Sherman's March to the Sea
DESCRIPTION: "Our campfires shone bright on those mountains That frowned on the river below... When a rider came out of the darkness... And shouted... 'Sherman will march to the sea.'" The Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea are briefly retold
AUTHOR: Words: Samuel H. M. Byers (1838Ð1933)? (See NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1865 (Sheet music published by Lee & Walker, according to Silber-CivWarFull)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar patriotic derivative
May 13-16, 1864 - William T. Sherman attacks J. E. Johnston's army at Resaca on the way from Tennessee to Atlanta. Sherman failed to move Johnston's army, but forced the Confederates to fall back by threatening their supply line
June 27, 1864 - Battle of Kenesaw Mountain. For the first (and only) time in the Atlanta campaign, Sherman tried a direct assault on Johnston's lines. It failed bloodily. Sherman then once again levered Johnston out of his lines by maneuver
(July 17, 1864 - Jefferson Davis relieves Johnston and replaces him with the more aggressive but less competent John Bell Hood. Hood's attacking strategy cost his army severely and by July 25 left him besieged in Atlanta)
Sept 1, 1864 - Hood evacuates Atlanta
Nov 15, 1864 - Sherman splits his army into two parts. One, under Thomas, was to defend Atlanta, while Sherman took nearly 60,000 men on the "March to the Sea"
Dec 10, 1864 - Sherman's forces reach Savannah
Dec 21, 1864 - Sherman captures Savannah
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Peters, pp. 236-237, "When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 305-306, "The Marching Song of Sherman's Army on the Way to the Sea" (1 text)
Moore-Southwest 131, "When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 261-263, "When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 248-250, "Sherman's March to the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2103, p. 141, "Sherman's March to the Sea" (17 references)
Hill-CivWar, pp. 206-207, "Sherman's March to the Sea" (1 text)
cf. "Rosin the Beau" (tune) and references there
When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea
NOTES [129 words]: Silber lists this as having words by "S. B. M. Meyers" and music by W. Mack; the first source I saw (Cohen?) listed "Lt. Samuel Hawkins Marshall Byers." WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 141, describes a copy written by "Adjt. Boyers, of the 5th Iowa, while confined in the Rebel Prison Camp, Columbia, S.C."
It would appear one of these is an error of hearing for the others. Since the existence of Byers can be verified (one sheet music copy calls him adjutant of the Fifth Iowa Regiment), I decided to list the song by him despite Silber's claim to have seen the original sheet music.
The song was popular enough that it actually had a new tune set to it by David A. Warden; this is Wolf's "c" text. Certainly there were a lot of copies printed; Wolf lists 17 copies in all. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
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