portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman
Engraving from portrait by Napoleon Sarony (1888)

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Quotes of the Day for 8 February 2012 – William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman was born at Lancaster, Ohio on this day in 1820. In 1829 his father died and "Cump" was fostered with a family friend, a senator from Ohio who later gave Sherman an appointment to West Point. He graduated sixth in his class, after brief action against the Seminoles in Florida, he arrived at Yerba Buena two days before it became San Francisco, surveyed Sacramento, and left the army to become president of a bank. He was the first head of the school that later became Louisiana State University, but returned to Ohio when the Civil War started. He took part several battles early in the war, somehow stirring rumors that he was crazy. After taking Atlanta, he led the infamous March to the Sea, designed to split the Confederacy and deprive the rebel army of resources. He was a brilliant strategist; British military historian Basil Liddell Hart ranked him in the half dozen best strategists in the history of warfare. He had no interest in politics, hated war, and pursued it aggressively that it might be sooner ended.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.

There is many a boy here who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to generations to come.

War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over.

If nominated, I will not accept; if drafted, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.

I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.

The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war.
     All from William Tecumseh Sherman, 1820 - 1891

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