Saturday, December 14, 2013

Major General William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, December 25, 1864

SAVANNAH, December 25, 1864.

This is Christmas Day and I hope truly and really that you and the little ones may enjoy it, in the full knowledge that I am all safe after our long March. I am at this moment in an elegant chamber of the house of a gentleman named Green. This house is elegant and splendidly furnished with pictures and statuary. My bed room has a bath and dressing room attached which look out of proportion to my poor baggage. My clothing is good yet and I can even afford a white shirt. It would amuse you to see the negroes; they flock to me, old and young, they pray and shout and mix up my name with that of Moses, and Simon and other scriptural ones as well as “Abram Linkom,” the Great Messiah of “Dis Jubilee.”

There are many fine families in this city, but when I ask for old and familiar names, it marks the sad havoc of war. The Goodwins, Teffts, Cuylers, Habershams, Laws, etc., etc., all gone or in poverty, and yet the girls remain, bright and haughty and proud as ever. There seems no end but utter annihilation that will satisfy their hate of the “sneaking Yankee” and “ruthless invader.” They no longer call my army, “Cowardly Yanks,” but have tried to arouse the sympathy of the civilized world by stories of the cruel barbarities of my army. The next step in the progress will be, “for God's sake spare us; we must surrender.” When that end is reached we begin to see daylight, but although I have come right through the heart of Georgia they talk as defiantly as ever. I think Thomas' whipping at Nashville coupled with my March will take some conceit out of them.

I have no doubt you hear enough about “Sherman” and are sick of the name, and the interest the public takes in my whereabouts leaves me no subject to write about. Charley1 and Dayton2 promise to write details. All I can do is to make hasty scrawls assuring you of my health and eternal affection.

1 Mrs. Sherman's brother, General Charles Ewing.
2 Colonel L. M. Dayton, aide-de-camp on Sherman's staff.

SOURCES: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman, p. 319-20.  A full copy of this letter can be found in the William T Sherman Family papers (SHR), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556, Folder CSHR 2/19

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