One of the truths about the War between the States that is particularly painful for me as an Ohioan is the character of Gen. William Tecumsah Sherman, a native of Lancaster who, by embracing the concept of "total war" made himself a mass murderer -- not only of Southerners, but also of Plains Indians after the war. He was ably aided in this effort by another Ohio-born general, Philip Sheridan (from Somerset in Perry County), who wrought vast destruction in the Shendandoah Valley of Virginia, and in the West. To justify these acts as "military necessity" is to say that the end justifies the means, a position that is never morally defensible.
|"These are My Jewels," The lady on top is Cornelia, representing Ohio|
|Detail. Left to right: Gens. William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, and Philip Sheridan|
No one wants to face the shameful acts of one's own people; but until we do, we will not embrace truth. As long as we choose to live in lies, we will find ourselves enslaved by them.