Yeah, there’s a difference between military strategy and personal ethics (Good example being the damnYankee, William T. Sherman).
But don’t you think military commanders ought to be held to the highest moral standards? After all, these guys don’t just “go away” after a war, they stay on as powerful figures–as both W.T. Sherman and N.B. Forest show. W.T. Sherman devastated the South, and the North had little or no ability or desire to invest in “reconstruction” (political expedients aside). He also hated Native Americans with a passion (even though he was named after one) and commented on his visit to the 1870 front in the Franco-Prussian War as attache to the Prussian General Staff that he wanted to see “more refugees, more burning villages”. Morals were of no consequence to this guy–the object was to WIN no matter what the cost or who (on the other side) it hurts.The war might indeed be shorter, but it certainly will be bloodier and more painful for all involved…
Then you’ve got everybody’s “best friend” Nathan Bedford Forest. So this guy was a tenacious soldier and a military visionary (he was). But a peace involved with this fellow would be (and in fact was) an absolute nightmare! I don’t care whether he could stomach the “violence” of the KKK agenda–he helped to START it; in fact his name recognition was a powerful inducement for early members to join! He HATED AFRICAN-AMERICANs and worked to secure their “second-class” status in the South that continued through the early 1960’s (and continues to this day throughout the U.S.). Yeah, this guy was a cavalry genius, but the fact that a man of his dubious moral calibre could achieve high command in the Army of the Confederacy is a testament to that institution’s moral degeneracy. Yeah, the Confederates were fighting for the cause of self-determination (surely a worthy cause), but that cause was a SHAM, because their intention was to shut out from that so-called-“self-determination” half their population!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:
Now I’m not some anti-South nut that has no affinity for the rebel mystique (I am, after all, an American) but lets be real here–the cause was an EVIL one, and commanders must be held responsible for the causes for which they choose to fight. After all, THEY are the guys w/ the guns!