Sherman was no war criminal
June 12, 2014
By John F. Marszalek
To many Southerners today, the name William Tecumseh Sherman conjures up an image of a brute, a remorseless destroyer who spread fire, rapine and death across a broad swath of Georgia and South Carolina, leaving behind little but ruined lives and smoking ruins. His men allegedly stole food and left children to starve. They supposedly shamed innocent women — or much worse. If Sherman did not commit these crimes personally, he nevertheless created the climate in which they took place.
To many Southerners then and still, Sherman violated every law of war imaginable. He was not a feeling human being; he was a cruel destroyer, a war criminal.
Such characterization is based on myth. Sherman did not burn Atlanta to the ground, “Gone With the Wind” notwithstanding. The city lost around 35 percent of its property, much of that military buildings and stores. The famous motion picture scene of Atlanta in flames actually depicted the fire resulting from Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood’s explosion of ammunition as his army retreated from the city.
Sherman, a bully, is unworthy of honor
Dec 24, 2014
By Martin K. O'Toole
“Will the defendant, William Tecumseh Sherman, please rise so that sentence may be passed upon him.”
This statement would have been joyfully received by Southerners in 1865. Sherman should be considered a “war criminal” because of the excesses committed by troops under his command and, on occasion, in his personal presence, particularly in Mississippi, Georgia and the Carolinas.
A total of 50,000 Southern civilians died as a direct result of the War Between the States (1861-65). Southern civilian deaths exceeded those, per capita, of any nation in World War I and all nations and regions in World War II except for the Ruhr in Germany and the Volga in the Soviet Union.
Sherman apologists have said that the Federal hard war “lacked the wholesale destruction of human life that characterized World War II.” The facts say otherwise. Sherman went beyond official policy, talking about exterminating entire sections of the population and resettling the area with Northerners.