Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/25

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23

convents occupied by women of his own religious faith." (See Myer's letter in "Confederate Cause and Conduct," p. 84.)

GRANT AND SHERIDAN'S CONDUCT.

On the 5th of August, 1864, General Grant wrote to General David Hunter, who preceded Sheridan in command of the Valley:

"In pushing up the Shenandoah Valley, where it is expected you will have to go first or last, it is desirable that nothing should be left to invite the enemy to return. Take all provisions, forage and stock wanted for the use of your command; such as cannot be consumed, destroy."

And it was Grant who suggested to Sheridan the order that Sheridan executed in so desolating the Valley that "a crow flying over it would have to carry his own rations." Sheridan says:

"I have destroyed over two thousand barns filled with wheat and hay and farming implements; over seventy mills filled with flour and wheat; have driven in front of the army over four thousand head of stock, and have killed and issued to the troops not less than three thousand sheep. This destruction embraces the Luray Valley and Little Fort Valley, as well as the main Valley."

Contrast these orders, and this conduct, with General Lee's Chambersburg order of June 27, 1863, when his army invaded Pennsylvania, and the conduct of his army in that hostile country, and you have the difference between barbarous and civilized warfare.[1] General Lee's order was approved by President Davis;

  1. "HEADQUARTERS A. N. V.,

    "CHAMBERSBURG, PA., June 27, 1863.

    "GENERAL ORDERS NO. 73.

    "The Commanding General has marked with satisfaction the conduct of the troops on the march and confidently anticipates results commensurate with the high spirit they have manifested. No troops could have displayed greater fortitude or better performed the arduous marches of the first ten days. Their conduct in other respects has, with few exceptions, been in keeping with their character as soldiers, and entitles them to approbation and praise.

    "There have, however, been instances of forgetfulness on the part of some, that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the army, and the duties exacted of us by Civilization and Christianity, are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own. The Commanding General considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the innocent and defenceless and the wanton destruction of private property that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. Such proceedings not only disgrace the perpetrators and all connected with them, but are subversive of the discipline and efficiency of the army and destructive of the ends of our present movements. It must be remembered that we make war only on armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemy, and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth, without whose favor and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The Commanding General therefore earnestly exhorts the troops to abstain, with most scrupulous care, from unnecessary or wanton injury to private property; and to enjoin upon all officers to arrest and bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against the orders on this subject.

    "R. E. LEE, General."