“Show me history untouched by memories and you show me lies. Show me lies not based on memories and you show me the worst lies of all.”
— Carlos Eire, Waiting for Snow in Havana.
President Carter’s Victory
Today I received a postal letter from former President Jimmy Carter explaining that the Georgia Historical Society finally honored his request to remove an erroneous historical marker from the grounds of the Carter Center.
Last November the Society commemorated Sherman’s Burning of Atlanta with a historical marker falsely stating that Sherman’s army limited destruction to the city’s business and industrial districts and excluded residential dwellings. Although Sherman did not order the destruction of residences he did little to stop the rampaging soldiers who disobeyed his orders and burned a great many homes.
I wrote the Society’s executive director last November to point out the error in the marker. He never responded. Next, I wrote President Carter and was delighted to learn that he knew the truth and requested that the Society either correct or remove the marker.
I am thankful for President Carter’s persistence, especially considering his illness. Like too many Sesquicentennial Era historians, the executive director of the Georgia Historical Society is attempting to replace one mythology with another, when all that should be provided is the truth.
Last November I wrote an article for the New York Times describing the facts of Atlanta’s destruction.