How Did General Sherman's Use Of Total War

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During the height of the Civil War between the Northern Union and Confederate States of America, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman implemented a strategy of total war. The concept of total war called for expanding military targets to include civilian economic resources. General Sherman executed his strategy of total war in his infamous “march to the sea” in 1864. Total war had a devastating effect on the people of the South during the Civil war because it demolished their homes and livelihood. Total war mainly affected women, children, and men unable to serve in the military. These individuals were mostly affected because the rest were fighting the war. The women and children were left behind to care for the home. When General Sherman …show more content…
This can mean supplies, economic resources, or even civilian morale and support for the war effort. William L. Barney states, “In such a war, civilian morale and economic resources are as much military targets as the enemy’s armies” (Barney). General Sherman ravaged the South by targeting all of these things. He destroyed countless homes and fields. By forcing families from their homes as shown in Citizens of Atlanta Leaving the City in Compliance with General Sherman’s Orders, he lowered citizen’s acceptance and support of the war which is necessary for a favorable outcome as it encourages volunteerism in both military and civilian efforts.
However, one of the largest and most devastating effects of General Sherman’s total war was the destruction of homes and farmland. This is illustrated in A Mystery of Heroism written by Stephen Crane. Crane describes a battle taking place in a field near an abandoned home. Throughout the battle, the home is completely destroyed by the armies. This was surely not an isolated event. General Sherman’s strategy of burning any towns, cities, or country dwellings destroyed millions of dollars worth of property

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