„Three years ago by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well.“

—  William Tecumseh Sherman, Context: p>If they want eternal war, well and good; we accept the issue, and will dispossess them and put our friends in their place. I know thousands and millions of good people who at simple notice would come to North Alabama and accept the elegant houses and plantations there. If the people of Huntsville think different, let them persist in war three years longer, and then they will not be consulted. Three years ago by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well. Last year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late.All the powers of earth cannot restore to them their slaves, any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit ought to know the consequences. Many, many peoples with less pertinacity have been wiped out of national existence.</p Letter to Major R.M. Sawyer https://books.google.com/books?id=KZAtAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA280&lpg=PA280&dq=%22If+they+want+eternal+war%22&source=bl&ots=hqqkcQXgYR&sig=op8FljMWJcliz6HsZRrfGO9ShJs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjx38jz5KrKAhVHMz4KHbleCckQ6AEIIjAB#v=onepage&q=%22If%20they%20want%20eternal%20war%22&f=false (31 January 1864), from Vicksburg.
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