Happy (Belated ) Birthday, Uncle Billy

shermanDay late and a dollar short, as usual for me. Yesterday was Uncle Billy Sherman’s birthday. While I missed it, I suspect he would have approved of my post.

Arguably, Uncle Billy is the man who won the Civil War, although he needed cover from Grant in the Army. But the people that admired his work is telling. Patton, Guderian, Rommel, Churchill, Liddel-Hart, Fuller, and many others that I can’t remember.

When he went ‘Marching through Georgia’ he epitomized something he really believed. When one goes to war, one must either “Go Roman or go home”. It’s a lesson our leadership has forgotten since 1945. But it is the cheapest way to fight a war, in blood and treasure and it also means you’ll fight fewer wars because not many are going to be keen to take you on.

He’s quite famous for a speech he made where he said this:

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

He also said this:

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

And this

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Overall, a pretty good description of American war fighting, and why I think he would approve of yesterday’s article.

My friend, Schaefferhistorian has a bit more on Sherman:

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.

via Happy Birthday Uncle Billy | Practically Historical

In other news, there are a couple of pretty good videos out this week, so let’s have a look. First from Whittle and company.

And this from Melanie Phillips, I also like

Perhaps we should end with another couple of quotes from Uncle Billy which seems appropriate for the times

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.

Seems familiar, somehow. But he also had the solution for us.


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.


About NEO
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14 Responses to Happy (Belated ) Birthday, Uncle Billy

  1. Interesting, Sherman and Churchill had much in common! The amount of civilians killed in WW II was amazing, and in both theatre’s.. Europe and the Pacific/Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed War is Hell!


      • Btw, Hitler tried to bomb the British people into submission, but that did not work! And the British bombing of Cologne was also just nasty!

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yes, and bombing the Germans into submission worked just as badly. But we did achieve air superiority, so that Eisenhower could say in June 1944, “If you see aircraft, they will be ours.” It was almost true on D Day, and it is still true today.


        • Now with the Drone, most the glory is gone out of air-combat! 😉 If my father were alive, he would say the same I believe?

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I think so, so would Jimmy Doolittle.


        • Btw, my father had four kills in his Spitfire, one short of an ace. And he had a few probables too as I remember, but those days are long gone now! But flying and flyers are still a kick and breed! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That they are! 🙂


        • I never could catch my father’s lead, when I was able to beat him finally at golf (16?), it was a glory day! He was such a competitor!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That’s their charm, I’ve always thought.


        • Indeed my father was my vision of guts & glory, though he was hardly perfect, but I loved him, as his first-born son! And yes, he too was something of a conservative. RIP to that generation, who gave us years of freedom!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          And now it’s up to us to pass on their wisdom.


        • Amen! And with just a bit of their ‘guts & glory’! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Quite a lot. Maybe because Churchill tended to listen to Fuller (well, sometimes, anyway!)


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