Shermanâ€™s infamous March through Georgia was one of the great war crimes, and crimes against humanity, of the past century-and-a-half. Because by targeting and butchering civilians, Lincoln and Grant and Sherman paved the way for all the genocidal honors of the monstrous 20th century.
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about memory, about never forgetting about history as retroactive punishment for crimes of war and mass murder. As Lord Acton, the great libertarian historian, put it, the historian, in the last analysis, must be a moral judge. The muse of the historian, he wrote, is not Clio, but Rhadamanthus, the legendary avenger of innocent blood. In that spirit, we must always remember, we must never forget, we must put in the dock and hang higher than Haman, those who, in modern times, opened the Pandoraâ€™s Box of genocide and the extermination of civilians: Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln.
Perhaps, some day, their statues, like Leninâ€™s in Russia, will be toppled and melted down; their insignias and battle flags will be desecrated, their war songs tossed into the fire. And then Davis and Lee and Jackson and Forrest, and all the heroes of the South, “Dixie” and the Stars and Bars, will once again be truly honored and remembered. The classic comment on that meretricious TV series The Civil War was made by that marvelous and feisty Southern writer Florence King. Asked her views on the series, she replied: “I didnâ€™t have time to watch The Civil War. Iâ€™m too busy getting ready for the next one.” In that spirit, I am sure that one day, aided and abetted by Northerners like myself in the glorious “copperhead” tradition, the South shall rise again.
Note: Murray N. Rothbard was a New Yorker, a radical libertarian, the Dean of the Austrian School of EconomicsÂ and a supporter of Southern secession. He was an early member of the League of the South.