The Corner

William Tecumseh Sherman

This is one of those things that native Americans probably learn at age

seven, but it is new to me. On the offchance that some American NRO readers

may have forgotten it, and for the delectation of our many foreign readers,

here is a story from the life of William Tecumseh Sherman. I have taken it

from John Marszalek’s biography, which I am reading on

the recommendation of numerous NRO readers.* This story is on page 302.

[During the march to the sea] “Sherman caught a soldier absolutely ‘covered

with plunder. Vegetables were strung all over him, hanging in bunches from

his shoulders and belt.’ From his hand hung a chicken. Sherman cursed him

for violating the foraging order. The soldier, not recognizing his

commanding officer, swore right back, and the two men faced off in a battle

of curses. Finally Sherman told his antagonist who he was, and the man

stopped swearing and introduced himself: ‘Oh hell, General, I am Abner F.

Dean, Chaplain of the 112th Massachusetts….’”

* I asked a few days ago for recommendations. Most popular: the long

section on Sherman in VDH’s The Soul of Battle, WTS’s own memoirs, and

Marszalek.

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