Sherman's involvement in his march

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dixie1861

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Was Sherman directly involved in the destruction his march implemented? I've heard that rogue soldiers were allowed to do as they wished as they roamed through the countryside. Were these soldiers mostly responsible for the burning and plundering, or are there instances of Sherman directly ordering destruction, or even having direct contact with the civilians?
 

jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Sherman believed that the way to win the war was to make its economic consequences apparent to the civilian population of the south. To that end he advocated the destruction of the means, storage, and distribution of production and infrastructure, in addition to foraging to supply his army. There is evidence that Sherman did not expressly call for the burning or looting of private dwellings, although there were certainly cases of this occurring.
 
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DixieRifles

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Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
There are many examples of General Sherman's policy of taking the war to the civilians that started before the "march to the sea". The primary objective of the Meridian Campaign of 1864 was to destroy not only the remaining manufacturing capacity in southern Mississippi but to destroy the "bread basket" of the Mississippi prairie further north.
Then I began reading "Hurst's Wurst" and found an earlier policy. I thought it was General Sherman that started this policy in West Tennessee in 1862 but this author attributes it to Sherman.

Quote:
As military commander of Memphis, Major General William T. Sherman initiated a policy of collective punishment in the summer of 1862 to combat the guerrillas and the civilians who protected them. Rather than exhaust troops and cavalry searching the countryside for the perpetrators, he advocated the arrest or expulsion of prominent secessionist from the locality or burning their homes and property. He concluded that if it was the local secessionists who supported the guerrillas and that their support would stop if it were their own lives and property that were threatened with retaliation.
 

dixie1861

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Sherman believed that the way to win the war was to make its economic consequences apparent to the civilian population of the south. To that end he advocated the destruction of the means, storage, and distribution of production and infrastructure, in addition to foraging to supply his army. There is evidence that Sherman did not expressly call for the burning or looting of private dwellings, although there were certainly cases of this occurring.
Yes. Yes he was. Examine the campaign in Shenandoah for a "preview" of hard war.

Scorched Earth--Sherman's Hard War Strategy
There are many examples of General Sherman's policy of taking the war to the civilians that started before the "march to the sea". The primary objective of the Meridian Campaign of 1864 was to destroy not only the remaining manufacturing capacity in southern Mississippi but to destroy the "bread basket" of the Mississippi prairie further north.
Then I began reading "Hurst's Wurst" and found an earlier policy. I thought it was General Sherman that started this policy in West Tennessee in 1862 but this author attributes it to Sherman.

Quote:
As military commander of Memphis, Major General William T. Sherman initiated a policy of collective punishment in the summer of 1862 to combat the guerrillas and the civilians who protected them. Rather than exhaust troops and cavalry searching the countryside for the perpetrators, he advocated the arrest or expulsion of prominent secessionist from the locality or burning their homes and property. He concluded that if it was the local secessionists who supported the guerrillas and that their support would stop if it were their own lives and property that were threatened with retaliation.
Thanks for your answers, guys. I'm glad some people are Sherman experts, because it sure ain't me!

So I guess another thing I was wondering: are there recorded instances of Sherman actually directly speaking to the civilians that his troops rampaged? Or was he mostly behind the lines and kinda just let them do what they wanted to fulfill his goals?
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
There are many examples of General Sherman's policy of taking the war to the civilians that started before the "march to the sea". The primary objective of the Meridian Campaign of 1864 was to destroy not only the remaining manufacturing capacity in southern Mississippi but to destroy the "bread basket" of the Mississippi prairie further north.
Then I began reading "Hurst's Wurst" and found an earlier policy. I thought it was General Sherman that started this policy in West Tennessee in 1862 but this author attributes it to Sherman.

Quote:
As military commander of Memphis, Major General William T. Sherman initiated a policy of collective punishment in the summer of 1862 to combat the guerrillas and the civilians who protected them. Rather than exhaust troops and cavalry searching the countryside for the perpetrators, he advocated the arrest or expulsion of prominent secessionist from the locality or burning their homes and property. He concluded that if it was the local secessionists who supported the guerrillas and that their support would stop if it were their own lives and property that were threatened with retaliation.
There's letters between Halleck and Sherman discussing this subject. Those two had a great friendship until Stanton and Sherman wrecked it
 
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FedericoFCavada

Corporal
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Location
San Antonio, Texas
Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (Knopf, 1991), p. 5:
"The truth is, ... the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina. I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems in store for her."

p. 16: "Twenty-one men of the 13th Iowa Regiment, with their young commander, Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Kennedy, crossed the river and entered the city [Columbia, SC]at the same time that Wheeler's cavalrymen were retreating through the streets. They saw blacks and whites drinking and Confederate soldiers pouring turpentine on cotton bales and setting them afire. The men headed for the old state house."

p. 26: "Sherman had spent the afternoon walking through the city and visiting families he had known as a young lieutenant stationed at Charleston. ... After supper, he and General Hazen went into the yard and saw the light from the fire. Sherman said: "They have brought it on themselves." ... Dressed in the civilian suit and dirty dickey that he often wore in the evenings, he walked around the eastern edge of the blaze. ... he wrote similar [protection] orders for [Mrs. Simons'] neighbors, told the guard to be vigilant, and left. ... About three o'clock in the morning, at an intersection, Sherman met the Reverend A. Toomer Porter, whom he recognized in the brilliant light from the burning buildings. Sherman said: "This is a horrible sight." Yes," Porter replied, "when you reflect that women and children are the victims." "Your Governor is responsible for this," Sherman said. When Porter asked how, Sherman continued: "Who ever heard of an evacuated city to be left a depot of liquor for an army to occupy? ...
 

jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
are there recorded instances of Sherman actually directly speaking to the civilians that his troops rampaged? Or was he mostly behind the lines and kinda just let them do what they wanted to fulfill his goals?
Here is what Sherman told the mayor of Atlanta, who had protested Sherman's order to evacuate Atlanta's civilian population, September 7, 1864:

"War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. You might as well appeal against the thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride."
 

FedericoFCavada

Corporal
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
p. 29: Saturday, the 18th. "Columbia burned fire high wind. Cotton in the streets fired by the enemy, and the general animosity of our own men--great distress of people."
To Mrs. Campbell Bryce, who had pushed her husband out of Columbia, he [Sherman] said: "Where are your fathers and husbands and sons? Why are they not here to protect you?" To Mayor Goodwyn he expressed regret that the fire had occurred, but concluded: "It was your fault Mr. Mayor," and reminded Goodwyn of the liquor. ... Citizens told him of their hardships, and he replied: "Such is the fortune of war." ...

A delegation of ministers, businessmen, Mayor Goodwyn, and Edwin Scott came to visit Sherman on Sunday, anxious about the situation once the Union army moved on... After an exchange about the politics of secession, the war, slavery, etc. Sherman agreed to "leave 500 head of cattle, tierces of salt for curing the meat, wire for a ferry across the Congaree, medicine, and 100 muskets with ammunition.

... "James G. Gibbes replaced Goodwyn as mayor [after the departure of Sherman's army]. He sent committees of men to the homes of blacks to seize food, weapons, and personal effects claimed by whites. Many blacks were "severely punished"; some were shot. More white men came back from their hiding places in the country, and a few Confederate cavalrymen showed up. People raked through the ashes of their houses to find a few things: melted silver and other valuables that the Yankees had missed. They also found more burnt and blackened orpses of soldiers. [drunk, and looting the burning buildings, killed in the fire]. Emma LeConte wrote in her diary: "How I rejoice t othink of any of them being killed. ... if only the whole army could have been roasted alive." Soon the last of the bodies, those missed by the burial details and the citizens, were found by buzzards."
 
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DanSBHawk

Sergeant Major
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May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Here is a (long) letter Sherman wrote about his thoughts on the treatment of civilians:

“HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT or THE TENNESSEE, VICKSBURG,​
Jan. 31, 1864.​
“Major R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Tennessee, Huntsville:​
“DEAR SAWYER: In my former letter I have answered all your questions save one, and that relates to the treatment of inhabitants known or suspected to be hostile or ‘secesh. This is in truth the most difficult business of our army as it advances and occupies the Southern country. It is almost impossible to lay down rules, and I invariably leave the whole subject to the local commanders, but am willing to give them the benefit of my acquired knowledge and experience.​
“In Europe, whence we derive our principles of war, as developed by their histories, wars are between kings or rulers, through hired armies, and not between peoples. These remain, as it were, neutral, and sell their produce to whatever army is in possession.​
“Napoleon, when at war with Prussia, Austria, and Russia, bought forage and provisions of the inhabitants, and consequently had an interest to protect farms and factories which ministered to his wants. In like manner, the allied armies in France could buy of the French inhabitants whatever they needed, the produce of the soil or manufactures of the country. Therefore, the rule was and is, that wars are confined to the armies, and should not visit the homes of families or private interests.​
“But in other examples a different rule obtained the sanction of historical authority. I will only instance that, when in the reign of William and Mary the English army occupied Ireland, then in a state of revolt, the inhabitants were actually driven into foreign lands, and were dispossessed of their property, and a new population introduced. To this day a large part of the north of Ireland is held by the descendants of the Scotch emigrants sent there by William’s order and an act of Parliament.​
“The war which now prevails in our land is essentially a war of races. The Southern people entered into a clear compact of government, but still maintained a species of separate interests, history, and prejudices. These latter became stronger and stronger, till they have led to a war which has developed fruits of the bitterest kind.​
“We of the North are, beyond all question, right in our lawful cause, but we are not bound to ignore the fact that the people of the South have prejudices, which form a part of their nature, and which they cannot throw off without an effort of reason or the slower process of natural change. Now, the question arises, should we treat as absolute enemies all in the South who differ from us in opinion or prejudice, kill or banish them; or, should we give them time to think, and gradually change their conduct so as to conform to the new order of things, which is slowly and gradually creeping into their country?​
“When men take arms to resist our rightful authority, we are compelled to use force, because then all reason and argument fail. When the provisions, horses, mules, wagons, etc., are used by the enemy, it is clearly our duty and right to take them, because otherwise they might be used against us.​
“In like manner, all houses left vacant by an inimical people are clearly our right, or such as are needed as storehouses, hospitals, and quarters. But a question arises as to dwellings used by women, children, and non combatants. So long as the non-combatants remain in their homes and keep to their accustomed business, their opinions and prejudices in nowise influence the war, and therefore should not be noticed. But if any one comes out into the public streets and creates disorder, he or she should be punished, restrained, or banished either to the rear or front, as the officer in command adjudges. If the people, or any of them, keep up a correspondence with parties in hostility, they are spies, and can be punished with death, or minor punishment.​
“These are well-established principles of war, and the people of the South having appealed to war, are barred from appealing to our Constitution, which they have practically and publicly defied. They have appealed to war, and must abide its rules and laws. The United States, as a belligerent party claiming right in the soil as the ultimate sovereign, have a right to change the population, and it may be and is both politic and just we should do so in certain districts. When the inhabitants persist too long in hostility, it may be both politic and right we should banish them and appropriate their lands to a more loyal and useful population. No man will deny that the United States would be benefited by dispossessing a single, prejudiced, hard-headed and disloyal planter, and substitute in his place a dozen or more patient, industrious, good families, even if they be of foreign birth. I think it does good to present this view of the case to many Southern gentlemen, who grow rich and wealthy, not by virtue alone of their industry and skill, but by reason of the protection and impetus to prosperity given by our hitherto moderate and magnanimous Government. It is all idle nonsense for these Southern planters to say that they made the South, that they own it, and that they can do as they please—even to break up our Government, and to shut up the natural avenues of trade, intercourse, and commerce.​
“We know, and they know, if they are intelligent beings, that, as compared with the whole world, they are but as five millions are to one thousand millions; that they did not create the land; that their only title to its use and usufruct is the deed of the United States, and that if they appeal to war, they hold their ally by a very insecure tenure.​
“For my part, I believe that this war is the result of false political doctrines, for which we are all as a people responsible, viz.: That any and every people have a right to self-government; and I would give all a chance to reflect, and when in error to recant. I know slaveowners, finding themselves in possession of a species of property in opposition to the growing sentiment of the whole civilized world, conceived their property in danger, and foolishly appealed to war; and by skilful political handling involved with themselves the whole South on the doctrines of error and prejudice. I believe that some of the rich and slaveholding are prejudiced to such an extent that nothing but death and ruin will extinguish, but hope that as the poorer and industrial classes of the South will realize their relative weakness, and their dependence upon the fruits of the earth and good will of their fellow men, they will not only discover the error of their ways, and repent of their hasty action, but bless those who persistently maintained a constitutional Government, strong enough to sustain itself, protect its citizens, and promise peaceful homes to millions yet unborn.​
“In this behalf, while I assert for our Government the highest military prerogatives, I am willing to bear in patience that political nonsense of slave rights, State rights, freedom of conscience, freedom of press, and such other trash, as have deluded the Southern people into war, anarchy, bloodshed, and the foulest crimes that have disgraced any time or any people.​
“I would advise the commanding officers at Huntsville, and such other towns as are occupied by our troops, to assemble the inhabitants and explain to them these plain, self-evident propositions, and tell them it is for them now to say whether they and their children shall inherit the beautiful land which by the accident of nature has fallen to their share. 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 every thing, because they cannot deny that the war does exist there, and war is simply power unrestrained by constitution or compact. If they want eternal war, well and good—we will accept the issue and dispossess them, and put our friends in possession.​
“I know thousands and millions of good people who, at simple notice, would come to North Alabama and accept the elegant houses and plantations now there. If the people of Huntsville think different, let them persist in war three years longer, and then they will not be consulted. Three years ago, by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well, last year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late; all the powers on earth cannot restore to them their slaves any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit, ought to know the consequences. Many, many people, with less pertinacity than the South, have been wiped out of national existence.​
“My own belief is, that even now the non-slaveholding classes of the South are alienating from their associations in war. Already I hear criminations. Those who have property left, should take warning in time.​
“Since I have come down here I have seen many Southern planters who now hire their negroes, and acknowledge that they knew not the earthquake they were to make by appealing to Secession. They thought that the politicians had prepared the way, and that they could depart in peace. They now see that we are bound together as one nation in indissoluble ties, and that any interest or any people that set themselves up in antagonism to the nation must perish.​
“While I would not remit one jot or tittle of our nation's right in peace or war, I do make allowances for past political errors and false prejudices. Our national Congress and Supreme Courts are the proper arenas in which to discuss conflicting opinions, and not the battle field.​
“You may not hear from me again, and if you think it will do any good call some of the better people together and explain these my views. You may even read to them this letter and let them use it, so as to prepare them for my coming.​
“To those who submit to the rightful law and authority, all gentleness and forbearance, but to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better. Satan, and the rebellious saints of heaven, were allowed a continuance of existence in hell, merely to swell their just punishment. To such as would rebel against a Government so mild and just as ours was in peace, a punishment equal would not be unjust.
“We are progressing well. in this quarter. Though I have not changed my opinion that we may soon assume the existence of our National Government, yet years will pass before ruffianism, murder, and robbery will cease to afflict this region of our country. -​
“Truly, your friend,​
W. T. SHERMAN,​
Major-Gen. Commanding.”​
 
A delegation of ministers, businessmen, Mayor Goodwyn, and Edwin Scott came to visit Sherman on Sunday, anxious about the situation once the Union army moved on... After an exchange about the politics of secession, the war, slavery, etc. Sherman agreed to "lieave 500 head of cattle, tierces of salt for curing the meat, wire for a ferry across the Congaree, medicine, and 100 muskets with ammunition.
I've not heard of this before.
 

Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Didn't Sherman issue fairly specific orders at the start of the March to the Sea regarding what should or should not be taken/destroyed, especially with regard to private property?
 
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Was Sherman directly involved in the destruction his march implemented? I've heard that rogue soldiers were allowed to do as they wished as they roamed through the countryside. Were these soldiers mostly responsible for the burning and plundering, or are there instances of Sherman directly ordering destruction, or even having direct contact with the civilians?
When Sherman left Columbia, South Carolina and headed for North Carolina he sent orders to General O. O. Howard in regards to foraging and retaliatory measures for any of his foragers that were killed by Confederate forces:

Hdqrs. Military Division of the Mississippi,
In the Field, Rocky Mount,
February 23,1865 — 10 a.m.

Major-General Howard,
Commanding Right Wing:

General:
I have just been down to the bridge. It will take all of to-day and to-morrow to get this wing across and out. You may go ahead, but keep communication with me. I expect Kilpatrick here this p.m. and will send him well to the left. He reports that two of his foraging parties were murdered by the enemy after capture and labeled, "Death to all foragers." Now it is clearly our war right to subsist our army on the enemy. Napoleon always did it, but could avail himself of the civil powers he found in existence to collect forage and provisions by regular impressments. We cannot do that here, and I contend if the enemy fails to defend his country we may rightfully appropriate what we want. If our foragers act under mine, yours, or other proper orders they must be protected. I have ordered Kilpatrick to select of his prisoners man for man, shoot them, and leave them by the roadside labeled, so that our enemy will see that for every man he executes he takes the life of one of his own. I want the foragers, however, to be kept within reasonable bounds for the sake of discipline. I will not protect them when they enter dwellings and commit wanton waste, such as woman's apparel, jewelry, and such things as are not needed by our armor; but they may destroy cotton or tobacco, because these are assumed by the rebel Government to belong to it, and are used as a valuable source of revenue. Nor will I consent to our enemy taking the lives of our men on their judgment. They have lost all title to property, and can lose nothing not already forfeited; but we should punish for a departure from our orders, and if the people resist our foragers I will not deem it wrong, but the Confederate army must not be supposed the champion of any people. I lay down these general rules and wish you to be governed by them. If any of your foragers are murdered, take life for life, leaving a record of each case,
I am, with respect,
W. T. Sherman,
Major-General, Commanding.

Brooks D. Simpson & Jean V. Berlin, Sherman's Civil War - Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865, pg. 818
 
Following Sherman's order to General O. O. Howard in regards to his foragers (post #13), he cranked off the following letter to Confederate General Wade Hampton with a warning that he would retaliate if any of his foragers were murdered after their capture:


Headquarters, Military Division
of the Mississippi
In the Field Feb. 24—1865

Lt. Genl. Wade Hampton
Comdg. Cavalry forces C.S.A.

General,
It is officially reported to me that our foraging parties are murdered after capture and labelled "Death to all Foragers." One instance of a Lieut, and seven men near Chesterville and another of twenty "near a Ravine 80 rods from the main Road" about 8 miles from Fosterville.

I have ordered a similar number of prisoners in our hands to be disposed of in like manner.

I hold about 1000 of prisoners captured in various ways, and can stand it as long as you; but I hardly think these murders are committed with your Knowledge, and would suggest that you give notice to the People at large, that every life taken by them simply results in the death of one of your confederates.

Of course you cannot question my right to "forage on the country." It is a war right as old as history. The manner of exercising it varies with circumstances, and if the civil authorities will supply my Requisitions I will forbid all foraging. But I find no civil authorities who can respond to calls for Forage or provisions, and therefore must collect directly of the People. I have no doubt this is the occasion of much misbehavior on the part of our men, but I cannot permit an enemy to judge or punish with wholesale murder.

Personally I regret the bitter feelings engendered by this war: but they were to be expected, and I simply allege that those who struck the first blow, and made war inevitable, ought not in fairness to reproach us for the natural consequences—I merely assert our War Right to Forage, and my resolve to protect my foragers to the extent of life for Life.21 am with respect, Yr. obedt. servt.
W. T. Sherman
Maj. Genl. U. S. A.

Brooks D. Simpson & Jean V. Berlin, Sherman's Civil War - Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865, pg. 820
 
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jackt62

1st Lieutenant
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Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Was Sherman directly involved in the destruction his march implemented?
I want to expand on that question because the type of warfare that Sherman undertook on his marches through Georgia and South Carolina was not simply a personal quest by one individual, in this case General WT Sherman. The so-called "hard" war or "total" war that Sherman is know for was an de facto policy of the Lincoln Administration during the second half of the ACW. The conflict started off as a "soft" war in which Southern property rights (i.e., chattel slavery) were to be maintained and hostilities were to be conducted solely as military encounters between two opposing armies as exemplified by General McClellan's command of Union forces. The hardening of attitudes north and south and the steadfastness of their positions changed the character of the war after the promulgation of the Emancipation Proclamation into a larger struggle in which slavery was to be directly challenged and the will and resources of the southern population became legitimate targets. While Sherman was a master at this type of warfare in 1864, it began under General Pope's command in Virginia in the summer of 1862 and became full scale policy by 1863 under Generals Halleck and Grant. Under these terms, industrial and military infrastructure, the means and methods of producing, distributing, and storing food and forage, and any other targets that aided the southern confederacy, be it military or civilian, were considered fair game.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I want to expand on that question because the type of warfare that Sherman undertook on his marches through Georgia and South Carolina was not simply a personal quest by one individual, in this case General WT Sherman. The so-called "hard" war or "total" war that Sherman is know for was an de facto policy of the Lincoln Administration during the second half of the ACW. The conflict started off as a "soft" war in which Southern property rights (i.e., chattel slavery) were to be maintained and hostilities were to be conducted solely as military encounters between two opposing armies as exemplified by General McClellan's command of Union forces. The hardening of attitudes north and south and the steadfastness of their positions changed the character of the war after the promulgation of the Emancipation Proclamation into a larger struggle in which slavery was to be directly challenged and the will and resources of the southern population became legitimate targets. While Sherman was a master at this type of warfare in 1864, it began under General Pope's command in Virginia in the summer of 1862 and became full scale policy by 1863 under Generals Halleck and Grant. Under these terms, industrial and military infrastructure, the means and methods of producing, distributing, and storing food and forage, and any other targets that aided the southern confederacy, be it military or civilian, were considered fair game.
One author argued it was Union General Curtis who after his victory at Pea Ridge, Arkansas detached his men from his logistics supply line in Rolla Missouri and had his men live off the land until they captured Helena, Arkansas some distance away.
I can if you want get a source latter in the day. Said author argued that Curtis inspired Sherman. General Samuel Curtis was an older career officer who most likely knew the younger Sherman. Not sure if Sherman served earlier under Curtis in Mexico.
Leftyhunter
 
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jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
One author argued it was Union General Curtis who after his victory at Pea Ridge, Arkansas detached his men from his logistics supply line in Rolls, Missouri and had his men live off the land until they captured Helena, Arkansas some distance away.
I can if you want get a source latter in the day. Said author argued that Curtis inspired Sherman. General Samuel Curtis was an older career officer who most likely knew the younger Sherman. Not sure if Sherman served earlier under Curtis in Mexico.
Leftyhunter
That does figure absolutely. Not only were the Arkansas/Missouri supply lines tenuous to begin with, but Curtis was commanding in an environment where guerrilla warfare was well established. I don't know what relationship Sherman may have had with Curtis, but Sherman never served in Mexico during that war; he was stationed entirely in California.
 
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A. Roy

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I want to expand on that question because the type of warfare that Sherman undertook on his marches through Georgia and South Carolina was not simply a personal quest by one individual, in this case General WT Sherman. The so-called "hard" war or "total" war that Sherman is know for was an de facto policy of the Lincoln Administration during the second half of the ACW.
In carrying out this idea of a "hard war," wasn't Sherman largely following Grant's strategy? I'm sure Sherman agreed, but I had been thinking the policy came primarily from Grant.

Roy B.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
In carrying out this idea of a "hard war," wasn't Sherman largely following Grant's strategy? I'm sure Sherman agreed, but I had been thinking the policy came primarily from Grant.

Roy B.
I am thinking more along the lines of when the ancient Jews were at least per the Old Testament told by God to ethnically cleanse Canaen of the Philistines. The Romans salted the fields of the Punics. There was always a hard war against the Indians from the beginning and definitely slave owners were waging a hard war against their slaves.
I would argue Grant and Sherman don't deserve credit for waging a hard war . Plenty of hard war examples in the Revolutionary War as well.
Leftyhunter
 
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