I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
It is late November, 1864.
Near Sandersville, nineteen-year-old Imogene Hoyle and her family hide jewelry, money and clothes outside their home.
The Yankees are coming.
Sherman writes, “Where a million … people find subsistence, my army won’t starve. …”
He carefully prepares for organized foraging parties to seize food and supplies.
Sherman knows he has to keep on the move.
Living off the land, his army will run out of food if it stays in one place too long.
And before taking horses, mules, and wagons, he directs his men to discriminate, in his words “between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor… [who are] usually neutral or friendly.”
But neither rich nor poor can escape the consequences.
Imogene writes, “The … yard, fields and every place was filled with the demons. They broke open the smoke house … sacked the kitchens … rushed into the dining room … [taking]… everything … to eat…”
“We haven’t had a mouthful of bread since. … every corn crib & hen house … has been burned.”
And Sherman’s army takes more than food, livestock, and supplies.
With them, go thousands of slaves.
“We fear the negroes now more than anything else.”
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week thirty-two.