General Sherman’s “Christmas Gift” to Lincoln- Savannah
Southern families had been marking the Union Army’s approach by the distant sight of smoke from burning railroad depots, warehouses, and not a few houses, the destruction reflecting Sherman’s “scorched earth’’ strategy to destroy Southern infrastructure, economy, and the will to wage war.
Dec. 21. That afternoon, the city’s mayor surrendered the city. Sherman, clearly feeling proud of his army’s accomplishment, sent a telegram to President Lincoln: “I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah.’’ (and its 25,000 bales of cotton) It arrived at the White House on Christmas Eve.