finish off this week's celebration of the defeat of the Confederacy with a look
at a lengthy letter written in September 1863, in which Gen. William T. Sherman laid out his concerns about
biggest worry, he wrote, was a certain type of Confederate soldier --
young Bloods of the South, sons of Planters, lawyers about Town, good billiard
players and sportsmen. Men who never did work, or never will. War suits them:
and the rascals are fine, brave riders, bold to rashness, and dangerous
subjects in every sense.... As long as they have a good horse, plenty of
Forage. This is a larger class then most men suppose, and are the most
dangerous set of men which this war has turned loose upon the world. They are
splendid riders, shots, and utterly reckless. Stuart, John Morgan, Forrest, and Jackson are the types &
leaders of this class. They must all be killed, or employed by us before we can
hope for Peace. They have no property or future & therefore cannot be
influenced by anything except personal considerations. I have two Brigades of
these fellows to my Front.... They are the best Cavalry in the world."
again: As I read this over again, I wondered if this note contains the essence
of how the Union lost Phase IV of the Civil War, or at least didn't win it
until 1964. Forrest became a major member of the Ku Klux Klan, of course. I
wonder how many cavalry vets rallied to him.
BTW, Morgan's nephew won the Nobel Prize in medicine.