WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN AND HIS MARCH TO THE SEA William Tecumseh Sherman was born on May 8, 1820 in Lancaster,Ohio. He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy and later went on tobecome a Union General in the U.S. civil war. Sherman resigned from thearmy in 1853 and became a partner in a banking firm in San Francisco. Hebecame the president of the Military College in Louisiana(now Louisiana stateUniversity) from 1859-1861. Sherman offered his services at the outbreak ofthe Civil War in 1861 and was put in command of a volunteer infantryregiment, becoming a brigadier general of volunteers after the first Battle ofbull run. He led his division at the Battle of Shiloh and was then promoted tomajor general of volunteers. Soon after Sherman fought in the battle ofChattanooga he was made supreme commander of the armies in the west.Sherman fought many battles with such people as Ulysses S. Grant, andagainst people such as Robert E. Lee before he was commissioned lieutenantgeneral of the regular army. Following Grants election to presidency he waspromoted to the rank of full general and given command of the entire U.S.Army. William Sherman published his personal memoirs in 1875, retired in1883, and died in 1891.William Tecumseh Sherman, as you have read, was a very talented andvery successful man. He is remembered by many accomplishments, butprobably most remembered by his famous March to the sea. Sherman’smarch to the sea was probably the most celebrated military action, in whichabout sixty thousand men marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the Atlanticocean, then north through South Carolina destroying the last of the southseconomic resources.Bedford Forrest was in Tennessee, and with Atlanta secured, Shermandispatched George H. Thomas to Nashville to restore the order there. JohnB. Hood threatened Thomas’s supply line, and for about a month, they bothfought north of Atlanta. Sherman decided to do the complete opposite ofwhat the strategic plan laid down by Grant six months earlier had proposed todo. In that plan Grant had insisted that Confederate armies were the first andforemost objectives for Union strategy. What Sherman decided now was thathe would completely ignore the Confederate armies and go for the “spirit thatsustained the Confederate nation itself”, the homes, the property, thefamilies, and the food of the Southern heartland. He would march forSavannah, Georgia and the seacoast, abandoning his own line of supply, andlive off the land and harvests of the Georgia Country. Grant finally approvedSherman’s plan, so Sherman set off on his march eastward, “smashing thingsto the sea.” On November 15, 1864, Sherman began his march to the sea. “Ican make . . . Georgia howl!” he promised. Sherman left Atlanta, setting it up in flames as they left, with 62,000men, 55,000 of them on foot, 5,000 on cavalry horses, and about 2,000 ridingartillery horses. It was an army of 218 regiments, 184 of them from the West,and of these 155 were from the old Northwest Territory. This army wasremembered as a lean and strong one. The bulk of the army was made up ofGermans, Irish, Scotch, and English. Sherman and his army arrived inGeorgia where there was no opposition, and the march was very leisurely.The army fanned out widely, covering a sixty mile span from one side to theother. The army destroyed, demolished and crushed whatever got in theirway, the land, homes, buildings, and people. Bridges, railroads, machineshops, warehouses- anything of this nature that was in Shaman’s path wasburned and destroyed. As a result of this march eliminating a lot of the foodto feed the Confederate army and its animals, the whole Confederate wareffort would become weaker and weaker and weaker. Sherman went ontoward the sea while the Confederacy could do nothing.Sherman’s march to the sea was a demonstration that the Confederacycould not protect its own. Many agree that Sherman was too brutal and cruel during the march to the sea, but Sherman and his men were effectivelydemolishing the Confederate homeland, and that was all that mattered toSherman. Because Sherman “waged an economic war against civilians”, he hasbeen called the first modern general. Sherman is remembered by some as oneof the best generals of the U.S. Civil War, and by others(mainly whom live inthe south) as a cruel, brutal, horrible, and evil man. William TecumsehSherman is believed to have coined the phrase, “War is hell.” “There is manya boy here who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You canbear this warning voice to generations to come.”RESOURCES1. SHERMAN FIGHTING PROPHETBy LLOYD LEWISHARCOURT, BRACE ; WORLD, INC. NEW YORK 2. The AMERICAN HERITAGE Picture History of THE CIVILWAR VOLUME TWO By the Editors of AMERICAN HERITAGE3. Peoples Chronology, License from Henry Holt and Company, Inc4. The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press

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