Grant’s Cold Philosophy of War
 
From: bernhard1848@att.net
 
Grant’s unlimited supply of troops made him indifferent to high casualties from massed assaults, thus earning him the nickname “Butcher”; it was his policy to refuse humanitarian prisoner exchanges which would have saved the lives of thousands of captured Northern men.  His postwar administration as president was described as “extravagant, wasteful and corrupt . . . destitute of principle,” and “held together only by the cohesive power of public plunder.”
 
 

 

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
www.ncwbts150.com
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
 
Grant’s Cold Philosophy of War
 
“It is most unfortunate that the name of Grant cannot be added to [the] list of those of the [North’s] greater leaders who sought to lessen the horrors of war.  It seems clear, however, that while ultimately displaying a splendid magnanimity at Appomattox that must evermore be a tribute to him, General Grant must have known of the terrible suffering of the prisoners of war and of the desolation created by Sherman and Sheridan, if indeed, he did not sanction and encourage the forces of destruction.
 
Let us believe that he could not have fully recognized the extent of this suffering, and that he conscientiously thought that final victory would be hastened by these processes, ignoring the present terror and the aftermath of bitterness.
 
Such has been the cold philosophy of some commanders at other times and places. Because of his simple greatness at Appomattox, therefore, it must be assumed that Grant did not realize what was being done, just as, during his eight years, as President, he refrained from checking the horrors of Reconstruction – now generally recognized to have been a process of despoliation and ruin carried on in times of peace under the guise of law and order.”
 
(The Women of the South in War Times, Matthew Page Andrews, Norman, Remington Company, 1920, pg. 225)