My point was that there was no military purpose to the burning of Columbia or for the most part any other southern city. The actions were pure meanest and punishment against a people who had no means of resisting at that point. Quite nice fellows those yanks.
And Alcohol is no excuse, ask any cop. Not that I am suggesting that you are saying it was. But some do suggest that they (Yankee soldiers) were not responcible because they were drunk. And if alcohol was a factor then that suggest that the officers of those men failed to exercise the proper restrain and control over their men, which would imply a atmosphere of approval of such actions among the higher commands.