*General Gordon promised the men a gold medal and 30 days leave if they accomplished their task and many years after the War my great grandfather wrote General Gordon, who was then governor of Georgia about this incident. They exchanged several letters which I have framed. The Attack On Fort Stedman
Former Confederate Lt. General and future Georgia U.S. Senator and Governor, John Brown Gordon, told a Congressional Committee in 1871:
“We never had any apprehension from the conduct of the negroes until unscrupulous men came among them and tried to stir up strife.”
The South was as devastated during the Civil war of 1861 to 1865 as much as any nation in the annals of warfare. By the end of the war, more than 250,000 Confederate soldiers, one out of every four white men, had been killed or died of wounds or disease. In addition, at least 50,000 Southern civilians died. Over 40 percent of private property including homes, businesses, livestock, and crops had been destroyed. In South Carolina, where Sherman’s men had burned the capitol city of Columbia, over 50 percent of private property was destroyed. Most of this property damage was deliberately inflicted on the civilian population to deny the Confederate Army the logistical means of resistance, but also to demoralize their families and supporters at home. It was ordered in cold calculation by Northern political and military leadership and often executed with self-righteous religious zeal or criminal abandon. Neither Christian teachings nor modern Geneva Conventions condone such total war. Reconstruction was an extension of that total war by political means.
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