Hard War Policy

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I don’t have a great understanding of this but it seemed like Grimsley looked at the Northern point of view. Sherman took the entire course of the war to change from being a commander who sought to exclude civilians from the conflict to becoming a leader who actively searched for ways to terrorize Southern civilians into giving up their cause (without injuring them). In the first three years of the war, Sherman went from rigorously protecting Southern civilians and their property to believing that these citizens were ultimately responsible for the war and had to be convinced to stop supporting it. He sought a way to end the war with as little bloodshed as possible. Sherman’s method of war became the Federal strategy for winning the war. Moreover,…show more content…
However, he also said that the “implementation of the Union hard war policy was accompanied by comparatively little rapine.” (Pg. 204) Apparently, the hard war policy was not born from a simple desire to hurt civilians. The actual policy was spawned primarily by the tyranny of logistics. Moreover, it was not an anticipation of the terror bombing campaigns of the twentieth century, but rather a rediscovery of older forms of warfare. (Pg. 213) According to Grimsley, hard war involves two main aspects. The first aspect is that any action by Union soldiers that resulted in the confiscation of Southern property or soldiers seeking to demoralize the civilian population or economy (particularly in the areas of industry, infrastructure, or transportation) serves as an example of hard war. Second, the distribution of military resources to achieve a military objective also equates to hard war. Throughout Chapters 8 and 9 Grimsley also cites several other military strategies from wars prior to the Civil War (some of which are listed on Pg. 215). Grimsley also strongly downplayed the idea that the Union’s hard war was a total war which can be proven by what all he said in the section of Chapter 9 titled “The Mythology of Hard War”. (Pg.
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