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Sherman's troops accomplished this with a brand of warfare seen only sporadically in the previous four years of battle.Sherman decided to turn his attention on destroying the "enemy's war economy" (Oates, 1998, p.594), going after the infrastructure of the South.Along the way his troops burned, pillaged, stole personal belongings, and confiscate possessions and property of the civilian population.
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By November 1864, the Civil War had seen gruesome days to be sure.
By the end of the war the total number of soldiers killed in combat and by disease and other non-combat related causes for both the North and South were 623, 026 (Foote, 1974).
Sherman's intent was to tear through the heart of Georgia wrecking the infrastructure of the state.
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Sherman's orders upon leaving Atlanta were "that nothing be left intact that might be of use to the rebs when they returned" (Foote, 1974, p. Sherman's orders for the march were similar, though he instructed his troops not to enter civilian dwellings or commit any trespass (Foote, 1974).
The battles of Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Antietem to name a few, were some of the most bloody of the war. Grant's best subordinate officer was General Sherman.
The Union Army had changed commanders many times, among them Meade, Hooker, Mc Clellan twice, Burnside, and Grant. Sherman had taken command of the Western Theater and pushed Joseph Johnston off Lookout Mountain outside of Chattanooga, then maneuvered him out of position after position until Johnston fell back upon Atlanta, where Joe Johnston was relieved and the firebrand John Bell Hood took command.
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