Sherman was a true hero of the Civil War. He was able to destroy the South's strategic, economic, and psychological ability to wage war. This was also referred to as Sherman's "scorched earth " policy. Sherman's greatest contribution to military tactics is his development of 'Total Warfare' As his army marched through the South, they destroyed any material or resource that may be useful to his opposition. He ordered fields burned, animals slaughtered, bridges blown up, and railroad beds destroyed. Sherman ordered his army to be as least destructive as possible; he defied military principles, and stopped the South from being able to wage war. .
Sherman never wanted for total destruction to occur. He ordered his men to the best of his ability and taught them everything he could. In Source #1 one line spoke such greatness of Sherman, "In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts, and they will endeavor to leave each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance." Sherman never set out to destroy families, homes or communities. He came to do what he thought was right. He understood there would be complications but he never set out to hurt or victimize families. He just needed to send a message. They needed to show the South just how strong they were. Sherman was a brave and understanding officer. They couldn't let the South prepare for war. While Sherman did his best to control this, there was no telling what his troops would actually inflict upon the South. In Source #40, Eliza Andrews depicts a different side of Sherman, "On our left was a field where thirty thousand Yankees had camped hardly three weeks before. It was strewn with the debris they had left behind, and the poor people of the neighborhood were wandering over it, seeking for anything they could find to eat, evening picking up grains of corn that were scattered around where the Yankees had fed their horses.