Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864


Creator: Allen Campbell
Subjects: Atlanta Campaign, Ga., 1864, Children, Civil War, 1861-1865, Michigan Engineer -- 1st, Military personnel -- Officer, People -- William Tecumseh Sherman, Women, Destruction and pillage, Equipment and supplies
Description: Allen notes that his regiment left Atlanta a month ago "after burning Every thing that would burn, and blowing up Every thing that would not." He goes on to describe their progress along Sherman's March to the Sea, mentioning that Confederate forces chopped down trees at one point and buried torpedoes in the road in order to slow the Union troops. Allen claims that while he was in Atlanta under orders to destroy the city, a little girl pleaded with him to not burn her family's house down, so he spared it. He closes by stating that he was nearly captured while on foraging duty.
Date: December 18, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: Campbell Family Papers – c.00182

Language: English
Rights Management: Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by Michigan State University and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
Contributing Institution: Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections
Relation: Campbell Family Papers – c.00182

Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864<br />
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864

Hd Qrs. 1st Mich. Engrs. MechS.
Near Savannah. Ga. Dec. 18th 1864
Dear Father.
I take the present opportunity
to write you a few lines to let you know
that we are both well. and that we have been
traveling. Since I wrote to you before. we left
Atlanta. Nov 16th after burning Every thing that
would burn, and blowing up Every thing that
would not.. the Army moved in four colums.
the 15th Corps having the right. the 17th corps the
right center. the 20th corps the left center and
the 14th corps the Left. our Regt started with
the 14th corps but we shifted from that to the 20th
and from the 20th to the 17th and from the 17th to the
15th So we have changed from the Left to the right
wing. we marched from Atlanta on the Augusta
Rl. Road as far as Covington. then we left the Rl. Rd.
and marched direct for Milledgeville. which we
reached without opposition. Milledgeville is a sort
of one horse town. but I think it looked worse
when we left it. than it did when we went
there. from Milledgeville we marched for the Macon
and Savannah Rl. Rd. Striking it at a Small town called
Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864<br />
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864

Davisboro. we have marched near the Rail Road. Since
then. when we were about 15 miles from Savannah
we began to find the Rebels. who amused themselves
by chopping trees and otherwise obstructing the road.
sometimes putting torpedoes in the Sand. So as
to blow up the cavalry. about Four Miles from
Savannah we found the rebel breastworks. we have
been working around them three or four days. our
forces have captured Fort McAllister. and opened
communications with the fleet. we Expect to take
the city in a few days.. Some of the troops have
received mail but our Regt has not received
any as yet. The Army has destroyed an
immense amount of property on this march the
air being filled with Smoke from the burning cotton.
we found abundance of Everything plenty of corn
Sweet potatoes. hogs. Sheep. cattle. poultry. Horses
Mules etc. etc. it is a dark time for Georgia
and long will She remember the time. when Shermans
Eighty Thousand men marched. through 300. miles of
the finest portion of the south. but they have Sown.
on the wind and now they reap of the whirlwind.
I was detailed at Atlanta to Stay behind after the.
Regt left and fire the camp and surrounding buildings
Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864<br />
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Campbell Letter: December 18, 1864

most of the people left their houses without Saying a word
for they heard the cry of Chambersburg and they
knew it would be useless to contend with the soldiers.
but as I was about to fire one place a little girl
about ten years old came to me and Said, Mr Soldier
you would not burn our house would you. if you
do where are we going to live. and She looked into my
face with Such a pleading look. that I could not
have the heart to fire the place So I dropped the torch
and walked away. but chambersburg, is dearly paid for.
The rebels shelled our Regiment the other day killing
one man and wounding another. The Regt were at work.
building a dam across the canal. whiche the rebels
had cut intending to drownd us out. I went
out forageing one day and came verry near being
captured. but I had a good horse and the way I
went through the cypress Swamps was not Slow
I can ssure you. . The Regt is at work
making lightning rods of the rebel Rl Road [illegible].
Alex will write as Soon as he has time. Direct to the
1st Regt. Mich. Enges Mechs. Near Savannah. Ga. write
as. soon as you receive this. From your Son.
Allen. Campbell. QM. Sergt
1st. M.E. [The?]
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