Historical clothing design of the day is from the Quotes section, General William Tecumseh Sherman is credited as saying “War is Hell“. Each day a new design is chosen and an article is posted to highlight the historical significance of the design.
Sherman’s March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted around Georgia during November and December 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The campaign began with Sherman’s troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. It inflicted significant damage, particularly to industry and infrastructure, and also to civilian property. Military historian David J. Eicher wrote that Sherman “defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South’s potential and psychology to wage war.”
Background and orders for the March
Sherman’s March to the Sea followed his successful Atlanta Campaign of May to September 1864. He and the U.S. Army commander, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, believed that the Civil War would end only if the Confederacy’s strategic, economic, and psychological capacity for warfare were decisively broken. Sherman therefore applied the principles of scorched earth: he ordered his troops to burn crops, kill livestock and consume supplies. Finally he destroyed civilian infrastructure along his path of advance. This policy is often considered a component strategy of total war. The recent re-election of President Abraham Lincoln ensured that short-term political pressure would not be applied to restrain these tactics.
The second objective of the campaign was more traditional. Grant’s armies in Virginia continued to be in a stalemate against Robert E. Lee’s army, besieged in Petersburg, Virginia. By moving in Lee’s rear, performing a massive turning movement against him, Sherman could possibly increase pressure on Lee, allowing Grant the opportunity to break through, or at least keep Southern reinforcements away from Virginia.
The campaign was designed to be similar to Grant’s innovative and successful Vicksburg Campaign, in that Sherman’s armies would reduce their need for traditional supply lines by “living off the land” after their 20 days of rations were consumed. Foragers, known as “bummers,” would provide food seized from local farms for the Army while they destroyed the railroads and the manufacturing and agricultural infrastructure of the state. In planning for the march, Sherman used livestock and crop production data from the 1860 census to lead his troops through areas where he believed they would be able to forage most effectively. Cotton gins and storage bins were to be destroyed because Southerners used the cotton to trade for guns and other supplies. The twisted and broken railroad rails that the troops heated over fires and wrapped around tree trunks and left behind became known as “Sherman’s neckties.”
Both President Lincoln and General Grant had serious reservations about Sherman’s plans. Still, Grant trusted Sherman’s assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, “Go as you propose.” The 300-mile march began on November 15.
Sherman’s personal escort on the march was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union.
The two wings of the army attempted to confuse and deceive the enemy about their destinations; the Confederates could not tell from the initial movements whether Sherman would march on Macon, Augusta, or Savannah. Howard’s wing, led by Kilpatrick’s cavalry, marched south along the railroad to Lovejoy’s Station, which caused the defenders there to conduct a fighting retreat to Macon. The cavalry captured two Confederate guns at Lovejoy’s Station, and then two more and 50 prisoners at Bear Creek Station. Howard’s infantry marched through Jonesboro to Gordon, southwest of the state capital, Milledgeville. Slocum’s wing, accompanied by Sherman, moved to the east, in the direction of Augusta. They destroyed the bridge across the Oconee River and then turned south.
The state legislature called for Georgians to “Die freemen rather than live [as] slaves” and fled the capital. Hardee arrived from his headquarters at Savannah and realized that that city, not Macon, was Sherman’s target. He ordered the Confederate cavalry under Wheeler to harass the Federal rear and flanks while the militiamen under Smith hurried eastward to protect the seaport city. On November 23, Sherman’s staff held a mock legislative session in the state capitol, jokingly voting Georgia back into the Union and playing cards.
The first real resistance was felt by Howard’s right wing at the Battle of Griswoldville on November 22. Wheeler’s cavalry struck Kilpatrick’s, killing three and capturing 18. The infantry brigade of Brig. Gen. Charles C. Walcutt arrived to stabilize the defense, and the division of Georgia militia launched several hours of badly coordinated attacks, eventually retreating with about 1,100 casualties (of which about 600 were prisoners), versus the Union’s 100.
Several small actions followed. Wheeler and some infantry struck in a rearguard action at Ball’s Ferry on November 24 and November 25. While Howard’s wing was delayed near Ball’s Bluff, the 1st Alabama Cavalry (a Federal regiment) engaged Confederate pickets. Overnight, Union engineers constructed a bridge 2 miles away from the bluff across the Oconee River, and 200 soldiers crossed to flank the Confederate position. On November 25–26 at Sandersville, Wheeler struck at Slocum’s advance guard. Kilpatrick was ordered to make a feint toward Augusta before destroying the railroad bridge at Brier Creek and moving to liberate the Camp Lawton prisoner of war camp at Millen. Kilpatrick slipped by the defensive line that Wheeler had placed near Brier Creek, but on the night of November 26 Wheeler attacked and drove the 8th Indiana and 2nd Kentucky Cavalry away from their camps at Sylvan Grove. Kilpatrick abandoned his plans to destroy the railroad bridge and he also learned that the prisoners had been moved from Camp Lawton, so he rejoined the army at Louisville. At the Battle of Buck Head Creek on November 28, Kilpatrick was surprised and nearly captured, but the 5th Ohio Cavalry halted Wheeler’s advance, and Wheeler was later stopped decisively by Union barricades at Reynolds’s Plantation. On December 4, Kilpatrick’s cavalry routed Wheeler’s at the Battle of Waynesboro.
More Union troops entered the campaign from an unlikely direction. Maj. Gen. John G. Foster dispatched 5,500 men and 10 guns under Brig. Gen. John P. Hatch from Hilton Head, hoping to assist Sherman’s arrival near Savannah by securing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. At the Battle of Honey Hill on November 30, Hatch fought a vigorous battle against G.W. Smith’s 1,500 Georgia militiamen, 3 miles south of Grahamville Station, South Carolina. Smith’s militia fought off the Union attacks, and Hatch withdrew after suffering about 650 casualties, versus Smith’s 50.
Sherman’s armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10 but found that Hardee had entrenched 10,000 men in good positions, and his soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, leaving only narrow causeways available to approach the city. Sherman was blocked from linking up with the U.S. Navy as he had planned, so he dispatched cavalry to Fort McAllister, guarding the Ogeechee River, in hopes of unblocking his route and obtaining supplies awaiting him on the Navy ships. On December 13, William B. Hazen’s division of Howard’s army stormed the fort in the Battle of Fort McAllister and captured it within 15 minutes. Some of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war.
Hardee decided not to surrender but to escape. On December 20, he led his men across the Savannah River on a pontoon bridge hastily constructed of rice flats. The next morning, Savannah Mayor R. D. Arnold rode out to formally surrender, in exchange for General Geary’s promise to protect the city’s citizens and their property. Sherman’s men, led by Geary’s division of the XX Corps, occupied the city the same day.
Read More about William Tecumseh Sherman on Wikipedia.
Archaeologists now have more than buried artifacts to piece together the story of Camp Lawton, where Union prisoners were housed in the final weeks of the Civil War.
“We have an actual letter, sent by a prisoner to his family back in the North,” said Georgia Southern University archeologist Kevin Chapman.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of a new exhibit devoted to the camp, which occupied 42 acres in Jenkins County within today’s Magnolia Springs State Park.
Story by Rob Pavey – The Augusta Chronicle; Photo by Amanda L. Morrow – Georgia Southern University
Historical clothing design of the day is from the Air Force – Roundels series, the roundels used by the Republic of Abkhazia. Each day a new design is chosen and an article is posted to highlight the historical significance of the design.
Early History of Abkhazia
Between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was part of the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis (“Kolkha”). This kingdom was subsequently absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Egrisi, known to Byzantine authors as “Lazica” and to the Persians as “Lazistan”, named after the Laz tribe.
Between 1000 and 550 BC, Greeks established trade colonies along the coast of the Black Sea, in particular at Pitiunt and Dioscurias, which was to become the capital of modern day Abkhazia. They encountered local warlike tribes who they called Heniochi. Classical authors described various peoples living in the region and the great multitude of languages they spoke. Arrian, Pliny and Strabo have given accounts of the Abasgoi (generally considered ancestors of the modern Abkhazians) and Moschoi peoples somewhere in modern Abkhazia on the eastern shore of the Black Sea.
The Roman Empire conquered Egrisi in the 1st century AD and ruled it until the 4th century, following which it regained a measure of independence, but remained within the Byzantine Empire’s sphere of influence. Although the exact time when the population of Abkhazia was converted to Christianity has not been determined, it is known that the Metropolitan of Pitius participated in the First Ecumenical Council in 325 in Nicaea.
Abkhazia, or Abasgia in classic sources, formerly part of Colchis and later of Egrisi (Lazica) until the late 690s, was a princedom under Byzantine authority. Anacopia was the princedom’s capital. The country was mostly Christian with the archbishop’s seat in Pityus. An Arab incursion into Abkhazia was repelled by Leon I jointly with his Egrisian and Kartlian allies in 736.
After acquiring Egrisi via a dynastic union in the 780s Abkhazia became the dominant power in the region and the Kingdom of Abkhazia, also known as the Kingdom of Egrisi or the Kingdom of the Abkhaz, was established. During this period the Georgian language replaced Greek as the language of literacy and culture. The kingdom flourished between 850 and 950 when it annexed significant parts of Eastern Georgia including Tbilisi. A period of unrest ensued which ended as Abkhazia and eastern Georgian states were unified under a single Georgian monarchy, ruled by King Bagrat III (who was buried in the Monastery of Bedia in the Tkvarcheli district of Abkhazia) at the end of the 10th, and the beginning of the 11th centuries.
In the 16th century, after the break-up of the Georgian Kingdom, an autonomous Principality of Abkhazia emerged, ruled by the Shervashidze dynasty (also known as Sharvashidze, or Chachba). Since the 1570s, when the Ottoman navy occupied the fort of Tskhumi, Abkhazia came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire and Islam. Under Ottoman rule, the majority of Abkhazians were converted to Islam. The principality retained a degree of autonomy under the Ottomans, and then Russian rule, but it was eventually absorbed into the Russian Empire in 1864.
Abkhazia within the Russian Empire and Soviet Union
In the beginning of the 19th century while the Russians and Ottomans were vying for control of the region, the rulers of Abkhazia shifted back and forth across the religious divide. The first attempt to enter into relations with Russia was made by Keilash Bey in 1803, shortly after the incorporation of eastern Georgia into the expanding Tsarist empire (1801). However, the pro-Ottoman orientation prevailed for a short time after his assassination by his son Aslan-Bey on 2 May 1808. On 2 July 1810, the Russian Marines stormed Suhum-Kale and had Aslan-Bey replaced with his rival brother, Sefer-Bey (1810–1821), who had converted to Christianity and assumed the name of George. Abkhazia joined the Russian Empire as an autonomous principality. However, George’s rule, as well as that of his successors, was limited to the neighbourhood of Suhum-Kale and the Bzyb area. The next Russo-Turkish war strongly enhanced the Russian positions, leading to a further split in the Abkhaz elite, mainly along religious divisions. During the Crimean War (1853–1856), Russian forces had to evacuate Abkhazia and Prince Michael (1822–1864) seemingly switched to the Ottomans. Later on, the Russian presence strengthened and the highlanders of Western Caucasia were finally subjugated by Russia in 1864. The autonomy of Abkhazia, which had functioned as a pro-Russian “buffer zone” in this troublesome region, was no longer needed by the Tsarist government and the rule of the Shervashidze came to an end; in November 1864, Prince Michael was forced to renounce his rights and resettle in Voronezh. Abkhazia was incorporated into the Russian Empire as a special military province of Suhum-Kale which was transformed, in 1883, into an okrug as part of the Kutais Guberniya. Large numbers of Muslim Abkhazians – said to have constituted as much as 40% of the Abkhazian population – emigrated to the Ottoman Empire between 1864 and 1878 together with other Muslim population of Caucasus in a process known as Muhajirism.
Large areas of the region were left uninhabited and many Armenians, Georgians, Russians and others subsequently migrated to Abkhazia, resettling much of the vacated territory. According to Georgian historians, Georgian tribes (namely the Mingrelians and Svans) had populated Abkhazia since the time of the Colchis kingdom.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to the creation of an independent Georgia (which included Abkhazia) in 1918. Georgia’s Menshevik government had problems with the area through most of its existence despite a limited autonomy being granted to the region. In 1921, the Bolshevik Red Army invaded Georgia and ended its short-lived independence. Abkhazia was made a Socialist Soviet Republic (SSR Abkhazia) with the ambiguous status of a treaty republic associated with the Georgian SSR. In 1931, Stalin made it an autonomous republic (Abkhaz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic or in short Abkhaz ASSR) within the Georgian SSR. Despite its nominal autonomy, it was subjected to strong direct rule from central Soviet authorities. Under the rule of Stalin and Beria many Georgians (especially Mingrelians) were encouraged to settle in Abkhazia; Abkhaz schools were closed. Russians also moved into Abkhazia in great numbers. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, Vazgen I and the Armenian church encouraged and funded the migration of Armenians to Abkhazia. Currently, Armenians are the second largest minority group in Abkhazia (closely matching the Georgians), although their numbers decreased dramatically from 77,000 in the 1989 census to 45,000 in the 2003 census.
The oppression of the Abkhaz was ended after Stalin’s death and Beria’s execution, and the Abkhaz were given a greater role in the governance of the republic. As in most of the smaller autonomous republics, the Soviet government encouraged the development of culture and particularly of literature. Ethnic quotas were established for certain bureaucratic posts, giving the Abkhaz a degree of political power that was disproportionate to their minority status in the republic. This was interpreted by some as a “divide and rule” policy whereby local elites were given a share in power in exchange for support for the Soviet regime. In Abkhazia as elsewhere, it led to other ethnic groups — in this case, the Georgians — resenting what they saw as unfair discrimination, thereby stoking ethnic discord in the republic.
Read More about the Republic of Abkhazia on Wikipedia.com
They call themselves “Windies”, fans so inspired by just one book that they wear re-created costumes, quote whole scenes verbatim and name their children Bonnie Blue or Scarlett.
, published 75 years ago this month, has devoted readers around the world who have read the book in dozens of languages.
Some of these readers are so committed that they make a yearly pilgrimage to Atlanta, trekking from where author Margaret Mitchell wrote her book to the spot where she died just a few blocks away and, finally, to the cemetery where she is buried. Alas, the story that the most ardent of these Windies once even staged a mock burning of a replica Atlanta remains unconfirmed.
Story by Petti Fong
Among all folk costumes, the Georgian chokha can be said to best represent tradition, folklore, handicraft and prestige — all in one overcoat.
Formerly made of wool or camel hair and now of cotton or even of synthetic fabric, chokhas are thick heavy overcoats which fit snugly around the waist and are wide at the bottom.
They are buttoned down to the waist in the middle of the front, with decorative touches such as bullet holders, ornamental bullets and miniature silver accessories dangling from a leather belt.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, chokhas were once everyday wear, but are now only worn on festive or formal occasions.
Contrary to common belief, chokhas are not only for men. In some parts of the South Caucasus country of Georgia, women also wear tailor-made chokhas.
There are three main types of chokhas: the Eastern (popular in Georgia’s Kartli and Kakheti administrative regions), the Central (in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region) and the Western (in the Guria and Adjara regions), known respectively as the Kartli-Kakheti calf-length chokha, Khevsur heel-length chokha, and Adjarian waist-length chokha.
Read More at Georgian folk costume makes a comeback: the chokha.
Story by Yi Gaochao