The Best Defense

Why Sherman (VI) preferred volunteers

General Sherman ranks volunteers, draftees, and subs: "I think all officers of experience will confirm my assertion that the men who voluntarily enlisted at the outbreak of the war were the best, better than the conscript, and far better than the bought substitute."

Lee surrendered to Grant on this day.


The Best Defense

Churchill denounces fighting the Afghans but concludes my empire, right or wrong

In 1897, Winston Churchill wrote to his mother summarizing his views of the British fighting the Afghan tribes: "Financially it is ruinous. Morally it is wicked. Militarily it is an open question, and politically it is a blunder." But, he continued, according to Con Coughlin's new book, Churchill's First War, "we can't pull up now." He emerged more determined than ever to defend the British Empire.

Speaking of cleaning up the detritus of the British Empire, the president of Ireland is making the first-ever state visit to Britain by an Irish head of state.