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How to Honor the Fallen on Memorial Day

Keep the Clarity of Mind of William Tecumseh Sherman

Take a look even today at a map of the Southeastern United States – like Rome of old, all roads lead to Atlanta.  So it was when the city fell to Union troops on September 2, 1864, to be followed by Sherman’s famous (or infamous, if you are a “Lost Cause” romantic) march to the sea.  In the larger scheme of things; i.e. political, economic and psychological,  the fall of Atlanta had far more significance than either the battle of Gettysburg or the fall of Vicksburg; the two events most hailed as turning points.  Before its fall, Lincoln was about to be beaten in the presidential election by George McClellan, who was running on a platform of accommodation with the Confederacy. Before its fall and the march to the sea, most of the South’s railroads and manufacturing (such as they were) were still in operation.  Before its fall, desertion in the Confederate armies was at least somewhat manageable.  All of that changed, and the end of the war was in sight.