I don’t know if there is a prettier town than Savannah. The history and beauty of the City are compelling reasons enough to stop here along with the fact that the Green –Meldrim House in Savannah is where William T. Sherman ended his Atlanta Campaign.
We heard this while on a hop on hop off trolley tour through the city. We had to go back and tour the beautiful Gothic Revival Green-Meldrim Mansion to hear the rest of the story. The home was built in 185 by Charles Green, wealthy English cotton merchant and ship owner who came to Savannah in 1850. He made his fortune in cotton and built his home at the cost of $93,000. The house is lovely with a sweeping staircase, back porch area, iron fence and much more.
When 62,000 Union soldiers were approaching Savannah after the burning of Atlanta the 10,000 Confederate troops would not be able to hold the town, so for the sake of the city they abandoned it. When Sherman’s troops arrived, Charles Green was part of the group that met Sherman. He offered his mansion on Madison Square for Sherman’s military headquarters. Our guide said that at first Sherman declined saying that the contents of the house may not be safe with his men in and out. Green asked only that he have a room for himself and his servant and said Sherman could have the rest of the house. After riding through the city on his horse that evening, he took him up on his offer and later penned his famous message to President Lincoln. The history of Savannah website states, “Sherman occupied Green’s home until February 1, 1865. Sherman ordered all the cotton seized, but Savannah was spared from the devastation that Sherman’s troops had visited on Atlanta and from the fate that awaited Columbia, South Carolina a short time later.”
Sherman was only there for a short while, but it was a very important stay, that kept the city safe from the pillage that many other southern cities faced. After the death of Mr. Green in 1881, the house was passed on to his son, Edward Moon Green. Then on July 14, 1892, the house was purchased by Judge Peter W. Meldrim. The Meldrim family owned the church until December 30, 1943. The website, http://www.stjohnssav.org/green-meldrim-house states, “…the Meldrim family sold this historic treasure to St. John’s, thus ensuring its preservation.”