Saturday, August 25, 2012
The following letter is from Union Lieutenant Thomas J. Myers to his wife, dated Feb 26, 1865 near Camden, S. C.
“My dear wife--I have no time for particulars. We have had a glorious time in this State. Unrestricted license to burn and plunder was the order of the day. The chivalry [meaning Chivalrous people of the South] have been stripped of most of their valuables. Gold watches, silver pitchers, cups, spoons, forks, etc., are as common in camp as blackberries.
The terms of plunder are as follows: Each company is required to exhibit the results of its operations at any given place, one-fifth and first choice falls to the share of the commander-in-chief and staff; one-fifth to the corps commanders and staff; one-fifth to field officers of regiments, and two-fifths to the company.
General Sherman has silver and gold enough to start a bank. His share in gold watches alone at Columbia was two hundred and seventy-five. But I said I could not go into particulars. All the general officers and many besides had valuables of every description, down to embroidered ladies' pocket handkerchiefs. I have my share of them, too. We took gold and silver enough from the damned rebels to have redeemed their infernal currency twice over.”