Federal Atrocities in the Civil war. From the New Orleans, La., Picayune, August 10, 1902.General Smith's Ferocious policy in the Philippines anticipated by Sherman in Tennessee and Mississippi— Cold—Blooded Murder near Memphis in 1862—Other Typical incidents.
By Hon. J. P. Young,
Judge Young served as a private soldier in the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, and shared the memorable campaigns of the great Forrest, although he was only nineteen years of age when the war closed.—Ed.
Mr. Sibley, of Pennsylvania, in criticising General Jacob H. Smith, of the American Army in the Philippines, during a recent debate in Congress for cruelty to noncombatants, said: ‘When I have read, as I have within the past forty-eight hours, that a general wearing the uniform of the United States Army, one who stands under the shadow of our flag, issues orders not to conciliate a province, but to leave it a howling wilderness, and to kill all above ten years of age, then it seems to me that humanity must have marched backward for eighteen centuries.’
Mr. Sibley must have read American history to very little purpose if he wound go back more than a half century to find prototypes of General Smith wearing the uniform of the United States and issuing orders to kill noncombatants and burn their homes.
Nor were they criticised in Congress nor court-martialed for those acts of violence.
But the victims in these cases were only white citizens of the southern part of the United States, and not brown-skinned Filipinos.
It is not for the purpose of reopening old sores, now happily healed, but to show that General Jacob H. Smith is not the only modern Duke of Alva, that these facts are recited.
General Smith had an illustrious example.
General W. T. Sherman said: ‘War is hell’; and General Sherman knew, for he certainly endeavored to make it so. On October 29, 1864, General Sherman issued the following official order, viz.:
Judge of the Circuit Court, Memphis, Tenn.
That order is printed in the war record, serial volumn No. 79, page 494, and each of the instances hereinafter mentioned are likewise not legends, but taken from the same official publication. On October 19, 1864, he wrote to General James H. Wilson from Summerville, Ga.: ‘I am going into the very bowels of the Confederacy, and propose to leave a trail that will be recognized fifty years hence.’ To Colonel A. Beckwith he wrote of same date: ‘I propose to abandon Atlanta and the railroad back to Chattanooga, and sally forth to ruin Georgia, and bring up on the seashore.’ To General Grant he wrote on that date—‘I am perfecting arrangements to break up the railroad in front of Dalton, .including the city of Atlanta, and push into Georgia, break up all its railroads and depots, capture its horses and negroes and make desolation everywhere.’ All these promises he literally fulfilled, as witness the pages. of history. But coming back to Memphis, we find General Sherman issuing the following special orders, No. 283, as shown in war record, No. 17, part 2, page 280: