In November 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman left Atlanta, Georgia in flames and embarked on his historic March from Atlanta to the Sea. Along the way, he unintentionally liberated thousands of black people held as slaves in the Georgia cities and towns.
They left the farms and plantations in droves--joining the Union Cause as hired servants, cooks, laundresses, teamsters, and pioneers, determined to make their own way as free citizens of the United States. They became Sherman’s Fifth Corps, and one of them, a young ex-slave named Jennie Lewis, became Sherman's mistress.
Through actual and fictional letters, diaries, journals, news accounts, official reports and for the first time, the words of the ex-slaves themselves, Sherman's Fifth Corps tells a story of the man and the March that has never before been told. Beginning November 1864 and ending January 1865, each entry presents a daily record of the Great March, told in the words of the people who were there: The battling soldiers and officers, the newly free blacks, the beleaguered white southerners. From their individual reports, Sherman’s Fifth Corps reconstructs and imagines what happened when hardened Union soldiers and liberated blacks marched across Georgia and formed an unplanned, unprecedented alliance to bring about the end of the Civil War, the reconstruction of the Union, the end of slavery, and a new birth of freedom for this country.
Sherman's Fifth Corps, a Civil War Novel, is now available on Kindle. It will no longer be available for free on this blog.