Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sherman and Grant

A story about Sherman and Grant at the battle of Shiloh:

The night was an especially difficult one for Grant. At first he sought rest under an oak tree, but the rain and his pain drove him to seek shelter in a cabin on the bluff. Originally designated as army headquarters, it had been turned into a temporary field hospital, and long into the night surgeons performed amputations on wounded men with shattered limbs. Grant, his ankle throbbing, huddled there, slumped in a broken chair, resting his head on his arm. But what he saw and heard in the cabin sickened him, and so he hobbled back outside and made his way back to the tree, where he stood, a lantern in his hand, puffing away at a cigar as the rain came down. Sherman, still pondering the possibility of retreat, appeared. One look at Grant convinced Sherman that it was best to put aside his query; instead, he offered: "Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

Grant looked up. Water dripped from his hat. "Yes," he replied, followed by a puff. "Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though."

The only losers are those who give up.

A quote from Sherman at the start of the Civil War:

You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing!

You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it ...

The South went into the Civil War seeing it as a glorious struggle. They ended up devastated as a result of their casual flirtation with the demons of war.

Are we to repeat the same mistake? Will we suffer the same lesson?

(Courtesy this thread over at The DailyKOS)


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