
Grade 8 History, Period 8
November 11, 2014
Shermans March to the Sea Essay
William Sherman was a monster to Georgia who used total war to annihilate Georgia
and end the Civil War for the Confederacy. Sherman had a long journey throughout Georgia.
That journey began when President Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant gave Sherman the ok to begin
marching through Georgia all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Their first destination, where they
started was Atlanta.
The biggest part of the entire march was when Sherman took down Atlanta. This made
the Confederates and especially the Georgians panic. Sherman completely tore down Atlanta. He
would go through farms and steal the food so his troops would be well fed. Anything that
Shermans troops did not use, they would burn. This was total war because he just completely
ruined Atlanta, and really wanted to destroy the enemy, Georgia. The biggest part of taking down
Atlanta was they had major railroad stops for the Confederates, which they could not use
anymore. Also, at the time Atlanta was one of the most industrial cities in the south. Now
Georgia did not have any more factories, since they were all burnt down and destroyed.
Now that Atlanta was captured, the march officially started. Sherman had the idea to split
his troops into 2 wings. The left wing was heading for Nashville, Tennessee. The reason for this
was the Confederates were marching up there to cut off the Unions supply lines. This wing was
led by General George Thomas and had roughly 62,000 troops to stop the Confederates. The
right wing would march to the sea until they reached Savanah, Georgia. This wing was led by

Sherman and had roughly 60,000 troops in total. The first skirmish during the march was in a
town east of Macon. This factory town was called Griswoldville. This first skirmish was a
completely one-sided victory for the Union. Shermans army only lost 62 total troops, while the
Confederates lost a total of 630 troops. Yet again Shermans troops burned down the entire town
of Griswoldville and stole any food that was there for his troops. This is total was because the
south was completely frightened of Sherman and how he has been completely ruining Georgia
and its people.
Sherman just kept burning buildings and taking everything his troops needed from farms,
railroads, and homes. Now Sherman had his next huge victory at Fort McAllister. The
Confederates only had a small force of 4000 troops up against Shermans 60,000 troops. As
expected, the Confederates lost to Sherman. This opened the back door to the port city. This was
huge because now Georgias main ports are now closed.
The cruelest part of the entire march was when the Pontoon bridge was broken at
Ebenezer Creek. There were slaves that were relying on this bridge to escape Georgia. Now the
slaves and children had to jump in the creek and swim across. This was cruel because most of the
slaves drowned and many lives were lost. This was total war because so many lives were lost
from this and Sherman wanted to completely destroy his enemy.
The final part of the march was to capture Savannah. Sherman was in clear favor because
he had so many more troops than General Hardee in the South. As you could expect, Sherman
made Savannah surrender with ease. He had just marched across the entire Georgia. As a
Christmas present to the South, Lincoln gave Jefferson Davis 25,000 bales of cotton. This is
pretty much Lincoln rubbing the victory in Davis face.

In conclusion, Sherman created total war with his march to the sea. He completely
destroyed the entire state of Georgia by burning and stealing.