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[353] the South, have been wiped out of national existence.

My own belief is, that even now the non-slave-holding classes of the South are alienating from their associates in war. Already I hear crimination. Those who have property left, should take warning in time.

Since I have come down here, I have seen many Southern planters who now hire their negroes, and acknowledge that they knew not the earthquake they were to make by appealing to secession. They thought that the politicians had prepared the way, and that they could part in peace. They now see that we are bound together as one nation, by indissoluble ties, and that any interest or any people that set themselves up in antagonism to the nation, must perish.

While I would not remit one jot or tittle of our nation's rights, in peace or war, I do make allowances for past political errors and false prejudices. Our national Congress and Supreme Courts are the proper arenas in which to discuss conflicting opinions, and not the battle-field.

You may not hear from me again; and if you think it will do any good, call some of the people together, and explain these my views. You may even read to them this letter, and let them use it, so as to prepare them for my coming.

To those who submit to the rightful law and authority, all gentleness and forbearance; but to the petulant and persistent secessionist, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of, the better. Satan, and the rebellious saints of heaven, were allowed a continuance of existence in hell merely to swell their just punishment. To such as would rebel against a government so mild and just as ours was in peace, a punishment equal would not be unjust.

We are progressing well in this quarter. Though I have not changed my opinion that we may soon assume the existence of our national Government, yet years will pass before ruffianism, murder, and robbery will cease to afflict this region of our country.

Truly your friend,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding.

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