TO ELLEN EWING SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Savannah Dec. 25, 1864
This is Christmas Day and I hope truly & really that you and the Little ones may enjoy it, in the full Knowledge that I am all safe after our long march. I am at this moment in an elegant chamber of the house of a Gentleman named Green. The house is elegant & splendidly furnished with pictures & Statuary. My bed Room has a bath & dressing Room attached which look out of proportion to my poor baggage. My clothing is good yet and I can even afford a white Shirt. It would amuse you to See the negroes. They flock to me old & young, they pray & shout and mix up my name with that of Moses, & Simon, and other scriptural ones as well as Abram Linkum the Great Messiah of “Dis Jubilee.”
There are many fine families in this City, but when I ask for old & familiar names, it marks the Sad havoc of war. The Goodwins, Teffts, Cuylers, Habershams, Laws, &c. &c. all gone or in poverty and yet the girls remain, bright and haughty, and proud as ever. There seems no end but utter annihilation that will satisfy their hate of the “sneaking Yankee” and “ruthless invader”. They no longer Call my army “Cowardly Yanks” but have tried to arouse the Sympathy of the civilized world by stories of the cruel barbarities of my Army. The next stop in the progress will be “for gods sake Spare us,” we must surrender”—When that end is reached we begin to See daylight. Although I have come right through the heart of Georgia, they talk as defiantly as ever. I think Thomas’ whipping at Nashville, coupled with my march will take Some conceit out of them.
I have no doubt you hear enough about “Sherman” and are sick of the name, and the interest the public takes in my whereabouts leaves me no subject to write about. Charley & Dayton promise to write details. All I can do is to make hasty scrawls assuring you of my health and Eternal affection
W. T. Sherman
TO MARIA BOYLE EWING SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Savannah, Dec. 25, 1864
A happy Christmas I hope this will prove to you, and Lizzie and all for you will probably Know by this time that we have Captured Savannah, and that we are all well. We are enjoying ourselves, in an elegant house, and will have a real Christmas Dinner, turkey and all. I have no doubt you read the papers and Know all you want to Know and that you will be content to know that Uncle Charley & I are well.
Tell Mama if she is at South Bend that I have written to her twice at Lancaster, as I have not yet heard whether She has actually moved up to Notre Dame. I have not even heard if the baby got well of the Cold with which he was suffering at the time I left Atlanta.
I suppose it is now bitter Cold with you. It is cold here but not near so much so as with you. The trees are green here, but Still the air is frosty. I expect to be here a Couple of weeks, and then again will be off. Write to me right off at Savannah, via New York, and tell Lizzie to do the Same for I cannot Count on mails long.
Give my love to all your Cousins and believe me your affectionate Father,
W. T. Sherman
TO GEORGE H. THOMAS
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Savannah Ga. Dec. 25, 1864
Major General Geo. H. Thomas, Comdg. Dept. of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tenn.
I have heard of all your operations up to about the 17th, and I do not believe your own wife was more happy at the result than I was. Had any misfortune fallen you I should have reproached myself for taking away so large a proportion of the army and leaving you too weak to cope with Hood. But as events have turned out my judgment has been sustained: but I am none the less thankful to you, and to Schofield, and to all, for the very complete manner in which you have used up Hood. I only hope you will go on and pursue your advantage to the very uttermost. And if you can get far down into Alabama, don’t hesitate to do so, for my own experience is that you can find plenty of forage and provisions along down the valleys of The Tombigbee and Black Warrior.
Here I am now in a magnificent house, close by the old barracks around which cluster so many of our old memories of Rankin, and Ridgely, and Fraser and others. But the old families that we used to know are nearly all gone or dead. I will not stay here long however, but push Northwards as the season advances.
The old live oaks are as beautiful as ever, and whilst you are freezing to death in Tennessee we are basking in a warm sun, and I fear I did you personal injustice in leaving you behind whilst I made my winter excursion. But next time I will stay at home and let you go it.
Davis and Slocum are very well, and their troops are in fine condition. They will doubtless write you fully, and I will avail myself of the first leisure to tell you all matters of interest that I know you would like to hear.
Truly your friend,
W. T. Sherman, Major General