- Full Citation: Miller, William Bluffton, "'We Have Surely Done a Big Work': The Diary of a Civil War Soldier on Sherman's 'March to the Sea'," ed. Jeffrey L. Patrick and Robert Willey,
Indiana Magazine of History 94, no. 3 (September 1998): 125-135.
- Home: Wells County
- Year: 1861-1862
- Regiment: 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry
- Abstract: Miller, whose leg had been wounded at Chickamauga, participated in Sherman’s famed march from Atlanta to Savannah. The diary, 15 Nov-23 Dec 1864, describes daily foraging for food, stealing from the lazy and uneducated “Johnies.” He also notes being helped by “Darkies” and attacked by “Bushwhackers.” He proudly notes that the several rebel papers announced Sherman’s "defeat" (p. 227). While en route, Miller learns that his mother died and received a lock of her hair by mail. The article also publishes photographs of some of the items he foraged: rings, buttons, and money.
- Sample Text:
- On the burning of Atlanta: “The city is fired in several places and about dark the Torch was set to the Business part of it. It was a grand sight from our camp to look down on the burning city” (November 15, 1864, p. 218).
- On dying rebels: “We captured about a hundred prisoners and killed about thirty of them. It was fun for us to see them Skip out. I seen one old Reb lying along the road (quite an old man) that had been a Saber stroke across his back and was not dead yet but mortally wounded and under other circumstances his grey hairs would have appealed to my heart for simpathy but we are not here to Simpathise with men who brought it on themselves” (Dec. 4, 1864, p. 228).
- On free blacks: “to this time the Darkies have been following the army from sections through which we passed and have accumulated to thousands of all Sizes and Sex and our orders is not let them cross the River” (Dec. 8, 1864, p. 230).
- LC Subject Headings:
- United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 75th (1862-1865)
- Sherman's March to the Sea