Uncle Billy said the darndest things

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In a letter to his wife during the Atlanta Campaign, Sherman wrote: "I begin to regard the death & mangling of a couple of thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash."

Author Stephen Davis comments: "such crudeness may have been meant by Sherman as some perverse way of impressing his wife of his manliness. Yet one is hard pressed to find such an unflatteringly morbid statement made by any other officer on both sides during the war."
How would Stephen Davis really know what Sherman's thoughts were behind that quote?

Kevin Dally
 

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How would Stephen Davis really know what Sherman's thoughts were behind that quote?

Kevin Dally
@Saruman failed to complete Davis's comment about the quote which puts it in a different context:
"The statement within the context of the letter paints a much different portrait. 'It is enough to make the whole world start at the awful amount of death and destruction that stalks abroad,' Sherman recalls, pointing out that 'each day is killed or wounded some valuable officers and men, the bullets coming from a concealed foe.' Sherman was no paragon of kindness, and he admits in this letter and several others that the deathly destruction of the campaign had 'hardened' him. But explaining Sherman's private thoughts on war as callously reflective of a sense of insecure masculinity is pure speculation at best."
The Civil War Monitor Book Reviews
https://www.civilwarmonitor.com/book-shelf/davis-a-long-and-bloody-task-2016

Edit- I mistakenly charged @Saruman with failing to complete Davis's quote. The quote I provided above is from Nick Sacco who reviewed Davis's book. My apologies to @Saruman
 
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Saruman

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@Saruman failed to complete Davis's comment about the quote which puts it in a different context:
"The statement within the context of the letter paints a much different portrait. 'It is enough to make the whole world start at the awful amount of death and destruction that stalks abroad,' Sherman recalls, pointing out that 'each day is killed or wounded some valuable officers and men, the bullets coming from a concealed foe.' Sherman was no paragon of kindness, and he admits in this letter and several others that the deathly destruction of the campaign had 'hardened' him. But explaining Sherman's private thoughts on war as callously reflective of a sense of insecure masculinity is pure speculation at best."
The Civil War Monitor Book Reviews
https://www.civilwarmonitor.com/book-shelf/davis-a-long-and-bloody-task-2016
No I didn't. That's exactly what is written in Davis' book. You are quoting the reviewer, Nick Sacco.
 

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“I never did like to serve with volunteers, because instead of being governed, they govern....The volunteers...with their unbridled will are killing hogs, cattle, fence rails, and taking hay and wheat, all calculated to turn the people against us.

Letter to Senator Thomas Ewing - Sep. 30, 1861

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Count me as one person who is NOT a fan of Sherman. Or Sheridan or Grant. Make war on civilians who aren't shooting at you? Kill and steal their possessions and livestock? Burn their homes and cities down to the ground? And later when the war was over, turned his/their attention to the American Indians. All 3 of them tried their hardest to kill all the buffalo and starve the Indians to death. No, there is no love from me for ANY of those men. Not one bit.
 
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Count me as one person who is NOT a fan of Sherman. Or Sheridan or Grant. Make war on civilians who aren't shooting at you? Kill and steal their possessions and livestock? Burn their homes and cities down to the ground? And later when the war was over, turned his/their attention to the American Indians. All 3 of them tried their hardest to kill all the buffalo and starve the Indians to death. No, there is no love from me for ANY of those men. Not one bit.
This is off-topic for this thread. There are other Sherman threads you can find through the SEARCH feature that you can that you can vent on.
 

diane

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That's a very interesting quote with interesting stories behind it. One of his commanders had been shot defending a post Sherman had said to hold at all costs. The commander said he'd had near half his face shot off but he was manfully hanging in there. Sherman sent him a telegram saying, "Hold the fort for I am coming." That inspired a great Christian hymn! When Sherman did arrive at the fort and saw the commander's face he remarked, "Dam near missed you, didn't they!" True - it was a simple crease... Curiously, after the hymn became very popular somebody quizzed Sherman about the message that inspired it. He couldn't remember it for the life of him! In fact, nobody's found evidence he ever sent any telegram.
 

James N.

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That's a very interesting quote with interesting stories behind it. One of his commanders had been shot defending a post Sherman had said to hold at all costs. The commander said he'd had near half his face shot off but he was manfully hanging in there. Sherman sent him a telegram saying, "Hold the fort for I am coming." That inspired a great Christian hymn! When Sherman did arrive at the fort and saw the commander's face he remarked, "Dam near missed you, didn't they!" True - it was a simple crease... Curiously, after the hymn became very popular somebody quizzed Sherman about the message that inspired it. He couldn't remember it for the life of him! In fact, nobody's found evidence he ever sent any telegram.
Actually, it seems that as usual for semi-"legendary" things like this, the facts are a little more complicated. According to what we found out during the course of our visit to Allatoona and the reading I did before writing it up for my thread on the battle https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-visit-to-allatoona-pass-battlefield-october-2018.151668/ was something more like this:

The Battle of Allatoona Pass, fought on October 5, 1864, is rich both in myth and legend and is one of the most dramatic and tragic episodes of the Civil War. It was the inspiration for the familiar hymn by Evangelist Peter Bliss, "Hold the Fort," and is remembered for the summons to surrender message by Confederate General Samuel G. French, "in order to avoid a useless effusion of blood." Twice the previous day Tourtellotte [commander at the Pass before Corse arrived with reinforcements] had received telegraph messages from Sherman at Kennesaw to "... Hold out," and "... We are coming."

This is a quotation from a brochure on the battlefield published by the Cartersville-Bartow County, GA Convention & Visitors Bureau. The original commander of the fort was Col. Tourtellotte to whom the messages were supposedly sent; John M. Corse commanded it during the battle and it was he who was wounded in the face. The messages evidently were "improved' for publication and therefore not exactly what later became famous! They weren't sent by regular telegraphic means, but rather by a semaphore or "wig-wag" system from Kennesaw Mountain and that might account for lack of documentation.
 
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