The nature of the war that the Union initiated against
the citizens of Missouri and elsewhere in the South has been termed, "total
war", where civilians became the targets as well as the soldiers in the
Confederate Army. These civilians not only included men but also
women and children. This policy of total war was put into practice, ironically,
by a St. Louisan named William T. Sherman, who became the North's most
notorious general. Gen. Sherman ruthlessly declared, "The government
of the U.S. has any and all rights which they choose to enforce in war--to
take their lives, their homes, their lands, their everything...war is simply
unrestrained by Constitution...To the persistent secessionist, why, death
is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better..." (Maj.
Gen. W.T. Sherman, 31 Jan 1864).
This war on citizens was not simply restrained to be applied against men and women but also children. General Sherman in a (21 June, 1864) letter to Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, wrote, "There is a class of people men, women, and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order." A reply from the Lincoln administration (Stanton), reads, "Your letter of the 21st of June has just reached me and meets my approval." While the war on civilians started much earlier than 1863, the above is simply proof that the war on children was part of that scheme also.