Atlanta Burning Sherman’s Shadows

By Kelly Luck

The march of Sherman through Georgia is one of the critical points in the Civil War, and one whose scars are still felt in some quarters. In his one-man show, Lance Sherman Belville, a descendent of the general, has recreated his namesake at camp, getting ready to move into Atlanta. As the evening proceeds, he finalizes his plans, briefs his officers (we, the audience), and debates with his aide over the ethics and consequences of what he is about to do.

There is much time dedicated to both the art and craft of war, the all-important logistics of supply lines, the dread algebra of human cost per mile gained. It is a fascinating look at not only the general but the man: well educated, lover of Caesar and Bonaparte’s histories, a gentleman who knew full well the ethical consequences of his deeds, but saw no better way to do what he knew had to be done.

Mr. Belville’s work presents itself as based not only on historical fact, but also unpublished Sherman family history. This only enhances the intimate feeling of the production. It is a fascinating glimpse into a man who burned his way across the pages of American history.

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