Thursday, February 9, 2012

No shop today

No shop work today.  Going to Ball State to see Andrew York, a member of the LAGQ, composer and guitarist.  Sometime in the '90s, I spent several days, 3 or 4 hours a day, with Scott Tennant, another LAGQ member *(Los Angeles Guitar Quartet).  Today, I will monitor a master class and attend the evening concert.

Last evening, I watched a program about Sherman's march to the sea.  My great grandfather Morgan D. Mercer was on that march.  The program stated that there was a considerable amount of pillage and destruction caused by the foraging members of the troops who were responsible for feeding the huge army.  I believe I have read elsewhere that this was not the case, that they took what they needed and were not cruel to the residence of the countryside they passed through.  I'll see if I can find some firsthand accounts of this campaign to support one or the other of the claims.  I know that there was destruction of, for instance, Columbia, SC, but Sherman did not order that, but he was not apologetic about it either.  The amazing thing about that march was the incredible distances the troops marched each day, sometimes waist deep in the swamps.  However the Commissary details kept the troops fed, clothed and in good condition so that when they marched into Washington, they were in high spirits

On the other hand, my great grandfather Jasper Newton McClain, who had at the time of the Grand March, recovered from a wound and re-joined the army,  He had served in the MI 8th Infantry, but rejoined as a member of the 7th Cavalry during one of George Armstrong Custer's tenures.  After the Grand March, they thought they were going home, but instead were sent west to Fort Laramie to guard the wagon trains going west.  Well, it seems they were ordered west, but were given little besides their horses, weapons, slabs of bacon and hard tack to survive on.  So, out of necessity, they "foraged" along the way, taking what they needed from the farms and towns they passed through.  It was said that the "Bloody Michigan Brigade" would come into a town and pillage whatever they wanted.  Towns, learning of their approach would lay barricades to fend them off.  I don't know how effective this was.

I don't know if they actually reached Fort Laramie or not.  Seems to me, that I read that they were diverted to guard the Boseman trail and engaged in skirmishes with the Indians.  I'll fill this detail in as I get more information from my Sis.

Thats all.  G'day

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