Nullification Update: The last two weeks in the history of the Debate

2010 December 22

by Michael Parmele

I realized this morning that last week and this week are important weeks in history with regard to the nullification/interposition debate and I find myself thinking of one great litigant on this subject, called to argue during this debate’s aforementioned, most contentious period.  I have reproduced two of the quotes from this skilled mind as he achieved a rather sizeable measure of success during Christmastime, 1864.

For those of you, who continue to hold the opposing side on the debate.  We know the opinion many of you hold towards Major General William Tecumseh Sherman.  I acknowledge that many of his actions should rightly be discussed and examined.  However, ultimately I share the same philosophical position as Sherman that “war is hell,” which is why it should be waged as scarcely and as furiously as possible.

Merry Christmas Moose! Keep the discussion going!!!

“I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city; also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied, and I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your answer, before opening with heavy ordnance. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army—burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war.”

William T. Sherman , Message to William J. Hardee, December 17, 1864, recorded in his memoirs

It was on this date, December 22, 1864 that the Union Army took possession of Sevannah, thus fulfilling General Sherman’s answer at the start of the campaign to the question, “what is the destination, General?” Sherman’s answer? “Salt Water.”

“I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah…”

William T. Sherman , Telegraph to President Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1864

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