From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bummers was a nickname applied to foragers of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's Union army during its March to the Sea and north through North Carolina and South Carolina during the American Civil War. The designation "bummers" was used, both by soldiers and civilians, to describe Sherman's soldiers, official and unofficial, who requisitioned food from Southern homes along the route of the Army's march. Often highly destructive in nature, bummers became notorious among Southerners for looting and vandalism, and they did much to shatter the illusion that the Confederate Army was successfully defending its territory on all fronts. The bummers' activities in Georgia and the Carolinas helped ensure that the South would be unable to sustain its war effort; additionally, bummers' destruction of industrial property rendered the garrisoning of southern cities largely unnecessary by destroying most, if not all, of those facilities in their path that replenished the Confederate war effort (such as cotton gins, farms, foundries, lumber mills, etc.).[1][2]


  1. ^ Adams, James Truslow (1940). Dictionary of American History. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 
  2. ^ Trudeau, Noah Andre (2009). Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea. Harper. pp. 265–6.