Picture this.  It’s 1958.  I’m sitting in the front row of my American History class.  My teacher is standing upon his desk, re-living the battles of the Civil War and in the process of his expounding, his words are laced with spit.  My American history class was like that for the entire semester.  I soon learned to carry a towel to class with me.  At the time, the battles seemed to be a distant image that had absolutely no bearing on my young life. As I look back and also look ahead to the fact that much of our history is being either ignored, white washed or simply eliminated from the curriculum, it makes me sad.  I really believe that the only way we can move forward in life, is by reviewing our past and learning from our mistakes.

Today is the birthday of General William Tecumseh Sherman – known in his letters to his wife as W.T. – and to his friends as Cump.  He was born on February 8, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio.  His father was a successful lawyer who died unexpectedly in 1829, leaving his wife and eleven children with no inheritance.  Nine year old Sherman was then raised by a neighbor and family friend, Thomas Ewing, Sr.  Ewing served as senator from Ohio and was the first Secretary of the Interior.

Ewing secured an appointment for 16 year old Sherman at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Sherman never felt he was a good soldier.  He was a stellar student, but disliked the demerit system which knocked his grades down, for not conforming to the rules of conduct and appearance.  In his early pictures, he seems to be a soldier any young woman would fall for. As time wore on him, his pictures showed a weary man, beaten down by war.

Sherman did not oppose slavery, but he thought it foolish for the southern states to dissolve the union and secede from it.  In words to a friend who was an enthusiastic secessionist he said the following:

“You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization!”

His words rang true as war ravaged so many lives, pitting brother against brother, dividing families and waging terror across the country for four more years.

When the Confederate states surrendered in 1865, Sherman wrote to a friend:

“I confess, without shame, I am sick and tired of fighting—its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands and fathers … tis only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.”

I can still see my American History teacher waging war against the south on top of his desk.  None of it made a bit of sense to me then, nor does it today.  However, without that knowledge, who knows whether history could one day repeat itself and we might again be a divided nation.  In some cases, we’re already there.


About atimetoshare.me

As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on Amazon.com.
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13 Responses to HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CUMP

  1. hatrack4 says:

    I mean no offense, but I cannot share your wishes regarding Cump. No enmity, just no warm fuzzies either, as I grew up in Mississippi. General Sherman, for whom the Sherman Tank of World War II was named, invented the scorched earth policy. Burning the southern crops. It is estimated that more Southerners died of starvation than in battle as a result. His lament in your post may have been that he discovered, after the fact, his own inhumanity. We all have need of repentance.

    An odd side note, some fields were not burned. He thought them to be weeds, where the field had gone fallow. As a result, many Southerners lived for years on a diet heavy in sweet potatoes. Since there was no fruit above ground, why not consider it a weed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • atimetoshare.me says:

      I am in no way condoning what this man did.
      My point actually was to show the importance of remembering our history so that we don’t make the same mistakes we once did. There obviously was more unnecessary blood shed in the civil war, as there is in all wars. The healing that had to take place because of it is still alive in many parts of the country. You make a good point by saying we all have need of repentance, even those who caused such disaster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in total agreement Kathy. If we forget our history ….. good and bad we are doomed to make the same mistakes. We must not forget the consequences of events in history. They serve as reminders and warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now you should know that his is a name, here in the deep South, that we still utter with contempt.
    for here he is known as the one who burned Georgia to the ground…
    And told Lincoln that he’d give him Savannah and in essence Georgia as a Christmas gift.

    There is a story about the Episcopal Chruch in Savannah—Sherman was quartered in the rectory next door. The practice was that the Union troops would take all metals from wherever and melt them down for artillery—that could be candlesticks to church bells.
    Well, the ladies of the Church knew this and so barricaded themselves in the church, refusing to move when the soldiers told them to. They hunkered down.
    The following day more ladies came, not all were Episcoplain but saw this as a place to make their point—the Union soldiers would not be permitted in the Chruch to confiscate the bell.
    They filled the Church and the stairwell leading up the bell tower.
    Exasperated and being somewhat gentlemanly to this army of ladies, the soldiers went to Sherman and told them the plight.
    Sherman went to the Chruch and implored the ladies, most likely not in the most politest of terms to vacate the Chruch immediately and let them have that bell.
    The ladies refused.
    By now Sheman was furious and frustrated and cabled the President asking him what he wanted him to do…the President’s response…”Let them keep their damn bell”

    To this day, the original 200-year-old bell, a bell made in Boston and hung in 1819 remains
    in use to this day. The Chruch was founded in 1733…interesting to note is that Wesley, before jumping ship, was rector of the Chruch.

    Yes, we belles of all things Southern do not say that “S” word.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. and that should be ‘women’ and not the single ‘woman’! Love typing on a phone…

    Liked by 1 person

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