Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes by William Tecumseh Sherman on sea, valor, courage, war, peace, army, and wisdom.

77 Motivational Quotes By William Tecumseh Sherman

Famous As: General in the Union Army During the American Civil War
Born On: February 8, 1820
Died On: February 14, 1891
Born In: Lancaster
Died At Age: 71
William Tecumseh Sherman was an eminent American soldier, author, businessman and educator. During the American Civil War he served as a General in the Union Army. He was both recognized and criticised for his tenure as a General. He also provided logistical support to Brig and put up awe-inspiring action in the First Battle of Bull Run. Sherman also jotted down his first hand experience of the Civil War in his book ‘Memoirs.’ Sherman was declared as the ‘the first modern general’ by B.H Liddell Hart, a famous British military historian. A tank was named after him and was called ‘Sherman Tank’ and a Civil War gunboat was also named ‘Fort Sherman’ in his honour. Following is a compilation of thoughts by William Tecumseh Sherman which have been excerpted from his books and life. 

I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.

William Tecumseh Sherman

You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing!

William Tecumseh Sherman

Wars are not all evil, they are part of the grand machinery by which this world is governed.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War's Legitimate Object Is More Perfect Peace.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Some of you young men think that war is all glamour and glory, but let me tell you, boys, it is all hell!

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is cruel and you cannot refine it.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If nominated, I won't run; If elected, I won't serve.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I see every chance of a long, confused and disorganizing civil war, and I feel no desire to take a hand therein.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Though I never ordered it, and never wished for it, I have never shed any tears over the event, because I believe that it hastened what we all fought for, the end of the war.

William Tecumseh Sherman

You might as well appeal against the thunderstorm.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Hold the fort! I am coming!

William Tecumseh Sherman

If nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline, and even if unanimously elected, I should decline to serve.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The way to success is strategically along the way of least expectation and tactically along the line of least resistance.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Oh, it is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I begin to regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash-and it may be well that we become so hardened.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The only good Indian is a dead Indian

William Tecumseh Sherman

I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come-if alive.

William Tecumseh Sherman

...[We] must stop these swarms of Jews who are trading, bartering and robbing.

William Tecumseh Sherman

We have good corporals and good sergeants and some good lieutenants and captains, and those are far more important than good generals.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak violence upon South Carolina. I almost tremble for her fate.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.

William Tecumseh Sherman

After all, I think Forrest was the most remarkable man our Civil War produced on either side.

William Tecumseh Sherman

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.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The more Indians we can kill... the less will have to be killed the next war, for the more I see of these Indians, the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers.

William Tecumseh Sherman

We can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations pass away before they again appeal to it.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war.

William Tecumseh Sherman

It's a disagreeable thing to be whipped.

William Tecumseh Sherman

An Army is a collection of armed men obliged to obey one man. Every change in the rules which impairs the principle weakens the army.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I will accept no commission that would tend to create a rivalry with Grant. I want him to hold what he has earned and got. I have all the rank I want.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The voice of the people is the voice of humbug.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.

William Tecumseh Sherman

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I intend to make Georgia howl.

William Tecumseh Sherman

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If you don't have my army supplied, and keep it supplied, we'll eat your mules up, sir.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is at its best barbarism.

William Tecumseh Sherman

You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If forced to choose between the penitentiary and the White House for four years, I would say the penitentiary, thank you.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.

William Tecumseh Sherman

There's many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory but it is all hell.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is hell.

William Tecumseh Sherman

In our Country... one class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.

William Tecumseh Sherman

A battery of field artillery is worth a thousand muskets.

William Tecumseh Sherman

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

William Tecumseh Sherman

You may as well say, 'That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.

William Tecumseh Sherman

He belonged to that army known as invincible in peace, invisible in war.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes.

William Tecumseh Sherman

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is too serious a matter to leave to soldiers.

William Tecumseh Sherman

My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us.

William Tecumseh Sherman

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.

William Tecumseh Sherman

This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy.

William Tecumseh Sherman

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.

William Tecumseh Sherman

Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

William Tecumseh Sherman

An army to be useful must be a unit, and out of this has grown the saying, attributed to Napoleon, but doubtless spoken before the days of Alexander, that an army with an inefficient commander was better than one with two able heads.

William Tecumseh Sherman

There will soon come an armed contest between capital and labor. They will oppose each other, not with words and arguments, but with shot and shell, gun-powder and cannon. The better classes are tired of the insane howling of the lower strata and they mean to stop them.

William Tecumseh Sherman

We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children... during an assault, the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The North can make a steam engine, locomotive or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or a pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical and determined people on earth-right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I found so many Jews and speculators here trading in cotton, and secessionists had become so open in refusing anything but gold, that I have felt myself bound to stop it. The gold can have but one use - the purchase of arms and ammunition... Of course, I have respected all permits by yourself or the Secretary of the Treasury, but in these new cases (swarms of Jews), I have stopped it.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The young bloods of the South; sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard players and sportsmen, men who never did any work and never will. War suits them.. They are splendid riders, first rate shots and utterly reckless. These men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace.

William Tecumseh Sherman

To those who would submit to the rightful law and authority, all gentleness and forbearance; but to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better. Satan and the rebellious saints of Heaven were allowed a continuous existence in hell merely to swell their just punishment. To such as would rebel against a Government so mild and just as ours was in peace, a punishment equal would not be unjust.

William Tecumseh Sherman

You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it...Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them?

William Tecumseh Sherman

You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.

William Tecumseh Sherman

To secure the safety of the navigation of the Mississippi River I would slay millions. On that point I am not only insane, but mad... I think I see one or two quick blows that will astonish the natives of the South and will convince them that, though to stand behind a big cottonwood and shoot at a passing boat is good sport and safe, it may still reach and kill their friends and families hundreds of miles off. For every bullet shot at a steamboat, I would shoot a thousand 30-pounder Parrots into even helpless towns on Red, Ouachita, Yazoo, or wherever a boat can float or soldier march.

William Tecumseh Sherman

I confess, without shame, that 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 ... it is 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.

William Tecumseh Sherman

At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see that in the end you will surely fail.

William Tecumseh Sherman

We cannot change the hearts of the people of the South, but we can make war so terrible that they will realize the fact that however brave and gallant and devoted to their country still they are mortal and should exhaust all peaceful remedies before they fly to war.

William Tecumseh Sherman

The war now is away back in the past, and you can tell what books cannot. When you talk, you come down to the practical realities just as they happened. You all know this is not soldiering here. There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to generations yet to come. I look upon war with horror, but if it has to come, I am there.

William Tecumseh Sherman