William Tecumseh Sherman Quotes

William Tecumseh Sherman, 1820 – 1891

Born: 8 February 1820, Lancaster, Ohio
Died: 14 February 1891, New York City

Sherman’s father died in 1829 and “Cump” was fostered with Thomas Ewing, a family friend who was a senator from Ohio, and thus could give Sherman an appointment to West Point, where he graduated sixth in the class of 1840. After brief action against the Seminoles in Florida, he arrived at Yerba Buena two days before it became San Francisco, and was one of the surveyors of Sacramento, before leaving to become president of a bank. He accepted the position of first head of the school that later became Louisiana State University, but returned to Ohio when the Civil War started. He took part in a number of 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 in half and deprive the rebel army of as many resources as possible. Steel rails, pulled from their tracks and wrapped around trees, came to be known as Sherman’s Neckties. He was a brilliant strategist; the British miliary historian Basil Liddell Hart ranked him among the half dozen most capable strategists in the history of warfare. He had no interest in politics, and according to his writing he hated war and pursued it aggressively so that it might be sooner ended.

William Tecumseh Sherman quotes:

An Army is a collection of armed men obliged to obey one man. Every change in the rules which impairs the principle weakens the army.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

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

I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

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

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

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

The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

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.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

This war differs from other wars, in this particular: We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

War is hell.
    William Tecumseh Sherman

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