On June 2 in 1863 Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman was in the middle of kicking some serious confederate ass in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was a difficult time. The uniforms were wool and hot as shit.

Sherman, who only a year earlier at the battle of Shiloh, had three horses shot out from under him and wounded in his hand and shoulder, was reportedly experiencing hallucinations in that early summer Mississippi sun. Two years before, in 1861, he was relieved of his duties and found unfit to serve. But on this day in 1863, Sherman took a moment from the war he called hell and wrote a letter to his wife.

He was determined to suppress the confederates completely and felt few people understood how completely destructive the civil war would be. He wrote to his wife: Vox populi, vox humbug. It may have been a play on the phrase vox populi vox dei- which means the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Sherman’s though, means loosely: the voice of the people is the voice of deception. On this day, in 1863.