NOT SOLD (BIDDING OVER)
0.00USD+ applicable fees & taxes.
WAS NOT SOLD, auction date was 2002 Sep 14 @ 07:00UTC-8 : PST
194. [ROUSSEAU’S RAID REPORT]
early “sherman necktie” describedImportant manuscript representing the official report of Major General Lovell Rousseau (1818-1869) to Brigadier General W. D. Whipple, Asst. Adjt. Genl. and Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Cumberland, describing his Cavalry raid on the West Point and Montgomery Railroad in AL and GA in July, 1864. War-date AMsS “Geo W. Cowan” for L. H. Rousseau, 19pp, legal folio, Headquarters District of Tennessee, Nashville, Aug 10, 1864. Light soiling; folds; else Fine. As Sherman tightened the noose around Atlanta, the need for cutting Confederate supply lines to the city became paramount, one of the most important being the West Point and Montgomery RR which connected Atlanta to the industrial centers of AL. On Jul 10, Sherman sent Rousseau with a force of 2,500 cavalry to destroy the railroad. This manuscript describes the activities from Decatur to near Montgomery and describes Rousseau’s scorched earth destruction of supplies and rail, a graphic precursor of Sherman’s March to the Sea. Rousseau describes some hotly contested engagements, including a sharp skirmish at Ten Islands against dug-in forces of the 5th and 8th AL Cavalry in which the Federal raiders drove the enemy off and destroyed an iron furnace. From there the force proceeded to capture 100,000 rations of sugar and salt and 20,000 rations of flour and bacon at Talladega, along with two “gun factories” and other supplies, and after feinting toward Montgomery, veered toward Opelica. It was there that Rousseau and his men discovered an effective way of destroying rail lines. An early description of the famous “Sherman neckties,” the report states, “After experimenting upon means for destroying the road, working parties were made and under the efficient command of Col. T.J. Harrison, the track for several miles was completely destroyed. The character and the superstructure of the road and the kind of timber used in its construction greatly facilitated the work. The cross ties were of pitch pine and into these were sunken stringers of the same kind of wood and a light bar of iron spiked on the top...The wedges by which the strong timbers were fastened into the cross ties were readily driven out and from 50 to 100 feet of the track raised from the ties at once by the use of fence rails as levers. The rails were placed on those of the other. The dry pine burned so readily and produced such intense heat that the iron was warped and rendered useless and the ties burned off where the tract rested on them, marking the destruction complete...” The impact of the raid was felt less in the number of casualties inflicted or prisoners taken than in the stores destroyed and rail ruined, and most importantly, in the psychological impact of bringing the war to the doorstep of the former Confederate capital.
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