In 1912 The Nation reported that a telegram "of great historical importance" had been put up for auction (N.B.: the Twenty-First Century equivalent of a "telegram" is a text message). The telegram was addressed to General William Techumseh Sherman and signed by General U.S. Grant and it clearly gives Sherman free reign to ravage the countryside as he marched.
"Now, the significance of this is that Gen. Sherman's commander deliberately ordered that policy of laying waste the country which Gen. Sherman followed in his march. For this policy of ruining the territory in which he operated, Gen. Sherman has ever since been severely criticized ..."
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