My observations of the History Channels program on Sherman
Sherman never encountered any large Confederate Army resistance as the Army of Tennessee had fell back on Nashville, Tn. after the battle of Atlanta. The next largest standing Confederate Army was in Virginia, thus the door was open for Sherman`s all out campaign of terror was committed on defenseless widows, orphans & old men. There`s nothing glorious about attacking civilians instead of armed troops who can defend themselves. Slice it & dice anyway they want too but, this is still the bottom-line.
According to this program it was acceptable for Sherman`s Army to burn homes, crops & steal every last morsel of food from civilians leaving women, children & entire families to starve to death which, many did. Many were reduced to living in caves & the woods for the entire winter.
The only expression of sympathy shown for anyone in the south during this program was for the slaves Sherman abandoned near Savannah, Ga. after encouraging them to follow his army all the way from Atlanta.
After the Battle of Atlanta, militarily the south was beaten & the U.S. government knew this yet, it condoned & allowed Sherman`s campaign against civilians to continue. The official reason was to " destroy the south’s war manufacturing capabilities." The major flaw with this is that it didn`t matter at this point how much war materials the south could still produce as there was no one left to use them but, young boys, old men & the depleted armies of Northern Virginia & the Army of Tennessee. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT & ITS MILITARY COMMANDERS KNEW THIS yet the vindictive campaign for revenge on a civilian population was encouraged & permitted to happen.
Militarily the proper thing to have done had the union really wanted to end the war early would have been to send Sherman to help with a quicker defeat of the Confederate Armies in Virginia or Tennessee; they chose revenge against the southern people instead.
In conclusion, the only thing this program accomplished is to further solidify the fact that Grant was a drunk & butcher & that indeed Sherman was an insane mentally disturbed man.
Billy E. Price