Sherman Bios & Related

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Perfect Scout: A Soldier's Memoir of the Great March to the Sea and Campaign of the Carolinas (George W. Quimby)

$29.95
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A rare and dramatic first-person account by a Union scout who served General William Tecumseh Sherman on his "march to the sea"

After his father-in-law passed away, Stephen Murphy found, among the voluminous papers left behind, an ancestral memoir. Murphy quickly became fascinated with the recollections of George W. Quimby (1842-1926), a Union soldier and scout for General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Before Quimby became a part of Sherman's March, he was held captive by Nathan Bedford Forrest's troops in western Tennessee. He joined Sherman's Army in Vicksburg, destroying railroads and bridges across Mississippi and Alabama on the way to Georgia. As the notorious march began, Quimby became a scout and no longer experienced war as his fellow soldiers did. Scouts moved ahead of the troops to anticipate opportunities and dangers. The rank and file were instructed to be seen and feared, while scouts were required to be invisible and stealthy. This memoir offers the rare perspective of a Union soldier who ventured into Confederate territory and sent intelligence to Sherman.

Written around 1901 in the wake of the Spanish American War, Quimby's memoir shows no desire to settle old scores. He's a natural storyteller, keeping his audience's attention with tales of drunken frolics and narrow escapes, providing a memoir that reads more like an adventure novel. He gives a new twist to the familiar stories of Sherman's March, reminding readers that while the Union soldiers faced few full-scale battles, the campaign was still quite dangerous.

More than a chronicle of day-to-day battles and marches, The Perfect Scout is more episodic and includes such additional elements as the story of how he met his wife and close encounters with the enemy. Offering a full picture of the war, Quimby writes not only about his adventures as one of Sherman's scouts, but also about the suffering of the civilians caught in the war. He provides personal insight into some of the war's historic events and paints a vivid picture of the devastation wreaked upon the South that includes destroyed crops and homes and a shattered economy. He also tells of the many acts of kindness he received from Southerners, including women and African Americans, who helped him and his fellow scouts by providing food, shelter, or information.

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Sherman's March The First Full-Length Narrative of General William T. Sherman's

$17.95
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Sherman's March is the vivid narrative of General William T. Sherman's devastating sweep through Georgia and the Carolinas in the closing days of the Civil War. Weaving together hundreds of eyewitness stories, Burke Davis graphically brings to life the dramatic experiences of the 65,000 Federal troops who plundered their way through the South and those of the anguished -- and often defiant -- Confederate women and men who sought to protect themselves and their family treasures, usually in vain. Dominating these events is the general himself -- "Uncle Billy" to his troops, the devil incarnate to the Southerners he encountered.

"What gives this narrative its unusual richness is the author's collation of hundreds of eyewitness accounts...The actions are described in the words, often picturesque and often eloquent, of those who were there, either as participants -- Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers -- in the fighting and destruction or as victims of Sherman's frank vow to 'make Georgia howl.' Mr. Davis intercuts these scenes with closeups of the chief actors in this nightmarish drama, and he also manages to give us a coherent historical account of the whole episode. A powerful illustration of the proposition put forth in Sherman's most famous remark." -- The New Yorker

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Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman's March and American Memory

$27.95
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Sherman's March, cutting a path through Georgia and the Carolinas, is among the most symbolically potent events of the Civil War. In Through the Heart of Dixie, Anne Sarah Rubin uncovers and unpacks stories and myths about the March from a wide variety of sources, including African Americans, women, Union soldiers, Confederates, and even Sherman himself. Drawing her evidence from an array of media, including travel accounts, memoirs, literature, films, and newspapers, Rubin uses the competing and contradictory stories as a lens into the ways that American thinking about the Civil War has changed over time.

Compiling and analyzing the discordant stories around the March, and considering significant cultural artifacts such as George Barnard's 1866 Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, and E. L. Doctorow's The March, Rubin creates a cohesive narrative that unites seemingly incompatible myths and asserts the metaphorical importance of Sherman's March to Americans' memory of the Civil War. The book is enhanced by a digital history project, which can be found at shermansmarch.org.