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Sherman's March to the Sea: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1864, soldiers marched in a 20-day campaign across Georgia to cripple the Confederacy. This guide provides access to material related to "Sherman's March to the Sea" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

Illustration of General Sherman leading his army. October 27, 1907. New-York Tribune (New York, NY), Image 37. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

“History will brand him a robber and incendiary, and will deservedly ‘damn him to everlasting fame.” In 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman led his troops on a “total warfare” campaign, from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. This campaign, known as Sherman’s March to the Sea, was marked by its objective, to cripple the Confederacy’s ability to wage war. They destroyed anything and everything important to the war effort, leaving ruins where Georgia’s great cities once stood. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

November 15, 1864 Sherman’s March to the Sea begins as his troops leave Atlanta, GA.
November 22, 1864 Battle of Griswoldville: First battle in the March to the Sea.
November 24‑25, 1864 Skirmish at Ball’s Ferry.
November 28, 1864 Battle of Buckhead Creek: A victory for the Union and Sherman’s cavalry under the command of General H. Judson Kilpatrick.
November 30, 1864 Battle of Honey Hill: Failed attempt to cut off the Charleston and Savannah Railroad in support of Sherman's projected arrival in Savannah, GA.
December 4, 1864 Battle of Waynesboro: A cavalry battle that cleared the way to Savannah, GA for Sherman’s troops.
December 13, 1864 Battle of Fort McAllister: A strategic victory for Sherman’s troops, gaining control of Fort McAllister just outside of Savannah, GA.
December 22, 1864 Savannah surrenders to General Sherman.