Forage Liberally: The Role of Agriculture in Sherman's March to the Sea

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2011-01-01
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Welch, Robert
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Pamela Riney-kehrberg
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History
The Department of History seeks to provide students with a knowledge of historical themes and events, an understanding of past cultures and social organizations, and also knowledge of how the past pertains to the present.

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The Department of History was formed in 1969 from the division of the Department of History, Government, and Philosophy.

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This dissertation explores the intersection between Federal war policy and developments in Southern agriculture that created the environment for Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Savannah Campaign, better known as the "March to the Sea," to take place. The first chapter describes the changes that took place in Georgia's agriculture following secession that moved Southern farming from cash crop production to food staple cultivation. The second chapter illustrates the evolution of Northern military policies towards civilians that gave rise to the premise of hard war, especially in the use of foraging as a military weapon. Chapter three shows the planning process for the Savannah Campaign. Chapter four uses the accounts of Union soldiers to describe the agricultural environment they encountered along the path of the "March to the Sea," and especially the actions of foragers against Confederate civilians on rural farms. The fifth chapter utilizes the accounts of Georgia's plantation wives to show the impact of Sherman's foragers on their farms and their lives. The conclusion offers final analysis of the question of Southern agriculture and Northern war policy, as well as aspects of Sherman's March in the American memory.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011