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Soldiers of War, Soldiers of Freedom: General William T. Sherman’s Georgia Campaign and the Discursive Realities of Freedom

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Abstract:

On April 15, 1873, forty year old John Cuthbert, a former slave in Chatham County, Georgia gave his deposition to Southern Claims Commission officer, J. C. Todd in hopes of receiving reimbursement for his personal property appropriated by the forces under the command of General William T. Sherman on December 20, 1864. Prior to the war, John Cuthbert had labored as a carpenter and slave of John Williams. Cuthbert's skill as a carpenter and his negotiation with Williams to use his skill to earn wages had allowed him to purchase pigs and raise hogs which he sold in the markets of Savannah. In the months following Sherman's arrival, Cuthbert mustered into the Union Army and served for three years on Hilton Head Island, and in Port Royal and Charleston, South Carolina. The war campaign of Gen. William T. Sherman in Georgia offers compelling insights into the process by which African Americans claimed their freedom. The enslaved men who followed Sherman’s Army as it marched through Georgia expressed their deep ideological convictions regarding both the war and the destruction of slavery. These men were an integral part of a larger military and social transition, a pivot in both the conduct and character of the war and the meaning of freedom itself. Through a critical reading of the Southern Claims Commission Records and military pension records of men who marched with Sherman through Georgia, this paper seeks to delineate the discursive historical reality of both the war and the meaning of freedom.
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Association:
Name: 96th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521949_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bell, Karen. "Soldiers of War, Soldiers of Freedom: General William T. Sherman’s Georgia Campaign and the Discursive Realities of Freedom" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521949_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bell, K. B. "Soldiers of War, Soldiers of Freedom: General William T. Sherman’s Georgia Campaign and the Discursive Realities of Freedom" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521949_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: On April 15, 1873, forty year old John Cuthbert, a former slave in Chatham County, Georgia gave his deposition to Southern Claims Commission officer, J. C. Todd in hopes of receiving reimbursement for his personal property appropriated by the forces under the command of General William T. Sherman on December 20, 1864. Prior to the war, John Cuthbert had labored as a carpenter and slave of John Williams. Cuthbert's skill as a carpenter and his negotiation with Williams to use his skill to earn wages had allowed him to purchase pigs and raise hogs which he sold in the markets of Savannah. In the months following Sherman's arrival, Cuthbert mustered into the Union Army and served for three years on Hilton Head Island, and in Port Royal and Charleston, South Carolina. The war campaign of Gen. William T. Sherman in Georgia offers compelling insights into the process by which African Americans claimed their freedom. The enslaved men who followed Sherman’s Army as it marched through Georgia expressed their deep ideological convictions regarding both the war and the destruction of slavery. These men were an integral part of a larger military and social transition, a pivot in both the conduct and character of the war and the meaning of freedom itself. Through a critical reading of the Southern Claims Commission Records and military pension records of men who marched with Sherman through Georgia, this paper seeks to delineate the discursive historical reality of both the war and the meaning of freedom.


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