Why them all?
Why the best?
Why the Fall? (Haiku)
When William Tecumseh Sherman finally crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina, destruction and the torch were the game. There was no Confederate force remaining in the area that could stop him. The Battle of Honey Hill occurred in Jasper Co. The map tells it all. He burned Orangeburgh and Columbia to the ground.
The End of the War, 1865
Leaving Georgia, General Sherman continued his excursion through South Carolina, burning Columbia, the capital. He had reached North Carolina when news came of Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Johnston had by this time been put back in his old command, and had somehow gathered all remaining Confederate troops in the area in North Carolina in a last desperate attempt to meet up with Robert E. Lee. Johnston realized the end was at hand, and he surrendered to Sherman in North Carolina.
The war lasted four years, from April, 1861, to April, 1865, and during the entire time the South was on the defensive. Was this contest hopeless against the great resources of the North? We shall have more to say on this, and it can be argued that the war could have been won by the South, but that the outcome would have been the same, slavery was at an end. Immigration and the stimulus given to industry in the North by the war constantly increased the wealth of that section; whereas in the South men killed or captured could not be replaced, and the Confederacy grew poorer financially with every passing year. In time, the Southern ports were blockaded and the export of cotton, our one source of money, prevented. The most remarkable thing about the war is that it lasted so long; and this can be explained only by taking into account the spirit of Southerners, plus the fact that this was a defensive war. As South Carolina was a very distant state from the Army of the Potomac, it was necessary to break the barrier afforded by the other states before invasion could reach us. As nearly all able-bodied men were then in the army, resistance to Sherman was for all practical purposes impossible, and the Union army had an almost unopposed march through Georgia in the winter of 1864 and on into South Carolina. Lee's surrender the following spring closed the war.
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