The Dec. 2 letter by Donald Burdett (“Hatred of Sherman defies logic”) concerning the attitudes about Gen. William Sherman of Civil War fame would be amusing if it were not so wrong and self-promoting. Basically this writer tries to argue that Sherman wasn’t really all that bad a fellow, and what he did was to save lives in the long run and, any way, was justified by later war strategy.
The flaws in his logic aside, he ignores the mass of material that clearly proves Sherman’s tactic of waging war on civilians was real, terrible and deliberately ugly, unethical and personal. This is all shabby enough, but his attack on the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum’s current excellent exhibit on Sherman’s Carolina Campaign is really the most absurd aspect of his whole mindset. As for despising Sherman, Burdett misses the point: It is one thing to fight against opponents who can fight back (and that includes the World War II bombing operations) and another to attack helpless elderly folks, women and children.