State spared worst punishment by Sherman’s troops

” ‘The army burned everything it came near in the State of South Carolina,’ Major [James] Connolly concurred, ‘not under orders, but in spite of orders…. Our track through the State is a desert waste.’

“But, Connolly added, ‘Since entering North Carolina the wanton destruction has stopped.’ It was true…. North Carolina was not a part of the Deep South, was known to harbor significant Unionist sentiment, and had been one of the last states to secede [the last, in fact]….

“The abrupt cessation of the maelstrom that engulfed South Carolina formed one of the strongest proofs of the sense of discriminating righteousness that animated the Federal rank and file. For some it had an Old Testament flavor to it….”

— From “The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865” by Mark Grimsley (1997)

 

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