Uncle Billy said the darndest things


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
952
#22
On August 11th, 1880 Sherman traveled as part of president Rutherford B. Hayes' entourage to Columbus, Ohio, for the Grand Reunion of Federal Army Veterans....

"By mid-afternoon the old Ohio State Fair Grounds (later Franklin Park) was the focus of the celebration. A twenty-one-gun salute was fired and a military band struck up a wartime selection, with President Hayes scheduled to address the veterans. Unfortunately, the unpromising weather had worsened and rain was falling by the time the president spoke. The bad weather discouraged many visitors, as well as residents of the city, who stayed away from the afternoon's open air festivities. Nevertheless, perhaps ten thousand veterans were on hand, according to the reports from the newspapers. Because of the rain, President Hayes decided to cut short his speech. After all, it was written and would be published in its entirety. He thought the audience could seek shelter from the inclement weather and read his message later. As Hayes concluded his brief remarks, the veterans applauded him warmly, but most were not inclined to leave, regardless of the rain.

As the applause for the president died away, shouts of "Sherman!" "Sherman!" and "Speech!" began to sound from the huge crowd. "Let's hear from Uncle Billy!" some shouted, recalling the name by which the soldiers fondly acclaimed him during the war. The effect was contagious and more and more men took up the cry for Sherman to speak. The crowd began to clap, the intensity of the applause building steadily. General Sherman was not on the schedule to speak. Soon however, it became clear that the sea of the Union veterans would not be satisfied until the general responded.

At least Sherman rose, strode to the speaker's stand, and the roar of the applause was described as "tremendous and deafening." The general gazed upon the crowd, waiting for the applause to subside. When he started to speak, the veterans were not disappointed.

"Fellow soldiers," he began. "My speech is not written, nor has been even thought of by me. It delights my soul to see so many of the good old boys left yet. They are not afraid of rain; we stood it many a time." Sherman proceeded to note that he had come to Columbus, not for the purpose of speaking, but as part of the president's escort, intending "simply to look on and let the boys look at old Billy again." Proclaiming that "Uncle Billy loves...as his own flesh and blood...every soldier here today," the general avowed that "could I command the language I would like to speak to you an hour." At this point of his extemporaneous remarks Sherman spoke the words for which he has been longest remembered: "The war is now back away in the past and you can tell what books can not. When you talk you come down to the practical realities just as they happened. You all know this is not soldiering here. There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to future generations yet to come. I look upon war with horror, but if it has to come, I am here." This remark was received by the audience with long applause and vigorous, lusty hurrahs. Then Sherman concluded, "I wish to again congratulate you. Those who were in the rear during the war would have been gone from here covered with umbrellas before now. The country is now peaceful and long may it so remain. To you soldiers they owe the debt of gratitude."


The Western Confederacy's Final Gamble - James Lee McDonough
 

kholland

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
6,268
Location
Howard County, Maryland
#24
" I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."

He probably said that or something very similar, but according to Wikiquotes it's an unverified quote.
If he didn't he probably wished he had! :wink:
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,721
Location
Kansas City
#29
"You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it… Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail." - William Sherman , 1861
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,721
Location
Kansas City
#30
"I am a ****ed sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I'll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn't give a **** about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell. … I am more nervous than he is. I am more likely to change my orders or to countermarch my command than he is. He uses such information as he has according to his best judgment; he issues his orders and does his level best to carry them out without much reference to what is going on about him and, so far, experience seems to have fully justified him."
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,721
Location
Kansas City
#31
"War is the remedy our enemy's have chosen. They dared us to war, and you remember how tauntingly they defied us to the contest. We have accepted the issue and it must be fought out. You might as well reason with a thunderstorm. I say let us give them all they want; not a word of argument, not a sign of let up, no cave in till we are whipped or they are."
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,721
Location
Kansas City
#32
"It will be a physical impossibility to protect the roads, now that Hood, Forrest, Wheeler, and the whole batch of devils are turned loose without home or habitation. I think that Hood's movements indicate a diversion to the end of the Selma & Talledega road, at Blue Mountain, about 60 miles southwest of Rome, where he will threaten Kingston, Bridgeport, and Decatur,Alabama, I propose that we break up the railroad from Chattanooga forward, and that we strike out with our wagons for Midgeville, Millen, and Savannah. Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless for us to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people, will cripple their military resources. By attempting to hold the roads, we will lose a thousand men each month, and we will gain no result. I can make this march, and make Georgia howl! We have on hand over 8 thousand head of cattle and three million rations of bread, but no corn. We can find plenty of forage in the interior of the state." -- William T. Sherman, October 1864.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,721
Location
Kansas City
#34
"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. 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 to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war. The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes back to that of Union. Once admit the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the national Government, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. "
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,834
Location
Texas
#39
"I immediately inquired of General Schofield, who was his classmate at West Point, about Hood, as to his general character, etc., and learned that he was bold even to rashness, and courageous in the extreme. "I inferred that the change of commanders meant 'fight.' . . . This was just what we wanted, viz., to fight in open ground, on any thing like equal terms, instead of being forced to run up against prepared intrenchments."

Gen Sherman near Atlanta.

Kevin Dally
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,834
Location
Texas
#40
“You who, in the midst of peace and prosperity, have plunged a nation into war--dark and cruel war--who dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag, seized our arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable custody of peaceful ordnance-sergeants, seized and made "prisoners of war" the very garrisons sent to protect your people against negroes and Indians, long before any overt act was committed by the (to you) hated Lincoln Government; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into rebellion, spite of themselves; falsified the vote of Louisiana; turned loose your privateers to plunder unarmed ships; expelled Union families by the thousands, burned their houses, and declared, by an act of your Congress, the confiscation of all debts due Northern men for goods had and received!”

Gen. Sherman to Gen. Hood near Atlanta.

Kevin Dally
 

Similar threads




(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top