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March to the Sea

Updated on October 28, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

General Tecumseh Sherman marched to the sea in 1864

His actions brought down the south ending the Civil War

He captured Atlanta and set it on fire then set upon his quest

The army would take Savannah and all between before it rest

Sherman demanded scorched earth and in the path burned all

He would destroy the Confederacy from within to make it fall

The army burned the crops, killed the livestock, cut off supply

In his path soldiers, farmers, women and children would die

The army tore up the railroads and burned the buildings down

There was nothing safe or sacred in village or in town

With fire and destruction, the Confederacy hit its knees

Burned crops, burned land, scorched sky, scorched trees

The army took liberties throughout this southern land

Confiscating food, livestock, and any fire-arms in hand

Leave no rock unturned was the ordered operating state

Onward to Savannah, burn it and don’t be late

Atlanta lay behind the eastbound army all in ruins so charred

Southern boys fought but Sherman’s Army came down hard

Now most lay dead or dying as the army advanced its course

Singing John Brown’s Soul with a glory hallelujah chorus

Sherman arrived at Savannah in the early December days

The city defended as 10,000 southerners blocked his ways

But too many heavy guns there rested in Sherman’s hands

Well-prepared to destroy all that sat upon these lands

Sherman’s sent a messenger to Savannah’s defense

“Give up or die” as soon the shelling shall commence

The harshest measures will befall all who will resist

Drop your guns now and surrender; cease and desist

The southern boys escaped under cover of the night

The Savannah mayor surrendered to end the plight

Sherman quickly telegraphed Lincoln with the riff

Savannah is a Christmas present; please accept my gift

And so it was that the war soon came rapidly to an end

Lee surrendered his armies so the healing could begin

By Sherman’s scorched earth the southland soon learned

That Sherman sang Yankee Doodle while yet Ol’Dixie burned

©Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Wayne Brown


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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Harvey Stelman...Thanks, Harv. I suppose war will be around in some form as long as mankind walks the earth. One day we'll do it with robots and become that much less sensitive to the destructive nature of it. WB

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 7 years ago from Illinois

      Wayne, Well done. Wars are no longer fought to win by the US. With that said; what can become of Iraq, and Afghanistan? H

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @SilverGenes...I had to pat myself on the back on this one...afterall, I was on the losing side! LOL! I appreciate the good words. There are a few things in history that stir the emotions and still do. I think this might be one of them especially with some of those Georgia folks. WB

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      SilverGenes 7 years ago

      Wayne, you manage to bring history to life in a way that makes it intensely personal. Incredible job!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @samiaali...This one was a bit of a struggle to get into verse but I finally pulled it off! Thanks for the good comments! WB

    • samiaali profile image

      samiaali 7 years ago

      Hi Wayne Brown, I really like the way you told this historical event. Great poem! :)

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @akirchner...I am ex-military and also a strong believer in America always bargaining from a position of military might but war is a last resort answer to any circumstance. But as the old adage goes, "War is inevitable" and as you point out will probably continue in one form or the other throughout the ages. Thanks for the good feedback on the writing side. I really appreciate it! WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @saddlerider1...It was a bit more difficult than some that I have done...maybe I am getting better at doing it! LOL! WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      It seems there always comes a point in a war where someone stands out and takes action that generally destroys the will to fight on from the opposing side. In this case Sherman took a Patton like stand, march on, through, destroy, kill and burn everything to the ground. Like dropping the bomb on Hiroshima it ended the war at a cost so high to civilian life, how tragic.

      I wonder if the name Sherman Tank is named after General Tecumseh Sherman? Great share Wayne, I enjoyed how you put this to verse.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Great poetry as always, Wayne and what war doesn't create some chisms. I know we are supposed to 'get' something from conflicts and change is inevitable as are wars but being female I guess makes me think why do we keep doing this? I've never read about a war being a positive thing. All that aside, I know - I need to take off my rose-colored glasses and be real. Great coverage of history that shaped us.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Tim Bryce...My guess is "not many" Tim. In fact I would be surprised if the school system is even allowed to teach American History anymore...after all, how important could it be after the transfer to socialism. See you on to come up with something to read! WB

      @Christopher Price....not a victory I exactly celebrated most of my southern life but as I have matured I have also come to realize that it was all for the best in the end. Whoops...there go those middle fingers again! LOL! WB

      @breakfastpop...Yep, Poppy, I think Sherman might have orginated the term, "burn, baby, burn". WB

      @50 Caliber....Dusty this one was the "big one" for the south. It put Sherman behind Lee's northern line and basically sandwiched his armies from the north and south. Lee knew then that it was just a matter of time and bloodshed before the end was inevitable. I have to give Lee credit for knowing when enough was enough and not necessarily shedding any more blood for a lost cause. WB

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Thumbs up Wayne, though I suspect some resentful rebels would choose a different digit.

      You're just telling like it was, and doing it well.


    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, a good job, as you say it is truth but we don't have to like it. I don't mean what most think as the reason of the war, that was to end slavery. While that was a good out come the root was over power and money, as usual in my opinion. Voted up, dusty

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Terrific piece of writing, Wayne. Putting this tale is verse is a great way to relive a piece of our history.

    • profile image

      Tim Bryce 7 years ago

      Wayne -

      Nice piece. I needed that today. I wonder how many young people understand the significance of Sherman's march.

      See you Friday on the podcast.

      All the Best,


    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @drbj...Very true as we learned with Japan in WWII. Sherman was certainly a determined sort and possibly just the man for the job. Thanks for the good words! WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Desperate times require desperate measures and this episode was as desperate as they get. It helped in ending the Civil War but created a schism that may never be completely forgotten. Excellent poetry, Wayne.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Tom Whitworth...Yeah that might not be the best choice of songs for that area. I had a roommate from Georgia once who claimed Sherman poured maple syrup in the pipe organ and played sweet music while Dixie burned! WB

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Your verse brought back memories of 1957 when my brother was in basic training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. He said he saw a guy get beat half to death from singing, "Marching Through Georgia" on weekend leave near the post!!!!!!!

      Great Hub.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @ralwus...I never said we like it, Charlie! LOL! But Sherman certainly bears a lot of the credit for getting the war moving toward its end even if he did burn everything in sight to do it. Thanks for the read and good comment! WB

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Hmmm, and you a southerner writing this great tribute. Good job WB.