"The law is one thing, the execution of the law another. God himself has commanded: 'Thou shalt not kill,' thou shalt not steal,' 'thou shalt not covet another's goods,' etc. Will any one say these things are not done now as well as before these laws were announced at Sinai? I admit the law to be that 'no officer or soldier of the United States shall commit waste or destruction of cornfields, orchards, potato-patches, or any kind of pillage on the property of friend or foe near Memphis,' and I stand prepared to execute the law as far as possible... I cannot punish my whole command, or a whole battalion, because one or two bad soldiers do wrong... we must bear this in mind, that however peaceful things look, we are really at war..." General William T. Sherman, letter to the Editor of the Memphis, TN "Bulletin," September 21, 1862.