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Sherman's March: The First Full-Length Narrative of General William T. Sherman's Devastating March through Georgia and the Carolinas Paperback – May 12, 1988


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Sherman's March: The First Full-Length Narrative of General William T. Sherman's Devastating March through Georgia and the Carolinas + Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea + Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394757637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394757636
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A well-researched narrative. It captures the mood of the soldiers, and it graphically depicts the suffering that the army inflicted on those unfortunate persons who happened to be in its path."

-- Library Journal

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9 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book moved at a fast pace, reading like exciting fiction.
Rick
Burke does a good job of showing the grave damage inflicted by the march and holds Sherman accountable for the excesses inflicted by his army.
Brian D. Rubendall
You come away from the book feeling as though you had been present.....and the author manages to provide a very even-handed account.
Bruce Loveitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
When Lincoln won the election of 1864, any reasonable hope of winning the war, even of the most optimistic of Southerners, vanished. Yet still, they fought on, drawing out the bloody end game though its conclusion was already a certainty. General William T. Sherman had long considered that the war could not be won without completely breaking the will of the Southern people to continue fighting, and now, he was certain of it. His answer was to take war to the civilians - to pillage, burn, and destroy a large swath through Georgia and the Carolinas, mostly unopposed by any significant enemy resistance. Burke Davis' book, Sherman's March, grippingly tells the story of this dark chapter of American history.
The book opens with the fall of Atlanta, and ends with Sherman's army marching triumphantly through the streets of Washington in the Grand Review. In between, Burke deals with the battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, as well as various skirmishes and demonstrations, but this is not a campaign book, full of detailed military maneuvers. My copy doesn't have a single map other than the one on the inside cover of the book. Instead, this book concentrates on the march itself, using hundreds of eyewitness accounts, both of civilians, and soldiers of both sides, to bring to life this incredible and terrible event.
Though Mr. Davis is a Southerner, his account is largely a fair one. Sherman is neither presented as a devil or a hero, and a fair attempt was made to give an account that balanced the outrage of the Southerners with the reasons that Sherman believed his march to be necessary. Davis covers everything of significance, including the reactions of the politicians and generals to Sherman's bold maneuver, his capture of three Confederate State Capitols, and his burning of one of them.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Berger on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. It's great for a number of reasons:

1. It is full of so many personal accounts of the events (from Union men and Southern civilians) that it fills out the events. The March comes alive and you realize that this REALLY happened and that real human beings were affected by it.

2. It is never dry. Some military history books get so wrapped up in the movements of individual regiments, etc. that you feel as if the writer is more interested in showing how much detailed study they have done than relating the event in its many dimensions. This book never grows dry. This is certainly not a tactical history, but it is never grows boring.

3. Sherman emerges as a complex man who has a genuine affection for people, but at the same time believes that the best thing for the nation is quick suppression of the rebellion and the restoration of the Union - to this end he is willing to take war to a new level.

4. The brutality of the war comes out in full force - from atrocities, willful and meaningless destruction, quick death, and the pain of those caught up in the midst of it.

If you're looking for a great book for some summer or vacation reading and you're fascinated by the Civil War, this is a great book to pick up.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Another of Burke Davis' fine books. His research and objective writing reveals history as it happened and lets the reader draw what conclusions there are to be had from the facts. As a native Georgian I had heard many tales about Sherman's devastation to the region, but this is the first scholarly treatment of the subject and I am very glad I read it. After reading this book, ask yourself how we would react if a campaign such as that were conducted today and I think it really contrasts U.S. military standards of battlefield behavior and campaign strategy. Davis also points out quite well that this was the beginning of modern warfare.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Fitzgerald on January 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
In recommending to General Grant the he be allowed to break free from his supply lines and march from Atlanta to Savannah, Sherman stated,"I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl". He did just that. This is an amazingly good book by Burke Davis. Written with just a bit of Southern bias ("Federal troops...plundered their way through the South"), the author makes Sherman's point for him: "War is hell, there is no use in trying to refine it".

This book accurately depicts the experience of the 65,000 Federal troops who made this march. It clearly illustrates the complete inability of the Confederacy to defend itself, the breakdown of organized resistance and the subsequent impact on the South's population. Sherman's uncontested march through Georgia and the Carolinas represents the final nail in the Confederacy's coffin. After Lincoln's presidential victory in November 1864 one can only wonder why the South did not sue for peace. They must have known, had to have realized, that the end was only a matter of time. European recognition had been laid to rest 18 months earlier.

In a very real sense, the South visited the horror of Sherman's March upon themselves. After reading this book you get a good feeling for the serious disconnect, the complete lack of effective communication, between Confederate field commanders and their government's civilian administration. This book is an awesome accomplishment: It is a poignant testament to why there will never be a William T Sherman High School in Georgia, South or North Carolina.
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