"There seems to be more criticism of Sheridan for carrying out a policy of
devastation in the Shenandoah Valley in late 1864 (burning mills and barns
and killing/acquiring livestock), than for Lee's appropriation of flour,
livestock, and goods of all kinds -- not to mention hundreds of blacks who
were captured and sent into the South --during the Gettysburg Campaign.
Although Sheridan's methods, at least on the surface, seem more harsh, the
results were similar in each situation. The people in both areas were
denied the fruits of their labor.
In Sheridan's case, he was attempting to shorten the war by denying Lee the
supplies he needed for his army, while Lee was attempting to continue the
war by acquiring provisions and supplies from the enemy.
How should history view these operations? Was one any worse than the other?"