Such a great line spoken by General Sherman. Here is the history behind it.

Sherman was deeply troubled. Stationed in Kentucky, Sherman grew despondent over failures of Union forces and what he perceived as his superiors’ ineptitude. He was plagued by anxiety, often pronouncing, incorrectly, that Confederate forces vastly outnumbered his own. Pacing through his hotel at all hours of the night, he looked haggard and worried. He worked almost around the clock, rarely ate, and continued pacing during daylight hours as well. Sherman’s extreme behavior and habit of wearing the same unlaundered clothes for days sparked rumors about his mental state, rumors he fueled by becoming obsessed with reporters. Worried in the winter of 1862-63 that they might ferret out information that he thought shouldn’t be published, he tried to banish journalists from his presence, even threatening one New York reporter with hanging.

Seemingly doomed, he was assigned to Grant’s command. Here was a general, at last, who seemed organized, acted decisively, and had realistic goals for how to win. Far from shunning Sherman, Grant encouraged him. They fought together and won at Shiloh, and gradually Sherman recovered a sense of balance and confidence. Later, when Grant was lampooned for excessive drinking, Sherman jumped to his defense. “General Grant is a great general,” he said. “I know him well. He stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always.”

Lincoln also jumped to Grant’s defense. In reply to comments about General Grant’s drinking problems, Lincoln said: “Find out what whiskey he drinks and send all of my generals a case, if it will get the same results.”

About these ads