HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, December 28, 1864.
Messrs. P. J. STANFIELD, A. J. PAGGETT, and others,
Of Liberty and Tattnal Counties, GA.:
GENTLEMEN: I have a copy of the resolutions adopted by you. They are surely strong enough and patriotic enough. I will aid you all possible, and do all in my power to encourage you and defend you in your course. I do think we have been at war long enough for truth to reveal itself. We are fellow-countrymen and bound by every principle of honor and honesty to maintain and defend the Union given us by Washington, and that is all I aim at, and the moment Georgia resumes here place in the Union and sends Representatives to Congress she is at once at peace, and all the laws both national and State are revived. If you will stay at home quietly, and call back your sons and neighbors to resume their peaceful pursuits, I will promise you ammunition to protect yourselves and property. If rebel soldiers do any of you violence I will retaliate, and if you will bring your produce to Savannah I will cause it to be protected in transit, and allow it to be sold in market to the highest bidder, and our commissary will buy your cattle, hogs, sheep, &c. It would be well to form a league, and adopt some common certificate, so that our officers and soldiers may distinguish between you and open rebels. I will be glad to confer with any of your people, and will do all that is fair to encourage you to recover the peace and prosperity you enjoyed before the war.
I am, with respect, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
When dominant political factions become so corrupt as to prefer the destruction of the General Government to their own overthrow as mere parties, and in support of such preference set at defiance the authority of such General Government, and finally actually inaugurate a war for the destruction of the same. We deem it the right and duty of all men living in the country where such parties are formed, who desire to continue loyal to their Government, to resist if possible all attempts to make them take up arms against the same; but if not able to make an open resistance, then we deem it not at all dishonorable to evade stealthily such unnatural, unlawful, and treasonable measures, nor do we deem it dishonorable to aid in the same or any other manner the open defenders of our cause.
Be it therefore resolved, That we, the undersigned citizens of Liberty and Tattnal Counties and the State of Georgia, either deserted from the army of the so-called Confederate States at home, in violation of the conscript law thereof, or by reason of our old age, will never aid in carrying on this wicked rebellion against our Government.
Resolved, That we will band together, under the leadership of some suitable person, in order that we may better defend our lives and our property against the execution of barbarous threats and orders uttered and issued against us by rebel leaders.
Resolved, That the occupation of Georgia by the Federal army is in accordance with our wishes, and that we will render any assistance in our power to said army that may [be] asked.