Merry Christmas, Mr. President

On this day in 1864 William T. Sherman secured the city of Savannah, Georgia after marching his army 300 miles across the state. Upon arrival he wired the president the following: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 100 and 50 guns and plenty of ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” Lincoln responded: “Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift – the capture of Savannah. When you were leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that ‘nothing risked, nothing gained’ I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honour is all yours; for I believe none of us went farther than to acquiesce. And taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantage; but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole – Hood’s army – it brings those who sat in darkness, to see a great light. But what next? I suppose it will be safer if I leave Gen. Grant and yourself to decide. Please make my grateful acknowledgements to your whole army – officers and men.”

In light of the Christmas season, apparently some of Sherman’s men placed tree-branch antlers on their horses and played Santa for starving families. Why can’t Kunstler and Strain paint that scene? (LOL)

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program:



“The Christmas Carol” and “Christmas Blessing” by John Paul Strain

7 comments… add one
  • Scott Smart Dec 22, 2008 @ 13:02

    As always Lincoln, who often is said to have dubious religious beliefs, understands the religious tie-in of an event:

    Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles —
    the people living in darkness
    have seen a great light;
    on those living in the land of the shadow of death
    a light has dawned.

    Merry Christmas as we look forward to the dawning of that Light.

  • Robert Moore Dec 22, 2008 @ 7:03

    I picked up on that in the Rawlings article; quite an interesting part of the “forgotten” history of Sherman time in Ga.! I think it would, indeed, make a fine Christmas print!

  • Laura McCarty Dec 22, 2008 @ 7:01

    This is the second time that I have been reminded of this quote today. The first time, it was on the POTUS channel on XM Radio…but they botched the quote, ending it with 25,000 bales of HAY.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    But at least I can send them the link to your blog…

    • kevinlevin Dec 24, 2008 @ 2:36

      Laura, — Glad to hear you got a good laugh out of it.

  • Eric A. Jacobson Dec 22, 2008 @ 7:00

    No kidding about Kunstler and Strain apparently being physically unable to paint a scene involving Federal troops. But why do that? All they did was save the Union. C’mon, another scene involving Jackson or Lee is far more important.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 22, 2008 @ 14:59

      Kunstler depicts Union scenes, though like everything else he paints it looks like something out of the Lord of the Rings.

      • Eric A. Jacobson Dec 22, 2008 @ 20:58

        Oh that’s right, Kunster paints Chamberlain atop Little Round Top or some other Gettysburg vision. Like we haven’t seen that 500 times already. 🙂

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