On this Memorial Day, I would like to honor the three men of the American Civil War who understood the terrible need for total war: President Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, and General William T. Sherman. Their vigorous prosecution of the war preserved the Union, the very first nation founded on the principles of individual rights — and, at the time, the only such nation. In so doing, they ended the most loathsome violation of rights ever known to man: chattel slavery. Without them, without the brave Union soldiers who fought under them, America would not exist today.*
So thank you, Mssrs. Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman. We are forever in your debt.
* For the details, I strongly recommend reading James McPherson’s stellar history of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom.