In the Fall, 2014 issue of Hallowed Ground, the Civil War Trust magazine is an article titled Scorched Earth, Sherman’s March to the Sea, by John F. Marszalek. I think we could safely say Sherman and Grant were the two men most hated by the South during and after “the War”, but here is something to think about.
Marszalek says ” Major General William Tecumseh Sherman carved a swath of destruction through Georgia, then offered generous surrender terms.” Did he? I didn’t know that. The author goes on, “His vision of hard war brought the Confederacy to its knees, but forestalled thousands of battlefield and civilian deaths.” Again, I did not know that.
Marszalek makes the case that Sherman was not a brute but “that he wanted to wage a war that did not result in countless deaths. He saw destruction of property as less onerous than casualties.” Less than 3000 casualties resulted from the six weeks march through Georgia. The author concludes” Yet the March is remembered to this day as barbarism unleashed. there was glory to die in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, but only humiliation to have one’s barn burned…”