United States

The Union army demobilized in rapid order, from one million strong at the end of the war to 80,000 men a year later. Yankee soldiers returned to their rendezvous point, received back pay, signed documents, and were officially mustered out of service. Others viewed the delay as another ridiculous government policy and simply walked home. Several decades later, when they applied for veterans' pensions, that decision proved nettlesome. Confederate soldiers simply headed home. Men who owned their...

Black soldiers and POWs

'For a man to enjoy the service, he must not be averse to much strong drink, must not be encumbered with morals & must possess an insatiable appetite for confusion,' quipped a Minnesotan. The soldier was one among some three million who responded to the call of their governments. Almost all of them volunteers, they entered military service wide-eyed, anticipating glory and rapid success. Instead, they experienced a world of hardship, heartache, and frustration. Like the America from which...

Planning for the great march

Sherman decided not to pursue Hood's army. The two forces had been in continuous contact for over 100 days, and Shennan believed his men needed a rest. He doubted that the Rebel Army of Tennessee possessed enough strength to be much of a threat to the Union cause, and he much preferred to recuperate, refit, and then undertake a very a different type of campaign from the grind toward Atlanta. Hood's army, badly worn down but not whipped, eventually limped to Palmetto,...

The battles for Chattanooga

Men fought like tigers, and Sherman could make little headway against such a determined and well-led foe. With Union plans stymied, Grant directed Thomas to order his men forward. The Union commander hoped that if men from the Army of the Cumberland seized the first row of rifle pits, it would draw Confederate reinforcements from the flanks and assist Sherman and Hooker. To the shock of both Grant and Thomas, who were standing together, soldiers in the Army of the Cumberland not only crashed...

The Savannah campaign

Deneia Wilson Cave City Arkansas

ABOVE Sherman's Left Wmg advanced up toward Kadson and swung do-vn through Eatonton and into M)ifedgeville From there, they pushed on through Sanderson1.- , Mtov and rto Savannah. Sherman's Extreme Right Wing dipped down via McDonough and through Jackson and Onton to just north of Macon They then struck out for Savannah by way of Mien and Statestoorough Once William Hazen's Divisen stormed Fort McAJfcster on 13 December. Sherman had a secure communication Ire to the US Navy The sketch is by...

Emma LeConte

'Reunion Good Heavens ' exclaimed 17-year-old Emma LeConte about the prospects of peace with those vandals, the Yankees. 'How we hate with the whole strength and depth of our souls.' Born in Georgia and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Emma was the daughter of a science professor at the College of South Carolina, later renamed the University of South Carolina. From this privileged background, she received a world-class education for a young woman in her day. Her upbringing bound her...

William Wilbur Edgerton

'What storyes I shall have to tell when I get home,' announced Private William Wilbur F.dgerton to his mother. Born and reared in Central New York, the third of four children to Dorothy Doud and John Leffingwell Edgerton, Wilbur had enlisted in the 107th New York Volunteer Infantry illegally in July 1862, just one month shy of his seventeenth birthday. From a tender young age, Wilbur had been on his own. His father was a ne'er do well who wandered about, searching for success and happiness,...