December 24th, 1864

Dec. 24, President Lincoln receives Sherman’s telegram.  The telegram is published in newspapers across the country.  Lincoln replied with “Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah, but what next?”

The March to the Sea is complete.  Sherman has reached his goal of Savannah and now has control of the city.  Camps are established and order is maintained.  Sherman’s Chief Engineer, Orland Poe, is reconstructing and fortifying the cities defenses.  The mines and obstructions are removed from the Savannah River and the port is reopened.  The citizens are encouraged to go back to life as normal, as as much of normal as can be expected under occupation.  Freed Blacks begin working for the Federal Army in various roles and schools are established for them in places that were once used in the slave trade.  Sherman rests, repairs, and refits his Army for there is more to come.

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In Savannah’s City Walk shopping district sits this historic building.  It is the Montmollin Building.  The top floor housed one of the largest slave traders in the city.  After the Federals arrived and the slaves were freed, the top floor was turned into a school for freed slaves. 
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Looking north on Bay Lane from Drayton Street towards Bull St.  This was the heart of Savannah’s Slave trade.  This small back alley was the home of many slave brokers and was surrounded by the bankers and lawyers that supported the slave trade.
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Looking south on Bay Lane from Bull Street towards Drayton Street.  The Federals liberated the slaves when they occupied Savannah and put an end to the cruelty that happened here.
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Confederate dead at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah.  Many soldiers made their way here as casualties and were cared for in the cities hospitals.
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Laurel Grove Cemetery
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Live Oaks line the road in Bonaventure Cemetery just outside of Savannah.
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