A Savannah Pub Crawl Story

A Savannah Pub Crawl Story

One of the things I love most about running a Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl is that sometimes the scariest story of the night has nothing to do with hauntings. This Savannah pub crawl story was ripped straight from a history book.

Sherman’s Troops & the Cask of Wine

Everyone knows about General William T. Sherman’s fiery March to the Sea in the winter of 1864. Most people also are aware that Sherman’s troops raided and burned many the plantations from Atlanta all the way to Savannah. What the Union troops couldn’t steal, they burned. But what many don’t know is that the Southern families would often try to hide valuables in the family burial plot or vault, hoping the Union troops would be squeamish about violating their dead. Of course, after a while the first place the Bluecoats would look was the graves of the plantation.

The Union soldiers raided a plantation right outside of Savannah, and popped open a burial vault. There they found a cask of wine right inside the door. Overjoyed at this discovery, the soldiers used their rifle butts to knock it open and began to drink. What they didn’t realize was that a member of that family, a young girl, had died while at finishing school in Baltimore. Her remains were shipped by train back to her home, and the practice of the time was to immerse the deceased in a preservative—red wine, in this case. The family had no desire to open the cask when it arrived, because the young lady in question had been in transit for several weeks. They simply put the cask of wine right inside the door of the vault. It remained there for 6 years until it was disturbed.

The Union soldiers learned the difference between a cask and a casket. The troops also learned that sometimes Savannah wines are full-bodied. When I deliver a pun on the tour, I usually raise my glass in a toast. People are eager for a quick chuckle and hearty sip of their beverage. Hardly anyone on my pub crawl follows my lead when I tell that particular story, however. The wine drinkers, in particular, generally just look at their glass and shudder.

There you have it: a scary Savannah pub crawl story that has nothing to do with ghosts!


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