Tag Archives: Sherman

Happy Birthday Uncle Billy

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.  Sherman realized that fighting a war in enemy territory meant not only facing the rival combatants, but also the hostile populace as well.  Sherman knew an army had to ‘Go Roman’ or go home, ” You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it”   

“My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us”

 

Sherman also hated politics and never blurred the line… between civilian and military authority,  “The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation’s capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.”   Several efforts were made to get Sherman onto a presidential ticket following the war, but he always resisted.  Unlike many of his peers, Sherman accepted his place as a soldier,  “I hereby state, and mean all that I say, that I never have been and never will be a candidate for President; that if nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to serve.”   

This proclamation has been quoted by politicians from Lyndon Johnson to Dick Cheney.

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What a Gift !

Lincoln was worried that Sherman’s march to the sea… had failed.  He hadn’t heard from Sherman since his army left Atlanta earlier in November.  Sherman’s troops blazed their path across Georgia; foraging, burning, destroying, all the way to the coast.  Lincoln’s fears were assuaged when the brief telegram arrived at the War Department:

ShermanLincolnTelegram_jpg_CROP_article920-large

Uncle Billy’s strategy of total war… was working and this simple gesture symbolizes the trust between general and Commander-in-Chief.  Lincoln responded that he had many fears, but his trust in Sherman’s judgement guided him through the darkest hours.

"My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us"

“My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us”

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What a Gift !

Lincoln was worried that Sherman’s march to the sea… had failed.  He hadn’t heard from Sherman since his army left Atlanta earlier in November.  Sherman’s troops blazed their path across Georgia; foraging, burning, destroying, all the way to the coast.  Lincoln’s fears were assuaged when the brief telegram arrived at the War Department:

ShermanLincolnTelegram_jpg_CROP_article920-large

Uncle Billy’s strategy of total war… was working and this simple gesture symbolizes the trust between general and Commander-in-Chief.  Lincoln responded that he had many fears, but his trust in Sherman’s judgement guided him through the darkest hours.

"My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us"

“My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us”

Leave a comment

Filed under Ephemera, Uncategorized

What a Gift !

Lincoln was worried that Sherman’s march to the sea… had failed.  He hadn’t heard from Sherman since his army left Atlanta earlier in November.  Sherman’s troops blazed their path across Georgia; foraging, burning, destroying, all the way to the coast.  Lincoln’s fears were assuaged when the brief telegram arrived at the War Department:

ShermanLincolnTelegram_jpg_CROP_article920-large

Uncle Billy’s strategy of total war… was working and this simple gesture symbolizes the trust between general and Commander-in-Chief.  Lincoln responded that he had many fears, but his trust in Sherman’s judgement guided him through the darkest hours.

"My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us"

“My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us”

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The Perfect Team

The skies opened up on the tired armies… near Pittsburg Landing Tennessee on April 6, 1862.  US Grant’s army withstood the onslaught of Albert S. Johnston’s Army of Mississippi after nearly 12 hours of bloody fighting.  A torrential downpour soaked the living, the wounded and the dead.  Johnston personally led an assault and did not survive the day.  Grant sought shelter under a tall pine tree near the bank of the Tennessee river, “it would have been possible to walk across the clearing in any direction stepping on dead bodies without a foot touching the ground.”    He sat under the tree coolly smoking a cigar. 

The steady hand under fire

 William T. Sherman found Grant under the pine… and he was relieved they both were alive.  Sherman’s men were in the heart of the storm that rolled Grant’s army from its lazy encampment along the Tennessee.  Sherman had worked tirelessly to stem the tide and helped solidify the final Union stand near Pittsburg landing.  Now, he just wanted to talk to his friend.   “Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?”   Sherman asked his friend.  Grant continued puffing on the cigar, unflinching as the rain pelted the men.  In the distance, a steam whistle sliced through the sound of the storm.  Don Carlos Buell and the Army of the Ohio had arrived.  Grant looked back at Sherman and replied icily, “Yes,  Lick ’em tomorrow, though.”    The tide was about turn. 

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Happy Birthday Uncle Billy

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.  Sherman realized that fighting a war in enemy territory meant not only facing the rival combatants, but also the hostile populace as well.  Sherman knew an army had to ‘Go Roman’ or go home, ” You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it”   

"My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us"

Sherman also hated politics and never blurred the line… between civilian and military authority,  “The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation’s capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.”   Several efforts were made to get Sherman onto a presidential ticket following the war, but he always resisted.  Unlike many of his peers, Sherman accepted his place as a soldier,  “I hereby state, and mean all that I say, that I never have been and never will be a candidate for President; that if nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to serve.”   

This proclamation has been quoted by politicians from Lyndon Johnson to Dick Cheney.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ephemera