By the end of this section, friend will:Explain the various components that contributed to the Union success in the polite War

Suggested Sequencing

Use this Narrative together the J.B. Elliott, Scott’s an excellent Snake(Anaconda Plan), 1861 Primary source and the images of full War: Sherman’s March come the Sea, 1865 Primary source to illustrate the strategies the Union supplied to win the war.

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Major basic William Tecumseh Sherman’s actions after the catch of Atlanta and also his subsequent March to the Sea are periodically seen together anticipating the pattern of complete war in the twenty century. Part have asserted that Sherman to be a battle criminal, authorizing plunder and also looting of civilian property. Yet the matter is more complex than one of two people of this charges indicate. In fact, Sherman’s actions were the culmination of a Union policy toward civilians that evolved during the food of the war.

Initially, the Union adhered to a policy of “conciliation,” waging a somewhat restricted war based upon the id that the majority of individuals in the seceded claims did not support the breakup that the Union and also that the governments of these states were illegal and also did not stand for their people’s will. Thus, early on in the Rebellion, Union generals ordered their soldiers come respect the exclusive property, consisting of slaves, of every civilians, also those that were actively working versus them. Also such generals as Ulysses Grant and also William Tecumseh Sherman, that later advocated “hard war,” adhered come the policy of conciliation.

Conciliation appeared to it is in working until George McClellan’s dead end on the Virginia peninsula in the beforehand summer of 1862 and also the emergence of Robert E. Lee, whose succeeding victories significantly strengthened the rebellion. Together a result, Union generals such together Henry Halleck in Missouri and also Benjamin servant in new Orleans began to usage what chroniclers have referred to as “pragmatic” policies, treating Unionists and also those who were neutral far better than they cure those that opposed the Union. The importance of guerrilla warfare in Missouri and Tennessee meant that pragmatic policies took hold more quickly in the West 보다 in Virginia.


Major basic William Tecumseh Sherman, pictured below in 1865 in uniform, led the disastrous March come the Sea that brought about millions of dollars in damages in Georgia.

It is adequate for my government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness; that it has actually been attended by no force, and that no females or children have suffered, unless for desire of provisions by their natural protectors and also friends. My actual reasons because that this step were, we desire all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation. We want to contract the present of defenses so regarding diminish the garrison to the limit crucial to protect its narrow and an essential parts rather of embracing, together the lines now do, the large suburbs. This convulsion of the lines, v the vital citadels and redoubts, will certainly make it essential to damage the really houses supplied by households as residences. Atlanta is a fortified town, to be stubbornly protected and reasonably captured. As captors we have actually a right to it. The residence right here of a poor population would compel united state sooner or later on to feeding them or see them starve under ours eyes. The residence right here of the family members of our adversaries would it is in a temptation and a way to store up a post dangerous and hurtful to our cause.

Sherman’s correspondence through Halleck also included the letter he exchanged through the Confederate commander basic John Bell Hood. Sherman wrote:

You can not qualify battle in harsher terms than I will. Battle is cruelty, and also you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our nation deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had actually no hand in do this war, and I understand I will make much more sacrifices to-day than any type of of you come secure peace. However you cannot have peace and also a department of ours country. If the United says submits to a department now, it will not stop, however will walk on until we reap the fate the Mexico, which is eternal war. The United states does and must assert that is authority, where it once had actually power; for, if it relaxes one little to pressure, it is gone, and also I believe that together is the nationwide feeling.

After the fall of Atlanta, Sherman asked for and received permission from grant to march to Savannah. On this march, Sherman deployed 62,000 troops in 2 wings. That departed Atlanta top top November 15 and, because that the following month, he cut a swath of damage 60 miles vast from Atlanta to Savannah, systematically damaging anything the could benefit the Rebel military effort.


This 1864 photograph shows Union forces destroying a rail in Atlanta by pulling up the rail ties.

Sherman’s goal was to “make Georgia howl.” “We are not just fighting hostile armies, yet a enemy people, and also we should make old and young, rich and also poor, feeling the hard hand of war.” The difficult war was right here for Georgia. “We cannot readjust the hearts and minds the those people of the South, however we deserve to make war so destructive . . . make them so sick of war that generations would certainly pass away prior to they would certainly again appeal come it.” Sherman completed that the joined States and also its representatives had the best to “remove and also destroy every problem if need be, take it every life, every acre the land, every bit of property, everything that to united state seems ideal that all who execute not help are enemies, and also we will certainly not account come them for our acts.”

Some still believe Sherman’s military burned every residence in the path. In fact, although the men damaged public buildings, they greatly left individual residences intact. However the legend of destructive destruction, quite than the truth of command severity, has actually persisted.

The March come the Sea was meant to demonstrate to southerly civilians that “they can be hurt” and that “the Confederate government was powerless to defend them.” it was likewise meant together a policy to end the horrific polite War, which had actually killed an ext than 600,000 soldiers.

Review Questions

1. Under the Union plan of pragmatism

it was more secure for the Union army to attack and kill civilians than to face the Confederate armyUnion generals ordered your soldiers to respect exclusive property in the Confederacy, consisting of slaves, of all civiliansthe Union destroyed any kind of public and also civilian residential or commercial property that could aid the war effortUnionists and also those who were neutral to be treated much better than those who supported the Confederacy

2. The usage of “hard war” by the Union army was

meant to accelerate the finish of the battle by ending any Confederate hope because that victorya new military strategy occurred by basic Ulysses S. Granta precursor to “conciliation” that would be provided in the people wars that the twenty centuryconsidered a “crime against humanity” and never used again by the U.S. Military

3. The strategy of hard war was very first used throughout the fight of


4. In basic Sherman’s use of difficult war, the battle of Atlanta included the damage of

all helpful structurespublic buildings that could be valuable to the Confederate causeprivate houses that might be used as real estate or supply depots by the Confederate armymilitary installations only

5. What to be the Union’s initial policy toward civilians and Confederate territory?

Limited warTotal, enormous destructionConciliationPragmatism

6. The command of difficult war to be made possible when

General Ulysses S. Provide used it in VicksburgPresident Abraham Lincoln approve an executive, management order for the difficult war strategyGeneral Henry Halleck issued general Order 100General wilhelm T. Sherman recorded Meridian, Mississippi

Free solution Questions

Explain exactly how the Union policy toward civilians evolved during the civil War.Explain why basic Sherman used hard war tactics on his March come the Sea.

AP practice Questions

“I attach an ext importance to this deep incisions into the enemy’s country, because this battle differs from European battles in this particular: we room not just fighting hostile armies, however a enemy people, and must make old and young, rich and also poor, feeling the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I understand that this recent activity of mine with Georgia has had actually a wonderful result in this respect. Thousands who had been trick by your lying newspapers to think that us were being whipped every the time now realize the truth, and also have no appetite because that a repeat of the very same experience. . . . However I think belief in the is much shaken in Georgia, and before we have done through her south Carolina will not be quite so tempestuous. . . . When I move, the Fifteenth Corps will certainly be on the right of the appropriate wing, and also their position will naturally carry them right into Charleston first; and, if you have actually watched the background of that corps, girlfriend will have remarked that they generally do their work-related pretty well. The fact is, the whole military is burning v an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon southern Carolina. I almost tremble at she fate, but feel that she deserves every that seems in store for her.”

General wilhelm T. Sherman, “Letter to general Henry Halleck,” December 24, 1864

Refer to the excerpt provided.

1. The most significant reason for general Sherman’s explanation of tough war in the excerpt was that

until 1864, the Confederacy had been to win the polite Warit was important to make the entire Confederate population, not simply the military, feel the pain of war in stimulate to loss the rebellionthe Confederate military had used the very same strategy in its intrusion of Maryland and also the Union wanted revengethe nonmilitary populace in the South required to be rescued from Confederate oppressors

2. Which of the declaration is the most accurate paraphrase of general Sherman’s statement, “Thousands who had been deceived by their lying newspapers to think that we were gift whipped all the time now realize the truth, and have no appetite for a repeat of the very same experience”?

Georgia citizens that had believed the southern was win the battle were start to know the toughness of the Union army.Newspaper editor who published false reports had been whipped in the roadways as an instance to others.Southerners had actually experienced such serious shortage of food and consumer items that they had involved have no appetite.This battle was similar to European wars in that all the fighting was carried out by organized armies.

3. I beg your pardon of the adhering to would have actually supported basic Sherman’s strategy?

Henry ClayJohn C. CalhounThomas JeffersonFrederick Douglass

Primary Sources

Sherman, wilhelm T. “Letter of wilhelm T. Sherman come James M. Calhoun, E.E. Rawson, and S.C. Wells, September 12, 1864.” Civil battle Era NC. Https://

Suggested Resources

Caudill, Edward, and Paul Ashdown. Sherman’s march in Myth and Memory. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008.

Grimsley, Mark. The difficult Hand the War: Union military Policy Toward southern Civilians, 1861 1865. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge college Press, 1997.

McDonough, James Lee. William Tecumseh Sherman: In the company of mine Country: A Life. New York: W. W. Norton, 2016.

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Owens, Mackubin. T. “From Atlanta to Durham Station and also Spring Hill come Nashville.”

Witt, man Fabian. Lincoln’s Code: The laws of battle in American History. New York: cost-free Press, 2013.