Search Southern Heritage 411




          Back to Main Facts & Causes Page.


Northern Atrocities


A. Osceola, Missouri

James H. Lane, a United States Senator from Kansas returned to his home state of Kansas in the summer of 1861 to command what was called "Lane's Brigade." Lane was to retain his Senate seat while occasionally rampaging through Missouri.

His brigade was composed of Kansas infantry and cavalry. This force was, in fact, a ruthless band of Jayhawkers (plundering marauders) wearing United States uniforms. James H. Lane was known as the "Grim Chieftain" for the death and destruction he brought on the people of Missouri.

In September of 1861 Lane and his men descended on the town of Osceola, Missouri. This community of 2,000 was the county seat of St. Clair County, Missouri. It was here that Lane and his men established their criminal reputation. When Lane's troops found a cache of Confederate military supplies in the town, Lane decided to wipe Osceola from the map. First, Osceola was stripped of all of it's valuable goods which were loaded into wagons

taken from the townspeople. Then, nine citizens were given a farcical trial and shot. Then Lane's men went on a wild drinking spree. Finally, his men brought their frenzy of pillaging, murder and drunkenness to a close by burning the entire town.

References: "The South Was Right" by James R. Kennedy and Walter D. Kennedy, Chapter 4. "Truths of History" by Mildred L. Rutherford, Chapter 10. "The Lost Cause" by Edward A. Pollard, Chapter 9. Also 4 pages of documentation (available upon request) found in: Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. VI, Richmond, Va., October, 1878, No. 4 Van Dorn's Operations in Northern Mississippi -- Recollections of a Cavalryman. Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. VII. Richmond, Va., May, 1879. No. 5. The Missouri Campaign Of 1864 -- Report Of General Sterling Price. Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXIV. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1896. Reconstruction In Texas. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LIII [S# 111] Confederate Correspondence, Etc.--#6 O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 3 [S# 3] SEPTEMBER 22, 1861. ---Skirmish at, and destruction of, Osceola, Mo. Report of Brig. Gen. James H. Lane, commanding Kansas Brigade. Confederate Military History, Vol. 9 CONTENTS--MISSOURI. CHAPTER XVIII Burning of Osceola.

B. New Manchester, Georgia and The Roswell, Georgia Mills

In July of 1864, Sherman's troops approached Atlanta, Georgia, during Sherman's "March To The Sea." Enroute, Sherman left a trail of utter destruction behind, leaving nothing for the civilian population in his path.

At ten o'clock on Saturday morning, July 2, 1864, two regiments of U.S. cavalry, commanded by Colonel Silas Adams and a strong force of infantry under Major Haviland Thompkins appeared at New Manchester, Georgia, a town that once stood in present day Douglas County on the present site of Sweetwater Creek State Park.

From high ground across Sweetwater Creek, Confederate scouts saw them set up artillery within sight of the factory, but they could do nothing. From the windows of the mill, anxious employees watched as a line of blue-uniformed skirmishers approached the building. Not a shot was fired, however, and Major Thompkins and Colonel Adams were soon in the mill office demanding to know who was in charge.

Henry Lovern and A.C. "Cicero" Tippens were quickly brought before the officers and placed under arrest, along with every man, woman and child in the nearby town. The mill was shut down and the citizens of New Manchester returned to their homes under guard, having been misled after being told that once transportation arrived that they would be moved west out of the path of the armies where they would be safe from harm. For the next several days, Federal soldiers searched the town, broke open the company safe-it was empty-and sent patrols up and down Sweetwater Creek to check out the Ferguson-Merchant Mill to the north and Alexander's Mill to the south.

Meanwhile, Major Thompkins led part of the cavalry force in his command up the Chattahoochee River to Roswell, Georgia, where the Roswell Mills were located. Here he encountered a defiant Frenchman named Theopholie Roche. In a desperate attempt to save the Roswell Mills, the owners, without consideration, deeded the property to Roche. He was an "attaché" of the factory and was as that time a citizen of France, a foreign national. Roche ran up a French flag and claimed protection under it. When told of this, General Sherman became furious. "I repeat my orders," he raged at U.S. General Garrar, "that you arrest all people, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter what the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard, to Marietta, where I will send them by cars to the North." "If you hang Roche," he screamed, "I approve the act beforehand!"

On Friday, July 8, Major Thompkins arrived back at New Manchester where he informed Colonel Adams of General Sherman's determination to destroy the town and deport it's people. The next morning Major Thompkins sent a guard for Henry Lovern to tell him of the decision.

Thompkins had burnt the Roswell Factory on the previous Thursday. Thompkins advised Lovern that the New Manchester hands "must fix up to go west where they could get provisions as they intended to destroy everything in this part of the country."

On Saturday, July 9, 1864, a detachment of eight men went to the factory and set fire to it in several places. One by one the company store, the machine shops and the homes around the mill were put to the torch. Great clouds of smoke filled the air as the civilians of New Manchester watched their homes burn.

Major Thompkins then ordered that the 300-foot-long wooden dam across the creek above the mill be cannonaded. After several shots ripped holes in the dam the swirling waters of Sweetwater Creek finished off the destruction. Within minutes, several hundred thousand dollars worth of property perished in the flood, including one piece of Union artillery. The transport wagons then arrived, not to take the citizens to safety westward but to take them to Marietta, Georgia, where they would board trains for deportation to the North.

When the transport wagons proved to be insufficient, each cavalryman was ordered to take a second rider on his horse. The women hated riding behind the soldiers, but it was "a very fine sight," one Illinois soldier wrote home, one "we don't often see in the army." "The employees were all women," he continued, "and they were really good looking." Since the men had not been near a woman for months, order and discipline quickly broke down.

Besides, one soldier later wrote in his defense, "we always felt that we had a perfect right to appropriate to our own use anything we needed for our comfort and convenience." The Yankee troopers' "delirium," one soldier confided to his diary, "took the form of making love to the women." In this manner, the people of New Manchester set out for the sixteen-mile trip to Marietta, Georgia. Before night, one officer found it necessary to move his troops one mile north of the prisoners to restore a semblance of order and discipline within his troops.

By the time the New Manchester women reached Marietta, Georgia, they had long since ceased to exist as identifiable individuals. They had been merged with groups of other mill prisoners and were huddled together - 400 in the group - the male prisoners having been segregated from the female. This group hereafter was referred to in official reports and dispatches simply as the "Roswell Women," or the "Factory Hands."

Once they arrived in Marietta and were housed in the Georgia Military Institute building, the battered women became an embarrassment to U.S. General George H. Thomas, who wrote to Sherman on July 10: "The Roswell Factory hands, 400 or 500 in number, have arrived at Marietta. The most of them are women. I can only order them transportation to Nashville where it seems hard to turn them adrift. What had best be done with them?" Sherman replied, "I have ordered General Webster at Nashville to dispose of them. They will be sent to Indiana."

On July 15th, these women were given nine days' rations, placed on trains and were sent to a distribution point in Nashville, Tennessee. On July 20th, they were again moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where a local newspaper reporter noted their arrival: "The train which arrived at Louisville from Nashville last evening brought up from the South two hundred and forty-nine women and children, who are sent by order of General Sherman, to be transferred north of the Ohio River, there to remain during the war. We understand that there are now at Nashville fifteen hundred women and children, who are in a very destitute condition, and who are to be sent to Louisville to be sent North. A number of them were engaged in the manufactories at Sweetwater at the time that place was captured by our forces."

By this time, however, General Sherman's wholesale deportations had caused a furor in the North. One New York newspaper wrote: "...it is hardly conceivable that an officer bearing a United States commission of Major General should have so far forgotten the commonest dictates of decency and humanity...as to drive four hundred penniless girls hundreds of miles away from their homes and friends to seek their livelihood amid strange and hostile people. We repeat our earnest hope that further information may redeem the name of General Sherman and our own from this frightful disgrace."

In April 1865, a great silence descended across the land - the war was over. The South, shattered and defeated, had become a conquered province. Nowhere was the silence greater than at New Manchester. Not one of the New Manchester women ever returned and only a handful of the men. Henry Lovern, for instance, returned in January 1866 and became an employee of the Princeton Manufacturing Company's textile mill in Athens, Georgia. Nathaniel Humphries, who ran the company's store at New Manchester was confined for eleven months at Jeffersonville, Indiana. From there he returned to Georgia and spent the remainder of his life in Cobb and Carroll Counties. W.H. Bell, second in the card room, finally returned, as did Gideon J. Jennings, who had been employed at the factory as a machinist.

In March 1868, these were the only men who could be found within the state who had a first-hand knowledge of the events at New Manchester on those fateful days. Most of them never saw their families again. One husband traced his wife to Louisville, Kentucky, where they were reunited, but this was an exception. Most of them died never knowing the whereabouts of their wives and children.

On October 26, 1882, Theopholie Roche, the Frenchman, brought suit against the government of the United States claiming damages in the amount of $125,000 for false arrest and destruction of the Roswell Mills. When this case came to a hearing before the French-American Claims Commission on July 2, 1883, it was dismissed "for want of prosecution." Roche had escaped the hangman's noose but not Gen. Sherman's wrath.

References: "The Lost Cause" by Edward A. Pollard, Chapter 37. "The Story of the Confederate States" by Joseph T. Derry, Part 3, Section 3, Chapter 3 & 4. "The South Was Right" by James R. Kennedy and Walter D. Kennedy, Chapter 4. "Truths of History" by Mildred L. Rutherford, Chapter 10. Also 3 pages of documentation (available upon request) found in: O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/1 [S# 72] MAY 1-SEPTEMBER 8, 1864.--The Atlanta (Georgia) Campaign. No. 1.--Reports of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U.S. Army, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/5 [S# 76] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, FROM JULY 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1864.--#4 O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/5 [S# 76] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, FROM JULY 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1864.--#5

C. Sherman's March Through The South

U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman's march through the South, notably, through Georgia and South Carolina, may qualify as the most hideous of all military assaults against a civilian population in modern history. The list of recorded accounts of events that Sherman was wholly responsible for would be entirely too long to attempt to cover in this publication. But, several examples from the Official Records of Sherman's actions will surely leave the reader convinced that Sherman detested the Southern people.

Brigadier General Edward M. McCook, First Cavalry Division of Cavalry Corps, at Calhoun, Georgia, on October 30, 1864, reported to Sherman, "My men killed some of those fellows two or three days since, and I had their houses burned....I will carry out your instructions thoroughly and leave the country east of the road uninhabitable."

Sherman, on November 11, 1864, telegraphed Halleck, "Last night we burned all foundries, mills, and shops of every kind in Rome, and tomorrow I leave Kingston with the rear guard for Atlanta, which I propose to dispose of in a similar manner, and to start on the 16th on the projected grand raid.....Tomorrow our wires will be broken, and this is probably my last dispatch."

In Kingston, Georgia, Sherman wrote to U.S. Major General Philip H. Sheridan, "I am satisfied...that the problem of this war consists in the awful fact that the present class of men who rule the South must be killed outright rather than in the conquest of territory, so that hard, bull-dog fighting, and a great deal of it, yet remains to be done....Therefore, I shall expect you on any and all occasions to make bloody results."

Captain Orlando M. Poe, chief engineer, Military Division of the Mississippi, reported: "The court-house in Sandersonville (Georgia), a very substantial brick building, was burned by order of General Sherman, because the enemy had made use of it's portico from which to fire upon our troops."

Sherman, in Milledgeville, Georgia, issued Special Order no. 127, "In case of...destruction (of bridges) by the enemy,...the commanding officer...on the spot will deal harshly with the inhabitants nearby....Should the enemy burn forage and corn on our route, houses, barns, and cotton-gins must also be burned to keep them company."

General Howard reported to Sherman, "We have found the country full of provisions and forage....Quite a number of private dwellings...have been destroyed by fire...; also, many instances of the most inexcusable and wanton acts, such as the breaking open of trunks, taking of silver pate, etc."

Sherman reported to Grant, "The whole United States...would rejoice to have this army turned loose on South Carolina to devastate that State, in the manner we have done in Georgia."

On December 22 in Savannah, Georgia, Sherman advised Grant, "We are in possession of Savannah and all it's forts....I could go on and smash South Carolina all to pieces." On December 24 Sherman wrote Halleck, "The truth is the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina."

When Sherman had reached Savannah he was ordered to board ship and sail to Virginia to join Grant outside Virginia. Sherman rebelled in rage. He pledged, "I'm going to march to Richmond...and when I go through South Carolina it will be one of the most horrible things in the history of the world. The devil himself couldn't restrain my men in that state." General William T. Sherman also issued the following military order at Big Shanty, Georgia (presently Kennesaw) on June 23, 1864: "If torpedoes (mines) are found in the possession of an enemy to our rear, you may cause them to be put on the ground and tested by a wagon load of prisoners, or if need be a citizen implicated in their use. In like manner, if a torpedo is suspected on any part of the road, order the point to be tested by a carload of prisoners, or by citizens implicated, drawn by a long rope."

General Sherman also wrote to U.S. Brig. Gen. John Eugene Smith at Allatoona, Georgia, on July 14, 1864: "If you entertain a bare suspicion against any family, send it to the North. Any loafer or suspicious person seen at any time should be imprisoned and sent off. If guerrillas trouble the road or wires they should be shot without mercy."

General Sherman also wrote to U.S. Brig. Gen. Louis Douglass Watkins at Calhoun, Georgia, on Oct. 29, 1864: "Can you not send over to Fairmount and Adairsville, burn 10 or 12 houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random and let them know it will be repeated every time a train is fired upon from Resaca to Kingston."

And, finally, Gen. Sherman writing to U.S. Maj. George H. Thomas on Nov. 1, 1864: "I propose...to sally forth and make a hole in Georgia that will be hard to mend."

Sherman's march through the South will be remembered by generations still yet to come. Sherman himself estimated that the damage done by his troops in Georgia totaled $100,000,000. His statement on the destruction done to Georgia; "This may seem a hard species of warfare, but it brings the sad realities of war home." The ultimate attempt at total genocide by the U.S. troops under Sherman would have to be the multiple cases of troops sowing salt into the soil of an area in which they were about to leave. Thus, leaving the entire area unfit to grow any crops in the near future.

References: "The South Was Right" by James R. Kennedy and Walter D. Kennedy, Chapter 4. "Truths of History" by Mildred L. Rutherford, Chapter 10. The Lost Cause" by Edward A. Pollard, Chapter 37. "The Story of the Confederate States" by Joseph T. Derry, Part 3, Section 3, Chapter 3 & 4. "The Story of the Confederacy" by Robert S. Henry, Chapter 24, 26, 27. Also 53 pages of documentation (available upon request) found in: O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.--#21 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.--#30 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIII/1 [S# 91] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING SPECIALLY TO OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIA, SEPTEMBER 1, 1864, TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#23 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 21, 1864.--The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. No. 4.--Reports of Capt. Orlando M. Poe, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Chief Engineer. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92]. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, FROM NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#4 SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS No. 127. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 21, 1864.--The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. No. 7.--Report of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Tennessee. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, FROM NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#12 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, FROM NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#11 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 21, 1864.--The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. No. 1.--Reports of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XV [S# 21] Union Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In West Florida, Southern Alabama, Southern Mississippi, And Louisiana From May 12, 1862, To May 14, 1863: And In Texas, New Mexico, And Arizona From September 20, 1862, To May 14, 1863.--#2 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, FROM NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#14 O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/4 [S# 75] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, FROM MAY 1, 1864, TO JUNE 30, 1864.--#24 O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/5 [S# 76] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, FROM JULY 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1864.--#6 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.--#20 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 79] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND NORTH GEORGIA (THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN EXCEPTED), FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.--#15 O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIV [S# 92] NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 21, 1864.--The Savannah (Georgia) Campaign. No. 1.--Reports of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi. Confederate Military History, Vol. 5 CHAPTER XXI. Confederate Military History, Vol. 6 CHAPTER XVII. Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. I. Richmond, Virginia, June, 1876. No. 6. History Of The Army Of The Cumberland. Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. II. Richmond, Virginia, July, 1876. No. 1. Editorial Paragraphs. Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. III. Richmond, Virginia, February, 1877. No. 2. Diary Of Captain Robert E. Park, Twelfth Alabama Regiment. Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. VIII Richmond, Va., May, 1880. No. 5. The Burning of Columbia, South Carolina -- Report of the Committee of Citizens Appointed to Collect Testimony. By J. P. Carrol, Chairman. Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. X. Richmond, Va., August and Sept'r, 1882. Nos. 8-9. Sherman's March To The Sea, As Seen By A Northern Soldier. Southern Historical Society Papers. Volume XII. July-August-September. Nos. 7, 8, 9. General Sherman's March from Atlanta to the Coast -- Address Before the Survivors' Association of Augusta, Ga., April 20th, 1884. by Colonel C.C. Jones, Jr.