horses and mules, as well as a countless number of their slaves.
I estimate the damage done to the State of Georgia
and its military resources at one hundred millions of dollars; at least twenty millions of which have inured to our advantage, and the remainder is simple waste and destruction.’1
Contrast this official confession with the address of Major-General Early
to the citizens of York
, when his invading columns were passing over Pennsylvania
soil: ‘I have abstained from burning the railroad buildings and car shops in your town because, after examination, I am satisfied that the safety of the town would be endangered.
Acting in the spirit of humanity which has ever characterized my government and its military authorities, I do not desire to involve the innocent in the same punishment with the guilty.
Had I applied the torch without regard to consequences, I would have pursued a course which would have been fully vindicated as an act of just retaliation for the unparalleled acts of brutality perpetrated by your own army on our own soil.
But we do not war upon women and children.’
Compare General Orders No. 72
of the immortal Lee
——redolent, even amid the smoke and carnage of the hottest warfare, of exalted civilization and generous humanity—with the atrocious proclamations of General Butler
or the vandal acts of Sheridan
, and then listen to the words of Polybius
, spoken when the world was two thousand years younger than it now is, and uttered not in the tone of passion and hate so rife in his day, but in inculcation of the soundest lessons of political and moral wisdom: ‘When men proceed to wreak their fury on senseless objects, whose destruction will neither be of advantage to themselves nor in the slightest degree disable their opponent from carrying on the war, especially if they burn the temples of the gods, destroy their statues, and waste their ornamental furniture, what else can we say of such proceedings except that they are the acts of men devoid of all feelings of propriety, and infected by frenzy?
For it is in no way the object of war, at least among men who have just notions of their duty, to annihilate and utterly subvert those from whom they may have received provocation, but to induce them to amend that in which they acted amiss; not to involve the innocent and guilty in one common ruin, but rather to save them both.
We may also observe that it is ’