Walter Lanier & the Yankees
Because Walter Lanier did not agree with slavery, he sympathized with some of the goals of the Union Army during the Civil War. During Sherman's march to sea, the general sent a scouting party ahead to check on provisions and the like. They came by Walter's homestead. At this time Burt Lanier (Francis Burdette Lanier, born in 1855) was only nine or ten years old. Anyway, Walter, sympathizing with the Union forces treated the scouts to a meal and a religious service of some kind (akin to prayer breakfast, I guess). The soldiers thanked the family and went on their way.
A few days later Sherman's main forces came through the area, burning every farm within the area, except Walter Lanier's. Burt Lanier climbed a tree on the family's property which was up on a hill. He told his granddaughter that from that vantage point he could see the smoke of burning farms for a five or ten mile radius.
By Robin Lanier as told to her by Frances Lanier, as told to Frances by her grandfather, Francis Burdette Lanier