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Genreal sherman hero cold blooded killer - William T. Sherman - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Wed Sep 17th, 2008 12:49 pm
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lifl2003
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No problem son...

"The march" always tends to bring out heavy feelings....

Mike



 Posted: Wed Sep 17th, 2008 05:55 pm
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Bighouse
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I can't speak to the whole hero or villain issue, but he was the first to implement a policy of total war, and realized the end of the war lay in destroying the desire of the civilian population to continue it. This meant taking the war home to the civilian population, through the destruction of their ability to make war and loss of their personal property.
My mother lived in Berlin during the WWII and was there during the allied air raids and the Russian invasion. She witnessed first hand what total war is aand still has a very hard time accepting that she lost family members and friends as a result of total war.
I'm certain that some in the south still feel the same way, hence the controversy. I understand Sherman's grave in St. Louis is still frequently vandalized nearly 150 years after all this happened.



 Posted: Wed Sep 17th, 2008 07:41 pm
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ole
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but he was the first to implement a policy of total war
Must have missed a few posts, Bighouse, total war predates Caesar. The "gentleman's war" just never took hold. It's an imaginary ideal that gets tossed out with the mounting bodies.

ole



 Posted: Wed Sep 17th, 2008 08:05 pm
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Bighouse
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I think that's more of what I meant. That the impact of the war was visited on the populace and not just between the armies. The idea of the "Gentleman's War" was not getting the job done. Regardless of how he is viewed, the ability of the South to prolong the war was shortened by his tactics.



 Posted: Wed Sep 17th, 2008 10:32 pm
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Johan Steele
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The Gentleman's war i a legend, it didn't happen. Total War has absolutely nothing to do w/ Sherman, it predates him by several thousand years and predates him frequently in his lifetime, to include actions against the Native American in the US.



 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 03:54 am
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ole
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I think that's more of what I meant. That the impact of the war was visited on the populace and not just between the armies. The idea of the "Gentleman's War" was not getting the job done.
We're in the same book, Bighouse. The same page is coming up fast. Today's civilization, and yesterday's, had the idea that a test of strength involving only armed forces was the way it ought to be.  I've yet to see one of those tests of strength that didn't eventually get down to smacking the civilian. Consider WWII. It began, on England's part at least, that your army and our army will do this quite nicely and one of us will win. By the time that fracas ended, civilians paid a dear price. I don't see many wars wherein that wasn't a part of the horrors of war.

To me, the idea that war ought always to keep civilians out of the loop is a bit ludicrous and dreamy. Civilians are always sucked into the maelstrom sooner or later.

Since the Civil War, we've not experienced slaughter of civilians on our side, but you'd better believe that we've visited some hell on those of our opposition. One day, perhaps, we'll get into one of those conflicts wherein we are exposed to invaders. (Did you ever watch that teener flick, "Red Dawn"?)

"War is cruelty; there is no way to reform it."

I've rambled enough.

ole

 

 



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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 04:17 pm
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Bighouse
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My mother was one of those civilians on whom hell was visited. She lost relatives in the firestorms caused by the bombing of German cities, she was in Berlin when the Russians attacked. I can remember when I was young and we were on a car lot looking at a new vehicle. The National Guard did a low level fly over, and while my brother and were watching the jets, she literally dove under the car.



 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 04:54 pm
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Dixie Girl
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Southern Son wrote: A gentleman's war is guys fightin' duels aint it?
i think so, i think ive seen enough old movies to know that usually the reason for something like that is they are fighting over a girl.



____________________
War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 07:37 pm
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Old movies are not the best source for information on history.  Many more duels were fought over insults to honor than over women.  Just check out the most famous duel in American Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton . 

Susan



 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 07:51 pm
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Bighouse
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Andrew Jackson is another good example. He fought 13 duels, several were over his wife's honor, but there were other issues of personal honor involved as well.



 Posted: Sat Sep 20th, 2008 01:37 am
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Old Blu
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CleburneFan wrote: Dixie Girl, do you have documented evidence that Sherman's forces killed civilians? As a military general in a war, he would be expected to kill enemy combatants. How many civilians who were not engaged in espionage, partisan, criminal or militia activities did he kill?

Granted, he made life hard for the civilians from whom his troops plundered food, livestock and even personal items. But were any civilians outright murdered in cold blood by Sherman's army?


Yes.  More later.



 Posted: Sat Sep 20th, 2008 08:24 pm
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44th VA INF
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I receceantly saw a documentary on Shermans march while soldiers mudering civlinans in cold blood i a bit qverstaed that were occasion where rape and muder by union troop did occur and officers where well  aware of these action and they whent un punished



 Posted: Sat Sep 20th, 2008 10:33 pm
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ole
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I receceantly saw a documentary on Shermans march while soldiers mudering civlinans in cold blood i a bit qverstaed that were occasion where rape and muder by union troop did occur and officers where well  aware of these action and they whent un punished
When you have 60,000 guys, none of whom were altar boys, who have lived in tents for four years, you have what is politely called a mob. Rape and murder? We have preachers who do that with some sort of regularity.

And a correction to "they whent un punished," some were, some weren't. Let us not forget that Captains, Majors and Colonels varied widely in their personal attitudes. If an incident was brought to Sherman's attention, they were toast. It's when no one tells that it escapes his attention.

In any final analysis, as Commander-in-Chief, he was responsible. I tend to believe that he had other things to think about than sending out spies to dig up evidence of atrocities. (There is evidence that he had more than a few hung when he was informed. Probably not enough, but if you can't know what each and every one of your 60,000 toughs is doing every minute of every day, you ought to get at least a passing nod.)

Just a thought.

ole



 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 07:22 am
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Johan Steele
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Something to understand, Rape was a crime punishable by death in the west, whether by law or by the family of the wronged woman. Rape happened but it was rare, in my own opinion and through my own research only about a tenth of the rapes were reported or officially noted. That said at least four of the men hanged by Wheeler were actually hanged by Shermans men and the credit for the deed given Wheeler's boys. Sherman's boys had a thing against rape, didn't cotton to it and didn't tolerate it and the punishment would be called an "Abject Lesson."

The idea that murder and rape went unpunished is so much hooey. When it was known it was punished, either by the officers through courts martial or through the men by "soldiers" justice... the latter which was quite final.

And several of the claimed murders had to do w/ civilians shooting at Shermans men and then running for cover. There were plenty of good trackers in Sherman's Army, it didn't take much to give chase or to shoot back. Several of the Regimenst w/in 15 Corps had been garrison units in the Summer of 64 and dealt w/ guerrillas and bushwackers who had shot into hospital trains and hospital boats. And the accepted norm for dealing w/ civilians fighting against the Army was summary execution.

Davis knew this when he called for all Georgians to resist... he knew he would be signing the death sentence for any who did so. Despite this many civilians who were disarmed were treated as militia and sent home minus their weapons and gear or marched on w/ the Army to Savannah where they were shipped to POW camps. I read recently of the number of POWs taken on the way to Savannah but cannot find my notes on the subject and have no memory of where I read it.



 Posted: Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 02:28 am
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i would like to hear where you go this information because im hear to learn

 



 Posted: Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 12:59 pm
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Johan Steele
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44th VA INF wrote: i would like to hear where you go this information because im hear to learn

 


These will begin your education, most if not all should be available through the library system.

 

Beatty, John The Citizen Soldier The Memoirs of a Civil War Volunteer, Bison Books 1998.

 

Carter, Samuel, The Siege of Atlanta, 1864, Bonanza Books.

 

Cist, Henry M., Campaigns of the Civil War.-VII. The Army of the Cumberland, Castle Books, 2002.

 

Coburn, Mark, Terrible Innocence General Sherman At War, Hippocrene Books, 1993.

 

Cox, Jacob D., Campaigns of the Civil War.-IX. Atlanta, Castle Books, 2002.

 

Cox, Jacob D., Campaigns of the Civil War.-X. The March to the Sea-Franklin and Nashville, Castle Books, 2002.

 

Engle, Stephen D., The American Civil War, the War in the West 1861-July 1863, Osprey Publishing, 2001.

 

Flood, Charles Brace, Grant & Sherman, Farrar, Staus & Giroux, 2005.

 

Gallagher, Gary W., Causes Won,Lost & Forgotten, UNC Press, 2008.

 

Gates, Paul W., Agriculture and the Civil War, Borzoi Book, 1962.

 

Glatthaar, Joseph T., The American Civil War, The war in the West 1863-1865, Osprey Publishing, 2001.

 

Glatthaar, Joseph T., The March to the Sea and Beyond, New York University Press, 1985.

 

Greene Francis V., Campaigns of the Civil War.-VIII. The Mississippi, Castle Books, 2002.

 

Hitchcock, Henry, Marching with Sherman, University of Nebraska Press, 1995.

 

Johnson, Mark W. That Body of Brave Men, Da Capo Press, 2003.

 

Newton, Steven H. Lost for the Cause the Confederate Army of 1864, Savas Publishing Company, 2000.

 

Sherman, William T., Memoirs of William T Sherman, DeCapo Press1984.

 

Wiley, Bell Irvin, The Life of Billy Yank, Louisiana State University Press, 1978.

 

Wiley, Bell Irvin, The Life of Johnny Reb, Louisiana State University Press, 1978.


 


Woodworth, Steven E., Nothing but Victory The Army of the Tennessee, Knoph, 2005.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 02:11 pm
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ole
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Hey ole, what do ya mean about "We have preachers who do that with regularity".


What do you think I mean?

I hope it ain't Southern preachers. I mean they act funny, but very few do that!!!

Correct! Very few do that. (Point made?)

Its probably up north somwhere. Those yankee pastors don't know how to control themselves (pause for laughter)

Tain't funny. There is no discernable deference among perverts, north, south, east, west, central, upper, lower or anywhere in between. If a teacher, pastor, priest, congressman (or even a governor or a president), let alone an ordinary citizen, will risk exposure in a tightly knit community, how much easier would it be for a soldier who's sent off the the admonition: "behave!"?

Johan has stated his belief that there were many more incidences than were officially recorded. I concur. There could be many, many more that were not reported for various reasons. In fact, it's logical to assume there were, but the idea that such crimes were ordered and received sanction is carrying on with an agenda other than the love of history.

ole

Last edited on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 02:12 pm by ole



 Posted: Fri Sep 26th, 2008 10:33 pm
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I checked out some of thoes post interesting



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