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General William T Sherman, of Civil War

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发表于 7-1-2014 18:34:55 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Allen C Guelzo, Resistance Was in Vain. Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2014
online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-fierce-patriot-by-robert-l-oconnell-1403905484
(book review on Robert L O’Connell, Fierce Patriot; The tangled lives of William Tecumseh Sherman. Random House, 2014)

Excerpts in the windows of print:
(a) Sherman's victorious march owed less to brutal tactics than to the weakness of the dying Confederacy.
(b) Sherman did tell his soldiers to forage ’liberally’ but forbade them to trespass or enter houses.

Note:
(a) “Robert O'Connell's "Fierce Patriot" is a sharply drawn and propulsive march through the tortured psyche of the man known to his army as ‘Uncle Billy’—a man on a lifelong march of his own, not to Atlanta or the sea but to his own independence.”

The "sharply drawn" is usually seen in the wording "Not sharply drawn or delineated." Thus "draw" simply means "draw a picture."
(b) “Until 1863, Sherman was not terribly successful at self-making. It was Ewing who wangled him an appointment as a cadet at West Point in 1836 and Ewing who provided him with a wife in the form of Ewing's daughter, Ellen.”

wangle (vt): "to make or get by devious means :  finagle <wangle an invitation>"
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wangle
(c) “Not until 1859 did he finally secure a job that looked as if it would give him the velocity to escape the Ewing gravitational pull—as the superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy (the forerunner of Louisiana State University).

Louisiana State University (located in Baton Rouge [state capital], Louisiana; founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy--but did not open until Jan 2, 1960, with Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent [school head])  Wikipedia
(d) “The Civil War might have corkscrewed away from its actual path had William T Sherman signed up to serve the Confederacy.”

corkscrew
(n): “a device for drawing corks from bottles that has a pointed spiral piece of metal turned by a handle”
(vi): “to move in a winding course”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corkscrew
(e) “As he swore to his brother John, he [William Sherman] would do ‘no act, breathe no word, think no thought hostile to the government of the United States . . . as long as a single state is true to the old Constitution.’"  

The last clause means that as long as United states existed, composed of at least one state, William would side with the Union.

(f) “But the notorious march from there [Atlanta] to Savannah—during which Union troops (in Henry Clay Work's famous marching song) "made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train / Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main"—had no other objective than to demonstrate the impotence of a dying Confederacy.
(i) Henry Clay Work
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Clay_Work
(1832-1884; American white)
(ii) Sherman's March to the Sea (Nov 15-Dec 21, 1864)

(g) “Moreover, Grant, unlike the Ewings, gave Sherman all the space he needed for his ‘firehose of ideas,’ never rebuking him for his grumpiness, his bristling hostility toward the Confederacy”

fire hose (n): “A large-diameter hose used in extinguishing fires"
www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/de ... n_english/fire-hose
(h) “Nor does Mr O'Connell duck the most shameful incident in the otherwise-triumphant advance on Savannah, the abandonment of 5,000 black refugees at Ebenezer Creek to the pursuing Confederate cavalry.”

Ebenezer Creek
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebenezer_Creek
(i) “And far from redistributing slaveholders' lands, Special Field Orders No 15 only granted freedmen ‘possessory title’ to parcels of ‘not more than forty acres of tillable ground.’ It conspicuously did not grant fee-simple ownership—that is, the literal title deeds. This defect in turn set the stage for what would become the first in a long string of broken promises to African-Americans during Reconstruction.”

fee simple
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fee_simple
(the highest ownership interest possible that can be had in real property; section 1 History)
(i) “Those whose only acquaintance with the March to the Sea is ‘Gone With the Wind’ will imagine that Sherman and his 60,000 wild-men burned a treeless swath of total destruction across Georgia, starting with the bombardment and torching of Atlanta. Here Mr. O'Connell errs in the other direction, by not doing quite enough on Sherman's behalf.
Sherman's march was neither as wasting or as unprecedented as it is sometimes portrayed. Devastation of enemy territory was, according to the standards laid down by international-law jurists of the 19th century, a perfectly acceptable process in war. When one Confederate general protested Sherman's shelling of Atlanta, Sherman tersely but accurately told him: ‘See the books.’  Once the grand march toward Savannah got under way, Sherman talked a good deal more about burning and destroying than he actually did. He ordered his men to forage ‘liberally,’ but the order was hedged in by injunctions not to ‘enter the dwellings of the inhabitants, or commit any trespass; but, during a halt or camp, they may be permitted to gather turnips, potatoes, and other vegetables, and to drive in stock in sight of their camp.’ And though he boasted in his official report that he had inflicted $100 million of ‘waste and destruction’ on Georgia, he supplied no explanation of how that estimate was arrived at. There was only a little over $600 million of taxable property in Georgia anyway, so Sherman's ‘bummers’ would have had to cover a good deal more of the state than the 225 miles between Atlanta and Savannah to smoke one-sixth of all of it.”
(j) “The Ewings had their revenge, though. Sherman's son Tom howlingly disappointed his father by becoming a Jesuit priest, and his daughters had the old general [Sherman] given extreme unction on his deathbed so that he would die in the arms of the church he had come to detest.”

howling (adj): “very great :  PRONOUNCED <a howling success>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/howling
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