Saturday, May 24, 2014

W. T. Sherman, In His Own Words

1) His aim, "....the utter destruction of the roads, houses, and people. We are not only fighting a hostile army but a hostile people and must make old and young (senior citizens and toddlers, in other words), rich and poor feel the hard hand of war. I will make the march and I will make Georgia howl."............2) His purpose in the war (as stated to his wife), "....extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least of the trouble, but the people."............3) "The inhabitants are subjugated. They cry aloud for mercy. The land is devastated for 30 miles around."............4) "For five days, ten thousand of our men worked hard and with a will, in that work of destruction, with axes, sledges, crowbars, clawbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation pronouncing the work well done. Meridian (Mississippi) no longer exists."............5) "....a beautiful sight" - in response to his chief engineer, O.M. Poe, voicing displeasure at the burden of having to see so many charred corpses of women, senior citizens, and children............6) "Cannot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville, burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, KILL A FEW AT RANDOM (emphasis mine), and let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired upon from Resaca to Kingston?"............7) Instructing his army on how to fight the Plains Indians - "During an assault (on an Indian village) the soldiers can not pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out."............8) "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extinction, men, women, and children."............9) "To the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy."...........................................................................................I could go on (and on) but I think that you fathom the drift here.


Rational Nation USA said...

Sherman, the apparent monster of his time.

These snippets would certainly lead one to think Sherman was a war criminal extraordinaire.

BB-Idaho said...

Apparently, that is what some warriors are-
"With a penchant for pre-battle speeches, Patton counseled his troops, "If you must fire do a good job -- a few casualties become martyrs, a large number an object lesson. ...When a mob starts to move keep it on the run. ...Use a bayonet to encourage its retreat. If they are running, a few good wounds in the buttocks will encourage them. If they resist, they must be killed." In World War II, Patton would encourage his troops to take no prisoners and to murder surrendering enemy troops in cold blood." We note that in the Pacific in WW2, about 4% of allied prisoners survived captivity, leading to the common
killing of Japanese prisoners during that conflict. Sherman summed it up-
"You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Did Patton ever use the words, extinction and extermination?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And some of these statements by Sherman (and I agree with Les that he is a war criminal) are braggadocio after the fact.

Rusty Shackelford said...

Its just idiotic to call Sherman a war criminal.

He did exactly what Lincoln and Grant asked of him.

Shermans mission was to end the war once and for all,he took the heart and soul out of the deep south assuring the loss of their will to fight.

It was a different time.War was fought in close quarters not with drones.

Shermans actions in his march to the sea surely saved a couple hundred lives.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Using that as logic, Russ, you could say that Klaus Barbie, Adolph Eichmann, and Herbert Kappler were just doing what Hitler wanted and so they couldn't be war criminals, either.......And there was nothing "close" about the bombardment of Atlanta and Meridian in which thousands of women, children, and the elderly were either murdered or left homeless.

BB-Idaho said...

If you enjoy war atrocities , the Civil War had plenty: as most wars. John Brown Gordon, CSA general of one of Lee's Corps, wounded time and again through the war noted "It is easier to criticize a general than to lead troops". A brave soldier, but later lead the Georgia KKK..more
war crimes?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The fact that radical Republicans through Reconstruction turned the South into a poverty-ladened and resentful cesspool of a region probably didn't help.

BB-Idaho said...

Agreed; the carpetbaggers were the opposite of what the south
needed right after the war.

Rusty Shackelford said...

Jesus Will, you are comparing William T. Sherman to Nazi's?

If not for Uncle Billy the war would have raged another five years.