An open letter to those who did this


To whom it may concern:

Driving home yesterday I came across this monstrosity of an act and luckily had my camera ready to snap a picture. As a native Atlantan who had to take countless years of Georgia history throughout elementary and middle school, I have come to regard General William Tecumseh Sherman as somewhat akin to the Devil (or some other evil spirit that might sometimes inhabit the earth and adopt a scorched earth policy in war). Indoctrinated though I was, I have come to accept that some good things did come from Sherman’s march – it broke the back of the South and the burning allowed Atlanta to adopt the Phoenix as a symbol (and who doesn’t love a Phoenix? Side question: why aren’t the Hawks or Falcons called the Phoenixs? Was it a difficulty in pluralizing the word). But in the end, I suspect that Sherman could’ve won without driving Scarlett from her home. This sign, placed not more than 4 blocks (well, maybe 5) from the home of the beloved Atlanta writer Margaret Mitchell is somewhat disturbing. Sherman is the historical enemy of Atlanta. Do you think the ancient Athenians would want signs about Xerxes in their home town? Probably not.
Just chew on that for a while, why don’t you.

an Atlantan

4 Comments so far

  1. Thomas (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 8:45 am

    If Themistocles had been a bit more like Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, then maybe the Athenians wouldn’t mind so much. I mean, if the fellow who faced Sherman across battle lines could later become his pallbearer, then anything is possible.

  2. hofo (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 4:15 pm

    In regards to Sherman v. Atlanta, I’d recommend you read “Confederate Ghosts in the Attic”. One of the more interesting parts to me is that the way Sherman is stereotypically reviled in the South and Georgia in particular is a fairly recent phenomenon. According to the author, Sherman made a visit to Atlanta not too long after the war and was very warmly received. The author also makes a point that some if not many of the stories of Union atrocities on the march are very heavily embellished and/or wholely fabricated.

    And as far as Johnston and Sherman go, this is not miraculous or uncommon. A great many Confederate officers (and enlisted) were in the Union army. Many cut their teeth together in the Mexican-American War and were friends despite being on opposite sides of a political chasm.

  3. dev (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 4:16 pm

    Isn’t that arrow pointing the wrong way (North)?

  4. Will (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

    What does it mean that I first read that as “Stop One Gen. William T. Sherman?”

    His nickname was “Cump.” Lovely.

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