The Civil War at 150 - The Pillage of Athensby Walter Coffey on 05/23/12
After capturing Huntsville, Alabama, the Federals were having trouble keeping it. The troops endured constant guerrilla attacks from local militia and residents, and Federal commanders threatened to burn towns and kill civilians in retaliation. In one of the most notorious incidents, Colonel John B. "Ivan" Turchin permitted his Federals to ravage Athens, Alabama, declaring, "I shut mine eyes for one hour." People were killed, women were raped, homes were looted, and property was destroyed. Turchin was later dismissed for this action, but he was subsequently reinstated and promoted to general by Abraham Lincoln.