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Week 37

(December 29th - January 4th)

As Sherman’s war in Georgia concludes, the Confederate cause is defeated.
Sherman has destroyed property, left thousands destitute, and is the most despised man in the South.
But his methods prove true: he has crippled the Confederacy and shortened the war. Lincoln’s reelection and emancipation are won in tandem.
The promise of freedom does not guarantee social justice. But there is hope in 1865.

 

Episode Transcript

I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.

On December 31, 1864, the British paper, The Spectator, reports on Sherman's success in the American Civil War.

“The Georgia campaign... has ended... fatally... for the Confederacy.
The war is not over, but the Union and emancipation are secured.
With the conclusion of Sherman’s war in Georgia - the Atlanta campaign and the march to the sea – the Confederate cause is defeated.

Sherman’s method of waging war – besieging civilians, destroying property, and leaving thousands starving, including women and children – make him the most hated man in the South.
But, he believed that only severe methods would break Confederate morale and shorten the war...
and he was right.

The fall of Atlanta secures President Lincoln’s new birth of freedom for four million enslaved Americans.
As 1864 closes, the promise of freedom does not assure social justice or civil rights, but there is hope in 1865.

Hope born of the most pivotal and traumatic event in American history… A war in which at least 670 thousand Americans died... not at the hands of a foreign power... but by our own.

The great march has not been a loss, but a gain. This is not due to any generalship, but to the cause in which the North is fighting.
It only needs indomitable perseverance to succeed in the end.”

I’m Masud Olufani and this is the final week.
This is week thirty-seven.

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