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05.11.04 Jones, Katherine M., When Sherman Came: Southern Women and the “Great March,” published in 1964 by the Bobbs=Merrill Co.

This is a collection of compelling first-hand accounts by Southern women who encountered the army of William T. Sherman in 1864 and 1865, during his destructive campaign through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The personal accounts are mainly taken from letters and diaries, and include the stories of civilians in Milledgeville (Ga.), Chatham County (Ga.), Savannah (Ga.), Aiken (S.C.), Columbia (S.C.), Cheraw (S.C.), Fayetteville (N.C.), and Chapel Hill (N.C.).  The author conducted extensive research in numerous and archives and libraries to produce over one hundred stories of the experiences of defenseless non-combatants subjected to insult, robbery, arson, and worse.

In a letter written from the city of Columbia (S.C.), much of which was burned by Sherman’s army, Mrs. Mary Leverette recounted that her husband told a Union general that he intended to write a true history of the war, one that would “show off the North in its true colors.” Mr. Leverette may have never written that history, but books such as When Sherman Came certainly open a revealing window into how the war against the South was conducted by the North. Mrs. Leverette’s account ends with her summary opinion of Sherman’s troops: “They are a regularly educated set of thieves, burglars, robbers and house burners and are accomplished villains.”   

The book includes an index and bibliography. It is out of print and only used copies are available.