Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/449
448 Southern Historical Society Papers.
On March I5th he writes to General Gillmore, advising him to draw forces from Charleston and Savannah (both then in Federal hands) to destroy a railroad, etc. " As to the garrisons of those places I don't feel disposed to be over generous, and should not hesitate to burn Savannah, Charleston and Wilmington, or either of them, if the garrisons were needed."
Such are some of the results of our gleanings in this field. Is it any wonder that after reading them, we fervently echo General Sher- man's devout aspiration : " I do wish the fine race of men that people our Northern States should rule and determine the future destiny of America?"
We have already published [see Vol. VII, pp. 155, 185, and 249; Vol. VIII, p. 202; Vol. X, p. 109, and Vol. XII, p. 233] the most conclusive proof that General Sherman was responsible (at the bar of History and at the bar of God) for the burning of Columbia.
But we mean to give, from time to time, cumulative proof of this, and accordingly we deem the following able editorial review in the Charleston News and Courier worthy of a place in our records:
WHO BURNED COLUMBIA? GENERAL SHERMAN'S LATEST STORY
Usually there is little to be gained by the re-opening of discussions which were supposed to have been closed until the final account should be made up by an impartial historian of the War between the States; but the desire to avoid heartburnings and bickering will not excuse an acquiescence in historical untruth, or justify si- lence when old calumnies are revived for the injury of the South and the glorification of egotistical generals of the Union army. Gen- eral Sherman is responsible, then, for bringing to the front again the burning of Columbia, an act which, with the devastation that pre- ceded and followed it, had only one parallel in the bloody story of the war the devastation of the Valley of Virginia by Sheridan. Fortunately, the means are at hand for weighing General Sherman's statements, and there is reason to hope that the whole subject will be scrutinized with less prejudice than was possible ten or fifteen years ago. General Sherman's latest statement touching the burning of Columbia, made at an Army Reunion at Hartford last week, is as follows :