When I was in Austin
I picked up for $2.50 a used copy of both volumes of the memoirs of General William T. Sherman.
The first thing that
struck me was how clear his writing is, especially in issuing orders. In that
he was like Grant, but I think maybe even better in expressing his intent. Here,
for example, is part of his order for his march across Georgia, in which he set
off with about 60,000 and almost no supplies.
In districts and
neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of property should
be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should
the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local
hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or
Like a good counterinsurgent,
he wanted to visit his wrath on the intransigent while sparing the friendlies
and the neutrals, telling soldiers they should be "discriminating ... between
the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually
neutral or friendly."