“Sherman and Lincoln, War Criminals”
“World War II was only one life span removed from the bloody hands of Sherman’s Southern campaigns, even less than that from the warfare he levied on the Plains Indians. At the close of World War II in 1945, the Allies commissioned and erected an international tribunal to bring top Nazis to justice.
The Charter of the International Military Tribunal, known as the Nuremburg Trial Proceedings, has an eerie and familiar reverberation to it. Title II, Article 6-13 of this charter establish the jurisdiction of the tribunal. Article 6 enables the tribunal to try and punish individuals’ crimes including:
(a)   Crimes Against Peace:  namely planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression . . . .
(b)   War Crimes, namely . . . murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of the occupied territory . . . killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c)    Crimes Against Humanity:  namely, murder . . . deportation, and other inhuman acts committed against any civilian population . . .

Clearly, Sherman and Lincoln were guilty on numerous counts of the crimes listed above. As the political head of state, Lincoln’s guilt of “crimes against peace” and initiation and waging a war of aggression cannot be controverted.
As the war dragged on, the Lincoln administration began to view military necessity in a different light.  The objective of the war was to reestablish political authority over the Southern States. Gradually, any action that would likely hasten this was viewed as militarily necessary.  Therefore, kidnapping, murder, torture, destruction of food stores and livestock, and massive destruction of the means of food production

[including seizing slaves] came to be an acceptable consequence of restoring lost federal authority.
As Grant’s aide said, the Southern people, not just Southern armies, had to be “annihilated.”
 [It] is important to expose the savagery of the U.S. Army toward the civilians of the South because military commanders, political theorists, and despots worldwide watch and learn from that which was tolerated in the past in order to apply it to future wars.
The federal government’s Civil War theory of military necessity and of total war, originated by Americans to justify the butchering of other Americans, opened Pandora’s proverbial box. Next time, the whole world would be involved. In World war II, the justification for the haphazard destruction of London and massive fire destruction of German and Japanese population centers were the twin evils military necessity and total war.” 
(Lincoln Uber Alles, John Avery Emison, Pelican Publishing, 2009, pp. 250-253)