Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Major General William T. Sherman to Senator John Sherman, “a few days” after August 9, 1865

[ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, “a few days” after August 9, 1865]

We cannot keep the South out long, and it is a physical impossibility for us to guard the entire South by armies; nor can we change opinions by force; nor can the President pass on the merits of all pardons, but must delegate it, when the power will be corrupted or gradually embrace all exempts, for the class exempted is the vital part of the South. I would have used it and had it subservient to the uses of Government. The poor whites and negroes of the South have not the intelligence to fill the offices of governors, clerks, judges, etc., etc., and for some time the marching of state Governments must be controlled by the same class of whites as went into the Rebellion against us. . . .

SOURCE: Rachel Sherman Thorndike, Editor, The Sherman Letters: Correspondence Between General and Senator Sherman from 1837 to 1891, p. 254

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