General William Tecumseh Sherman had one of those faces that seemed to have forgotten how to look kind, if, in fact, it ever knew how in the first place. And when he chose to look angry, as he did now, it was a terrible thing to behold.
“Take a letter,” the general growled at his aid.
“To B.W. Shapp, Commissioner of Memphis,” he began. “Received your letter yesterday. Apparently need to remind you that I am a general in the Army of these United States of America, and not an arbiter of petty squabbles between pathetic gabblers and drunken fools.
“You are doubtless aware of Judge Swayne and his court. I suggest you utilize it. But do remind Swayne that if he dares to try and contradict me from the bench, I’ll slap him in irons, throw him off the bench and possibly drop him from the nearest tree by his neck. Might I suggest criminals be dealt with similarly.
“Lastly, don’t forget that any further problems you might have can be easily rectified, by enlisting.”
Sherman stopped and looked over to his steward.
“Get all of that? Good. Now make it sound nice.” He paused. “But not too nice.”
William Tecumseh Sherman is a cursed name in the South. He was a monster of a man that burned his way from Memphis, Tennessee to Savannah, Georgia, leaving naught but ruin in his wake. Which is why I find it funny that he had to rule over Memphis before starting off on his march to the sea. You see, Memphis was a mean town to begin with, but by the time Sherman rolled in, the only people left were the worst of the worst and the most spoiled of the spoiled. Quite possibly the most problematic mix of citizenry imaginable.