In Atlanta, I’m told, you can get your steak cooked four ways: rare, medium, well-done, or Shermanized: burnt to a crisp.
If you remember your high school American History class, you may recall General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea (see map).
After capturing Atlanta in September 1864, he and 62,000 Union soldiers marched southeast on a five-week campaign, destroying Georgia’s war-making infrastructure and civilian economy while living off the land. He captured the Atlantic port city of Savannah on December 21 without firing a shot.
It was the turning point of the four-year Civil War, which ended less than five months later.
For ten days starting April 10, I’ll be following General Sherman. I’ll spend two days at the mountain battlefields south of the Tennessee border, and a day studying the (futile) Confederate fortifications around Atlanta. Moving southeast, I’ll spend a day in Milledgeville (Georgia’s capitol during the war), and then three days in Savannah visiting the old forts built to protect the harbor, as well as the state’s oldest synagogue and cemetary.
And just as Sherman did, I’ll then go north up the coast for three days in Charleston, South Carolina. I’ll end the trip where the Civil War started—touring Fort Sumter, as well as an antebellum cotton plantation.
Unlike Sherman, I’ll drive, stay in comfortable hotels, and have world-class historians for guides. And unlike Sherman, I’ll know what happened—which no one, of course, ever knows in advance.
Sure, I could vacation in Paris or Tokyo. But give me the 19th century and I’m transported. Do come along—you will be, too. Just click the “Follow!” button at the top of this page, to the right of General Sherman.