War Crimes Against Southern Civilians
By Walter Brian Cisco
The sobering and brutal consequences of the Civil War off the battlefield are
revealed in this examination of atrocities committed against civilians. Rationale
for the Union’s "hard war" and the political ramifications of such a
war set the foundation for Walter Cisco’s enlightening research. Styled the "Black
Flag" campaign, the hard line was agreed to by Lincoln in a council with
his generals in 1864, when he gave permission to wage unlimited war against civilians,
including women and children.
In a series of concise and compelling chapters, Cisco chronicles the "St.
Louis Massacre," where Federal authorities proceeded to impose a reign
of terror and dictatorship in Missouri. He tells of the events leading to, and
the suffering caused by, the Federal decree that forced twenty thousand Missouri
civilians into exile. The arrests of civilians, the suppression of civil liberties,
theft, and murder to "restore the Union" in Tennessee are also examined.
Women and children, black and white, were robbed, brutalized, and left homeless
in Sherman’s infamous raid through Georgia. Torture and rape were not uncommon.
In South Carolina, homes, farms, churches, and whole towns disappeared in flames.
Civilians received no mercy at the hands of the Union invaders. Earrings were
ripped from bleeding ears, graves were robbed, and towns were pillaged. Wherever
Federal troops encountered Southern Blacks, whether free or slave, they were
robbed, brutalized, belittled, kidnapped, threatened, tortured, and sometimes
raped or killed by their blue-clad "liberators."
Carefully researched, largely from primary sources, the book includes notes
and illustrations. This untold story will interest anyone exploring an alternative
perspective on this period in American history.