Abraham Lincoln’s "Gift" to Georgia–Sherman’s March
Posted Yesterday at 11:26
by Al Benson Jr.
Many starry-eyed conservatives continue to think that Abraham Lincoln was really sort of a homespun, loving, and compassionate individual. They have never, nor will most of them ever, come to grips with the reality of the man that allowed Sherman’s atrocities to take place in Georgia, South Carolina, and other places. It never occurs to them to wonder how something as horrendous as Sherman’s March could have occurred on Lincoln’s watch. Some claim Lincoln really didn’t know what Sherman was doing. Hogwash! If he didn’t know all the specifics he knew the overall agenda and he had no problem with it. He well knew they type of men he had for commanding generals. Today’s conservatives, many of them, are naive. Lincoln wasn’t.
Author Clifford Dowdey in his book The History of the Confederacy 1832-1865 commented on the caliber of men commanding the Union armies during the late unpleasantness. He wrote: "The Sheridans, Milroys, and Hunters had a different kind of arrogance from the neo-princelings of the Cotton South. They had the arrogance of unrestrained might. Without regard for rights–of belligerents or fellow citizens or even of the so-called ‘human rights’ let alone of the Union–these bully boys had a lust for physical violence and wanton destruction."
Regarding "Uncle Billy" Sherman, Mr. Dowdey noted that worthy’s "penchant for destroying personal property. After he divested the civilians for miles around of their slaves, animals, and vehicles, he put his men to the systematic destruction of Meridian, Mississippi." He would do as bad and worse when he got to Georgia. In my humble opinion, all of this wanton destruction reflects a socialistic view toward private property.
You might wonder why Sherman did what he did. In actuality he had a strongly dictatorial mindset–possibly somewhat akin to that of Hitler or Lenin. Michael Fellman in his book Citizen Sherman said that "Ideologically Sherman resembled those French monarchists who willingly joined the Second Empire when Louis Napoleon derailed the revolution of 1848, and seized dictatorial power." Fellman also noted of him that "…his semisecret reactionary faith in a military seizure of power deepened through the secession crisis and into the opening stages of his involvement in the Civil War." Sherman’s faith in military dictatorship hardly decreased as the war continued. Fellman also noted: "Sherman made it clear in a later letter to John (his brother, Senator John Sherman) ‘If Congress don’t provide, the army will,’ by which he meant provide a dictatorship…Although it is true that Sherman expressed his flirtation with the principles of military dictatorship in private, he often acted on these same impulses…As he gained larger commands he imposed his authority with increasing energy." Fellman, on more than one occasion, noted Sherman’s "authoritarian bent." So, in additiion to being a war criminal he was also a would-be dictator. Just the man to be an Amerikan hero, right? No wonder the European socialists loved him so! Fellman also noted that, at some point, Sherman had enlarged his emotional rage "to include all Southern civilians as legitimate targets."
Fellman observed of Sherman’s March that "Sherman could disperse his sixty-five thousand men over a sixty-mile wide front and sweep southward, his troops stealing and burning as much as they could." Fellman stated that Sherman’s penchant for destruction of Southern property "shone even through his field orders." And he said of Sherman that: "On balance Sherman encouraged more rather than less destruction." Sherman made no secret of the fact that the casualties among the Confederates were almost all civilian casualties. Sherman found it much easier to attack defenseless civilians rather than to engage Confederate soldiers in battle. Fellman tells us that: "The war against an essentially undefended enemy civilian population ripe for the plucking turned into a giant party." "Uncle Bill’s victory tour!" And some so-called historians have the gall today to tell us how "good" Sherman’s March really was for the state of Georgia! "Historians" like these would force you to invite Typhoid Mary to your house for supper and then blame you if your family died from the exposure!
And, then, in a more delicate scenario, there was the issue of Northern troops brutalizing Southern women, both black and white. Fellman stated: "Sherman and all the soldiers who discussed this issue agreed that almost no white women were raped." The implication to be drawn from that statement is that some obviously were. And, if Sherman’s men weren’t raping white women, they who were the directing their lustful attentions to? Obviously they were also chasing black women! In his book Sherman’s March author Burke Davis noted instances on nine different pages dealing with Yankee troops raping white women in Georgia and South Carolina. All I can say is that it must really have been a good thing that the socialist Northern army of occupation was composed of such sterling individuals or we might really have had some problems!
To be continued.
Content ©2009 Al Benson Jr.