War is war and not popularity-seeking.
With these words to his Confederate opponent at
Atlanta, General William T. Sherman suggested the
attitude that made him a successful Civil War commander
and a bitterly hated figure in the South. He stripped
war of glory and chivalry. By his destructive march
through Georgia and his later campaign in the Carolinas,
he demolished the economic base of the Confederacy
and shattered the morale of its citizens. His methods
anticipated twentieth-century total war.
Influenced perhaps by Shermans reputation for
ruthless tactics in the field, artist G. P. A.
Healy once noted that he found the Union general
a forbidding portrait subject at first. But as
the posing progressed, he found the general quite
convivial. Eventually Healy made three versions
of his finished likeness. The one here was done
for Shermans family, and another was auctioned
off to raise funds for the Civil War wounded.
George Peter Alexander Healy (18131894)
Oil on canvas, 1866
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum;
gift of P. Tecumseh Sherman, 1935