Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

Advisor 1

Elizabeth White Nelson, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

David Holland

Second Committee Member

Kevin Dawson

Graduate Faculty Representative

Beth C. Rosenberg

Number of Pages

124

Abstract

In September 1864, Union General William T. Sherman's Savannah Campaign targeted the growing animosity between wealthy and poor Georgians when he proposed that Union forces "arouse the latent enmity of Georgia." This thesis continues the study of the March to the Sea by examining the effect of Sherman's campaign as it pertained to the social divisions between Georgians. Sherman's army alone did not ruin the state's ability to remain a vital contributor to the war effort, but rather focused upon the already growing social disputes between Georgians over economic contributions, military sacrifice, and political support. Even before Sherman's army arrived, Governor Joseph E. Brown's attempts to address the economic and political needs of wealthy Georgians clashed with his efforts to provide relief and support to poor whites. Consequently, perceptions of the state government eroded as Brown continued to resist President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government's authority over issues of state defense and militia control. Although the march resulted in significant damage to the Georgia's infrastructure, the greater effect of the March to the Sea emerged from the aggravation of social and political discord throughout the state and the Confederacy.

Keywords

Civil War; Confederacy; Confederate States of America; Economic divisions; Georgia; Poor people; Sherman; William T.; Sherman’s March to the Sea; Social divisions; State politics; Wealthy people

Disciplines

Military History | Political History | Social History | United States History

Language

English


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