If nominated by either party, I should preemptorily decline, and even if unanimously elected, I should decline to serve.

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More from William Tecumseh Sherman

War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.

letter to James M. Calhoun, Sept. 12, 1864

War is hell.

attributed, graduation speech at the Michigan Military Academy

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.

speech, Columbus, Ohio, 1880