SAVANNAH Georgia — America’s Civil War (1861-1865) touched Savannah and Georgia in heartbreak, lost lives and commerce. Ultimately, Savannah was spared from destruction, and presented as a Christmas gift to President Abraham Lincoln by Union General William T. Sherman.
To spare lives and bypass the fate repeating as with the burning of Atlanta, citizens of Savannah chose for Mayor Richard Arnold to surrender the city to General Sherman. Sherman’s “March to the Sea” was bound to wreck the rail lines (making Sherman neckties of rails), disrupt commerce, and break the spirit of Georgian.
Did you know? July 2, 1862, Taps was played for first time in the Civil War. See History of Taps narrated by John Wayne.
Not celebrated but remembered, part of America’s history lives on in the Civil War stories now being retold during the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015) in Savannah, GA.
Right across the Greene Square from Green Palm Inn’s bed and breakfast cottage, at the Second African Baptist Church, General Sherman announced his Special Field Orders, No. 15, a temporary plan granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land on islands and the coast of Georgia. PBS.org provides the full text of “Forty Acres and a Mule”
Historians, history buffs and tourists have easy access to Savannah historical places of interest. In the city and in the countryside, the legacy of America’s Civil War in Savannah can be visited during self-paced walking and guided Savannah tours.
- Green Meldrim House was General Sherman’s headquarters in Savannah.
- Highlighting Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon Low’s Gordon family (prominent in the south) and Kinzie family (prominent in Chicago and the north), the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace presents “A House Divided”.
- The Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park stands as a memorial to southern lives lost.
- Fort Pulaski National Monument is a battlefield. A graduate of West Point, General Robert E. Lee had served as an military engineer during the construction of Fort Pulaski. In his commitment to his home state of Virgina, Lee chose to fight in the Confederacy. The place we now know as Arlington Cemetery was his family home.
- In 1794 Savannah Golf Club opened within a mile of Fort Jackson. Over the years, the Confederate Civil War fortifications have been incorporated into the golf course layouts.
Our thanks to Bruce Schulz, who has granted permission to Green Palm Inn to link to his comprehensive Civil War research to highlight many of the Savannah, Georgia Civil War Sites on CivilWarAlbum.com. There are more.
- Colonial Cemetery was used by Union forces as a camping ground.
- In Laurel Grove Cemetery, over 100 Confederate soldiers are re-interred, having lost their lives in the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Civil War Savannah, The IV Volume Series has just come to our attention. We’re eager to see it!
Georgia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial website was created by The Tourism Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) as part of the state’s efforts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Efforts are underway through the Civil War Trust to save the Civil War battlefields.