According to James McPherson, the preeminent Lincoln idolater/court historian, the U.S. Army murdered at least 50,000 civilian noncombatants during the War to Prevent Southern Independence, mostly women and children. Coming from McPherson, this is bound to be a gross underestimate. Entire cities like Atlanta were bombarded for days when cowardly psychopaths like General William Tecumseh Sherman knew that the city was populated only by civilians and that the bombardment was of no military significance. Lincoln knew of this all along, approved of it, and encouraged it by rewarding the most vicious murderers of civilians, terrorists like Sherman and Grant and Sheridan.
For generations, Americans have been kept in the dark about this with the "public" school textbooks never explaining the true, bloody history. Whenever the subject is brought up, it is dismissed out of hand by those magic words expressed by Sherman: "War is hell."
As Walter Brian Cisco wrote in his book, Waging War on Southern Civilians, based on the Official Records of the war, such rhetoric encourages more mass murder of civilians in the future. The moral thing to do is to loudly denounce all such barbaric acts if one wants to discourage rather than encourage such behavior in the future.
Which brings us to the official response of the U.S. Department of Defense to the mass murder of 16 Afghans recently by a U.S. soldier who apparently went on a walk in the countryside to "have some fun." Yesterday Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was on the network news explaining that: "War is hell." It has happened before and it will happen again, he said.
So fughettaboutit, as they say in New Jersey. Move along, nothing to see here.