88 William Tecumseh Sherman Quotes | Kidadl


88 William Tecumseh Sherman Quotes

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Why William Tecumseh Sherman quotes?

William Tecumseh Sherman was a 19th-century American soldier, author, and educator who also engaged in business but failed. He was born in 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio, and grew up during the American Civil War. William Tecumseh joined the army, rising to the ranks of a general in the Union Army and serving the post for four years from 1861. He was an excellent military strategist who successfully won several battles for the North during the American Civil War. A renowned British military historian named B.H. Liddell Hart called him the 'first modern general' in the American army. In his book 'Memoirs', William Tecumseh Sherman expresses his first-hand accounts of the civil war. His sayings, speeches, and writings present a vividly pessimistic and horrific idea about war. William expresses that even when war is only cruel, he was always a patriot first and ready to serve the country. This article presents a collection of William Tecumseh Sherman's quotes. The quotes are taken from his writings and other manuscripts where he expressed his personal experience. Although some of these quotes are quite harsh, they are also straightforward. Reading these quotes can expand your understanding of warfare and life in 19th-century America. 

What parents should know

  • William Tecumseh Sherman was awarded the government's formal Thanks of Congress twice, on February 19, 1864, and January 10, 1865. 
  • He passed away in New York City on February 14, 1891.  
  • Sherman was a very dedicated Republican. 

What to discuss with kids

  • William Sherman was known by his nicknames' Cump' and 'Uncle Billy'. 
  • Sherman had ten other siblings in his family. His father passed away when he was only nine years old. 
  • He was given the middle name 'Tecumseh' by his father, who gave the name in admiration of a chief of the indigenous tribe, Shawnees.  

Famous William Tecumseh Sherman Quotes 

1. "We can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations pass away before they again appeal to it."

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

3. "War's legitimate object is more perfect peace. You might as well appeal against the thunderstorm."

4. "This war differs from other wars, in this particular."

5. "We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war."

6. "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will."

7. "I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace."

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

9. "War is at its best barbarism."

10. "The way to success is strategically along the way of least expectation and tactically along the line if least resistance."

11. "Fear is the beginning of wisdom."

12. "War is too serious a matter to leave to soldiers."

13. "Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it."

14. "A battery of field artillery is worth a thousand muskets."

15. "I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself."

16. "If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes."

17. "If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."

18. "He belonged to that army known as invincible in peace, invisible in war."

19. "There will soon come an armed contest between capital and labor."

20. "The better classes are tired of the insane howling of the lower strata and they mean to stop them."

21. "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."

22. "Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."

23. "Though I never ordered it, and never wished for it, I have never shed any tears over the event,"

24. "We have devoured the land and our animals eat up the wheat and cornfields close."

25. "All the people retire before us and desolation is behind."

26. "To realize what war is one should follow our tracks."

Best William Tecumseh Sherman Quotes

27. "They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride."

28. "They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it…"

29. "The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make."

30. "You may as well say, "That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion"."

31. "At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane."

32. "Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them?"

33. "If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail."

34. "Oh, it is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization."

35. "I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come - if alive." 

36. "They will oppose each other, not with words and arguments, but with shot and shell, gun-powder and cannon."

37. "The American press is a shame and a reproach to a civilized people."

38. "When a man is too lazy to work and too cowardly to steal, he becomes an editor and manufactures public opinion."

39. "Never give reasons for what you think or do until you must. Maybe after a while, a better reason will pop into your head."

40. "Then, as now, neatness in dress and form, with a strict conformity to the rules, were the qualifications required for office, and I suppose I was found not to excel in any of these."

41. "People are deceived and drawn on step by step, till war, death and destruction are upon them."

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

43. "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

44. "These men flocked to the plains, and were rather stimulated than retarded by the danger of an Indian war."

45. "... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated… that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation." 

46. "If nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline, and even if unanimously elected, I should decline to serve."

47. "War suits them. They are splendid riders, first rate shots and utterly reckless."

48. "If forced to choose between the penitentiary and the White House for four years, I would say the penitentiary, thank you."

49. "But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing."

50. "If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking."

William Tecumseh Sherman Leadership Quotes

(Reading William Tecumseh Sherman's quotes presents a clear picture of the horrors of war.)

51. "An army to be useful must be a unit, and out of this has grown the saying, attributed to Napoleon, but doubtless spoken before the days of Alexander, that an army with an inefficient commander was better than one with two able heads."

52. "An Army is a collection of armed men obliged to obey one man."

53. "I will accept no commission that would tend to create a rivalry with Grant. I want him to hold what he has earned and got. I have all the rank I want." 

54. "I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does."

55. "I'll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world."

56. "You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war."

57. "I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success."

58. "Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other."

59. "I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened."

60. "If you don't have my army supplied, and keep it supplied, we'll eat your mules up, sir – eat your mules up."

61. "Hold the fort! I am coming!" 

62. "I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl! Atlanta is ours, and fairly won."

63. "In our Country... one class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out."

64. "The voice of the people is the voice of humbug."

William Tecumseh Sherman Civil War Quotes

65. "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."

66. "You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about."

67. "War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North."

68. "You can bear this warning voice to generations yet to come. I look upon war with horror, but if it has to come, I am there."

69. "They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too."

70. "You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth-right at your doors."

71. "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it;"

72. "Some of you young men think that war is all glamour and glory"

73. "I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers."

74. "I intend to make Georgia howl."

75. "The whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak violence upon South Carolina. I almost tremble for her fate."

76. "Wars are not all evil, they are part of the grand machinery by which this world is governed."

77. "After all, I think Forrest was the most remarkable man our Civil War produced on either side."

78. "Every change in the rules which impairs the principle weakens the army."

79. "War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."

80. "We have good corporals and good sergeants and some good lieutenants and captains, and those are far more important than good generals."

81. "The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war."

82. "I see every chance of a long, confused and disorganizing civil war, and I feel no desire to take a hand therein."

83. "I believe that it hastened what we all fought for, the end of the war."

84. "Only in spirit and determination are you prepared for war."

85. "In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with."

86. "The war now is away back in the past, and you can tell what books cannot. When you talk, you come down to the practical realities just as they happened."

87. "Those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out."

88. "I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy."


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