GENERAL SHERMAN AND THE GEORGIA BELLES: TALES FROM WOMEN LEFT BEHIND
In 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman and 60,000 Union soldiers embarked on a sixty-mile wide path of destruction through central Georgia now known as Sherman’s March to the Sea. Georgians scrambled to resist this infamous campaign wherever possible, and opposition came from many unexpected sources, including the brave women of the Peach State. In every sense “steel magnolias,” Georgia’s women weren’t ready to give up their precious South without a fight. This book explores the brave contributions these women made in the face of severe destruction and loss.In Sherman’s wake, Union soldiers burned and plundered as they went, destroying mill towns and charging with treason the fleeing women and children laborers who had sewn Confederate cloth. One Atlantan named Mary Rawson said, “Time after time we had been told of the severity of General Sherman until we came to dread his approach as we would that of a mighty hurricane.” Still, despite the devastation and fear Sherman and his troops inflicted on the Georgia countryside and its cities, the Georgian belles were poised to stand firm in the face of an invasion meant to sever the very fabric of the South.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, a renowned storyteller and historical interpreter, provides a colorful collection of tales of exceptional Georgia women who made great sacrifices in an effort to save their families and homes. From the innocent diary of a 10-year-old girl to the words of a woman who risks everything to see her husband one last time, Kaemmerlen exposes the grit and gumption of these remarkable Southern women in inspiring and entertaining fashion.