SHERMAN, WILLIAM TECUMSEH. 1820-1891.

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Lot 3485
SHERMAN, WILLIAM TECUMSEH. 1820-1891.

US$ 10,000 - 15,000
£ 7,300 - 11,000

Fine Books and Manuscripts

23 Jun 2010, 13:00 EDT

New York

SHERMAN, WILLIAM TECUMSEH. 1820-1891.
SHERMAN ON THE BURNING OF ATLANTA.
Autograph Letter Signed (W.T. Sherman), 3 1/2 pp recto and verso, 8vo (conjoined leaves), Saint Louis, July 8, 1868, on "Headquarters Military Division of the Missouri" stationery, a little soiling to last page, small nick at edge of first leaf, else fine.

Sherman writes to a fellow General denying that he or his men burned a Church in Atlanta: "Of course it must be as you say. A church was burned in Atlanta. But I cannot recall the building to my memory though I daily visited every part of this place during September. More than a month before the great fire that occured the day & night before I left viz. Nov. 12. / All through the South they charged to me and my army acts that were committed by vagabond whites & negroes. And it was of this that I wanted to inquire. / I heard that after we had gone from Atlanta hundreds of people flocked in and plundered and destroyed much we had left...."
Sherman issued his orders for the evacuation and burning of Atlanta in November 1864, one of the most decisive but controversial single acts of the Civil War. Father Thomas O'Reilly of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is credited with convincing Sherman to spare Atlanta's churches.
See illustration.
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