Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


The Capture of Savannah
By H.H. Hardesty (a)

On Christmas Eve 1864, the following message was received by President Abraham Lincoln from General William T. Sherman:

    I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 guns, plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.

The rejoicing of the people of the North was profound. The feeling toward Sherman and his army one of deep gratitude. President Lincoln responded as follows:

    Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C.
    December 26, 1864

    My Dear General Sherman:

    Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift - the capture of Savannah. When you were about to leave Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but, feeling that you were the better judge, and now remembering that "nothing risked, nothing gained," I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours, for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce. And, taking the work of General Thomas into consideration, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate advantages, but in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing forces of the whole - Hood's army - it brings those who sat in the darkness to see great light.

    Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men.

    Your very truly,
    A. Lincoln


(a) H.H. Hardesty. 1888. Ohio in the War.

Submitted by:
Donald E. Darby
National Patriotic Instructor
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
January 2001

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