Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 425
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 425
rate were of no avail. When Davis heard that the evacuation of Charleston was necessary, he wrote, “I had hoped for other and better results and the disappointment is to me extremely bitter.” 1  4
  In Charleston much property was destroyed, but it was the Confederates who, through accident or design, were the agents of destruction. The Federal troops on entering the city found public buildings, stores, warehouses, railroad bridges, private dwellings and cotton afire but they afterwards wreaked their vengeance on this cradle of secession by robbery and pillage. Probably the majority of Northern people at the time had no other idea of Charleston’s distress than that it was abundantly deserved; but the suffering and want in this former abode of wealth and refinement must evoke in us now sympathy with the community on whom the horrors of war were visited.  5
  To understand the march through South Carolina, the hatred of officers and soldiers for the State which had taken the lead in the secession movement must be borne constantly in mind. This undoubtedly led many of them into transgressions which they had not committed in Georgia and from which they afterwards refrained in North Carolina, while it furnished the stragglers a ready excuse for their robberies and outrages. General Blair reported on March 7 “that every house on his line of march to-day was pillaged, trunks broken open, jewelry, silver, etc., taken.” 2 Cox had evidence after the war of robberies and even partial hanging to extort the disclosure of a place where money and valuables were hidden. “Stragglers, deserters from either army, marauders, bummers, and strolling vagabonds, negroes and whites committed outrages upon the inhabitants”; “three cases of rape and one of murder” were
Note 1. O. R., XLVII, Pt. 2, 1201. [back]
Note 2. O. R., XLVII, Pt. 2, 714. [back]


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