Sherman in Savannah . . . Sort of

Before the pandemic shut down the production, a colleague – Tracy Ford – and I traveled the country performing the three-act play Now We Stand by Each Other Always about the friendship between Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. To help us get a better feel for the men we would portray, we visited prominent sites associated with the generals.

Gen. Sherman captured Savannah, Georgia, at the end of his famous “March to the Sea” campaign in December 1864. Sherman rode into the city on December 21.

This was a place that Tracy and I determined we must visit.

And so it was in May 2018 that we rolled into town.  It was at least 90 degrees in Savannah that day, and we had planned to shoot some publicity photos in front of Sherman’s headquarters at the Green Mansion. Somehow I convinced Tracy, who portrayed Sherman, to get in full uniform despite the heat. We did not bother to notify anyone in advance of our visit.

The photos turned out great and the tourists that came by on foot and in trolleys were rewarded with the bonus of seeing the general. “Is that Sherman,” I heard folks saying.  “Hey, is that the general,” one man asked.

The result of the day was that many more pictures were taken of Tracy than we ever intended – and most not by us.

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College
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8 Responses to Sherman in Savannah . . . Sort of

  1. John Pryor says:

    And meanwhile, doing all the real heavy load lifting in the mud of central Tennessee, I give you George “Slow Trot My …” Thomas.

  2. M. J. Waters says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous building and grounds. Will have to visit it myself someday.

  3. Tom Schobert says:

    Outstanding. The eminent Professor Ford is the very personification of Uncle Billy, both in physical appearance and personality.

  4. armytncsa says:

    Uncle Billy had red hair!

  5. Tracy Ford says:

    Trust me! I went ginger for that gig – though it’s tough to tell from that mustache (the dye never quite took to the stache). Zoom in to my left ear :^D

  6. Janet Chase says:

    Please put Ohio on your tour list. Sherman’s home in Lancaster would be perfect. Do you usually post your tour schedule on the ECW email page?

  7. Please pardon the nit-picking, but while Geary’s division of Sherman’s army entered Savannah on December 21, 1864, Sherman himself spent much of the day aboard Admiral John Dahlgren’s boat the Harvest Moon stuck in the mud during low tide on the Ogeechee River. That occurred while the general was attempting to return to his headquarters eight miles outside of the city from Hilton Head. Sherman entered Savannah the next morning, December 22. Incidentally, I hope you two got a chance to tour the opulent interior of the Green-Meldrim Mansion. Sherman lived in style during his Savannah interlude.

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