Who Really Saved Savannah? The Surprising Paradox
by Jack C. Wray
Trafford Publishing

"For fifty-three days, key players in their own way took steps toward Savannah's survival very much like a string of dominos, lined up perfectly, falling in her favor—providentially."

Wray, who has been involved in house tours in Savannah’s historic district, seeks to create an hour-by-hour drama of the Northern occupation of that city during what he refers to as The Second Revolutionary War, commonly known as The Civil War. Northern General Sherman, on a ruthless rampage that began with the destruction of Atlanta, marches his men to the coast where Savannah sits as a critical supply port. His soldiers pillage and burn their way through civilian lands but are held back once they reach the swampland west of the city. Sherman, from his perch aboard a ship in the Carolina harbor, demands that Savannah, now under siege, surrender, threatening “the harshest measures” if she does not. Finally, in desperation, Savannah’s Mayor Arnold drafts a letter of surrender, which he delivers to the Northern General, John Geary. Geary, a well-disciplined commander, accepts the surrender without allowing any misconduct on the part of his troops. Wray thus attributes the salvation of Savannah to General Geary.

Wray’s book is short and to the point. He has done careful research and proudly expounds his zeal for Savannah and its long-ago struggle. His book contains both color and black and white photographs of the city and the protagonists and antagonists mentioned in his re-creation of events. A student of Southern lore, Wray offers theories about the war—its inception and outcome—that can best be expressed in the motto of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which he quotes in the Epilogue: “God will vindicate.” Who Really Saved Savannah? is designed to appeal to students of Southern history and the many tourists who visit this beautiful coastal city each year.

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