Sunday, September 21, 2008

Anecdote of Sherman

You will remember that an order was promulgated directing all civilians leave Atlanta (north or south) within 12 days. The day of its issue a gentleman entered Sherman’s office and inquired for the General. The latter answered promptly, “I am. Gen. Sherman.” The colloquy was as follows:

Citizen – General, I am a northern man from Ct., have been living in Atlanta nearly 7 years; have accumulated considerable property here, and as I see you have ordered all citizens to leave within twelve days. I came to see if you would make an exception in may case. I fear if I leave my property will be destroyed.

Gen. Sherman – What kind of property do you own sir? Perhaps I will make an exception in your case sir.

Citizen – I own a block of stor[e]s, three dwellings, a plantation two miles out of town, and a foundry.

Gen. Sherman – Foundry oh! What have you been doing with your foundry?

Citizen – Have been making castings.

Gen. Sherman – What kind of castings? – Shot and shell, and all that king of thing?

Citizen – Yes I have made some shot and shell.

Gen. Sherman – You have been making shot and shell to destroy your country, have you? And you still claim favor on account of being a northern man. Yes, sir, I will make an exception in your case; you shall go south to-morrow morning at sunrise. Adjutant, see that this order is carried out. Orderly, show this man to the door.

Citizen – But, General, can’t I go north?

Gen. Sherman – No, sir. Too many of your class there already, sir.

– Published in The Union Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa, Friday, December 23, 1864

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