This Week in the Civil War - #971
While Sherman marched through Georgia, why didn’t his forces which faced token, Confederate opposition make an effort to march to Crawfordville, the home of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, or to liberate Andersonville, the prison where so many Union POWs were abused? Stephens had become a bitter critic of Jefferson Davis by March 1864; perhaps Union officials saw advantage in not having Sherman’s troops visit and ravage Stephens’ property, even though it was in close proximity to where Sherman marched. In the case of Andersonville, that prison was located much farther south in the interior of the state at a site which would have taken Union troops well off Sherman’s intended line of march. And, unfortunately the Union War Department did not know of Andersonville’s abuses until the war ended.