William T. Sherman: Mad General - Mass Murderer
Share: by J. Stephen Conn
December 5, 2009 at 03:20 pm
William T. Sherman: Mad General - Mass Murderer
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The kindest thing that could possibly be said about General William T. Sherman is that he was stark, raving mad. If he was insane - as many contemporary newspapers alleged and as he actually once claimed to be - then it might offer the only lame defense for the dastardly deeds of the United States’ most infamous war criminal.
Commanding General of the United States Army during the War Between the States, William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, and this statue to him stands in Zane Square Park, in downtown Lancaster. According to Lancaster's official travel guide "Due to strong southern sentiment, more than 100 years passed before a Sherman statue was unveiled on July 2, 2000 during Lancaster's bicentennial celebration."
Sherman, with the blessing and enthusiastic approval of General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln waged "Total War" against defenseless civilians throughout the Confederate States of America, 1861 - 1865. It was truly a "War of Northern Aggression" against a people who only wanted to be left alone.
General Sherman was personally responsible for the pillaging, plundering and burning of countless undefended cities, towns and homes. He and his barbaric Union troops brought wrought total destruction on farms, livestock and civilian food supplies. They turned thousands of women and children out into the winter cold, leaving them to fend for themselves with no food and no shelter. He and his troops hauled thousands of wagon loads of stolen Southern goods back to the North. They gang raped both black and white women and slaughtered thousands of innocent Americans, including old men, women, and children of all races.
Sherman had no shame. Here are some of his own words that illustrate his maniacal lust for blood. In a letter to his wife he said of the southern secessionists: “why death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better . . . . Until we can repopulate Georgia it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people will cripple their military resources"
In an order to one of his generals, Thomas Ewing (Order #11) Sherman said “There is a class of people (in the South), men women and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order.”
And again to his wife he wrote from north Georgia, “I begin to regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash.”
Sherman once declared, "The Government of the United States has in North Alabama any and all rights which they choose to enforce in war – to take their lives, their homes, their lands, their everything . . . . war is simply power unrestrained by constitution or compact.... We will . . . take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper,"
Sherman's own words condemn him.
Some of the people who were exterminated by Sherman's army in both Georgia and Alabama were my own kin, including my great, great grandfather and two of his brothers, uncles on both sides of my family, plus several cousins. Not a one of them was a slave owner. They were poor farmers whose only crime was that they were defending their homes and families from a hostile, invading, foreign army.
It is beyond my comprehension to understand why some people today think of Sherman as a great war hero when to me was the personification of evil - a shameful dark stain on the history of the United States.
The people of Lancaster, Ohio honor this mad man with a historical marker that spins the memory of Sherman’s despicable deeds by calling him: “a four star military genius … a brilliant commander and grand strategist who revolutionized war by incorporating psychological and economic warfare into his military tactics.”
After his atrocities against the people of the Confederate States, Sherman continued his maniacal murders by overseeing the genocide of the Native American population in the West in Indian Wars. Of the Plains Indians he said, "It is one of those irreconcilable conflicts that will end only in one way, one or the other must be exterminated . . . . We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to the extermination, men, women and children" ... "The more Indians we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed next year," wrote Sherman. "They all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers."
William T. Sherman wrote his own epitaph - “Faithful and Honorable.” A more fitting epitaph would be “Insane and Conscienceless.”
As a current resident of the state of Ohio I can only hang my head in shame.
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