Was Sherman a war criminal?


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
May 27, 2011
los angeles ca
I am bumping up this thread because Sherman is such a controversial figure and I believe it would be more appropriate for comments about Sherman in my thread "War on civilians " be directed here.


Lt. Colonel
Apr 4, 2017
Denver, CO
General Sherman's army lacked the power to conduct total war, and similarly General Sheridan's army lacked authority to conduct total war.
General Sherman destroyed as much property as his muscle powered army could destroy, without use of explosives. But his mobility was limited and he was on a schedule to get to the coast. To the plantation owners it seemed like total war. But compared to the Battle of the Wilderness, or what was to follow in the 20th century, it was a big burning, like the Chicago fire or the Peshtigo fire.
Sheridan was conducting a military campaign to end the possibility that an enemy army could subsist in a limited geographical area and threaten the national capital, as had happened previously, three times.
What he have from the press coverage and the subsequent history is that when war destroys the property of wealthy people who thought they were safe from the ravages of war, that is total war. In comparison, 1,000 dead farm boys is normal war.
I suppose every one wants to the helpless victim in a war. Not many people willingly admit that the advocated and supported the war and were partly responsible for unleashing of war.