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|Firestontolive, Sherman was not the first to use the concept of total war with a large force. It was done several times before. In the ancient wotld several times it was done by invading armies as large as Sherman's.
I agree some of the actions that were taken were extreme, but it had to be done. Not only was it the exercise of invading the South it made another point as well. It showed both sides just how vunerable your country could be without the means of adequate forces to defend it. Shelby foote once said," Until Grant came along the North fought the war like a fighter fighting with one hand behind his back." When Grant and his associate generals came to power it was like now fighting with both hands. That's what happened. If it hadn't been Georgis it would have been somewhere else. The rift that still is evident today is also because of the myth of the "Lost Cause" being so popular with the people of the South. The CSA generals who fought the worst made the biggest excuses.