View Full Version : What Sherman's troops carried as they prepared to march through Georgia

Steve Acker
08-02-2011, 03:22 PM
William F. Saylor was the band leader of the 1st Brigade, Thrid Division, Twentieth Corps Band. On November 14th his corps began its movement back to Atlanta, from Kingston. In a letter to his father dated December 18th, 1864 he tells of his experience marching through Georgia. On the second page he describes what he and his bandmates carried. Enjoy.
"We had on our backs and in our haversacks each one tent, 1 wool blanket, 1 rubber blanket, an extra pair of shors (spelled as the journal states), 1 pair of drawers, 1 shirt, and other little trinkets and five days rations of hard bread and sow belly each and ten days rations of coffee, sugar and a little pepper and salt, a knife,fork, spoon, 1 tin plate and 1 tin cup and our horns (remember he is in the band). The soldiers each had a gun weighing 11 pounds and 60 rounds of cartridges."

Note: the letter can be found at the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Also, he goes into great detail on how they pulled the Chattahootchie Bridge down. I'll be posting that on my blog site.

Steve Acker

08-02-2011, 06:39 PM
Does it specify where on the hootch ..I.e. which bridge? My back yard is where schofield's boys crossed the 'hootch in early July '64..so I'm just wondering...of course they crossed in the water wearing nothing but their hats..but still curious which bridge

Steve Acker
08-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Hey Aaron,
He does not specifically state the railroad bridge. Here is what he says: "On Saturday November 12th our forces commenced destroying the Chattahoochee River Bridge (360 feet long and 100 feet above the water, built of trestle work) and RR north of it as far north as Kingston. On November 13th we pulled down the bridge. This was done by cutting all the braces and digging away about 20 feet of track from the ends, then fastening a long rope to it and five or six hundred men pulling on it endwise. After two or three pulls it commenced swaying to and fro and soon about half of this massive structure went crashing to the bottom of the stream. The work men now went to the other side and went through the same operation and in one day, from the time they commenced cutting the braces this whole structure that had cost a month to build was a pile of ruins. "

Steve Acker