Sunday, July 30, 2023

in the heat of the moment...............

      More significant, perhaps, for his fate as a strategist was a trait he first exhibited here in the face of overwhelming odds: He knew when to quit and cut his losses.  This is a much-overlooked military capacity: in the heat of the moment to retain sufficient objectivity to recognize the prospect of sure defeat and then to summon the self-control to reverse course and withdraw.  For some—Grant, for instance—this proved impossible.  But Sherman's military career was studded with such moments, epiphanies of defeat, and they were emblematic of his eventual success.  He came to realize that in war there would be good days and bad days, but the ultimate objectives must always remain paramount.

-Robert L. O'Connell, Fierce Patriot: The Tangles Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

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