William Tecumseh Sherman Was Born On May 8, 1820 In Lancaster, Essay

Ohio. He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy and later went on
to become a Union General in the U.S. civil war. Sherman resigned from
the army in 1853 and became a partner in a banking firm in San
Francisco. He became the president of the Military College in
Louisiana(now Louisiana state University) from 1859-1861. Sherman
offered his services at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 and was
put in command of a volunteer infantry regiment, becoming a brigadier
general of volunteers after the first Battle of bull run. He led his
division at the Battle of Shiloh and was then promoted to major
general of volunteers. Soon after Sherman fought in the battle of
Chattanooga he was made supreme commander of the armies in the west.

Sherman fought many battles with such people as Ulysses S. Grant, and
against people such as Robert E. Lee before he was commissioned
lieutenant general of the regular army. Following Grants election to
presidency he was promoted to the rank of full general and given
command of the entire U.S. Army. William Sherman published his
personal memoirs in 1875, retired in 1883, and died in 1891.

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William Tecumseh Sherman, as you have read, was a very
talented and very successful man. He is remembered by many
accomplishments, but probably most remembered by his famous March to
the sea. Sherman’s march to the sea was probably the most celebrated
military action, in which about sixty thousand men marched with
Sherman from Atlanta to the Atlantic ocean, then north through South
Carolina destroying the last of the souths economic resources.

Bedford Forrest was in Tennessee, and with Atlanta secured,
Sherman dispatched George H. Thomas to Nashville to restore the order
there. John B. Hood threatened Thomas’s supply line, and for about a
month, they both fought north of Atlanta. Sherman decided to do the
complete opposite of what the strategic plan laid down by Grant six
months earlier had proposed to do. In that plan Grant had insisted
that Confederate armies were the first and foremost objectives for
Union strategy. What Sherman decided now was that he would completely
ignore the Confederate armies and go for the “spirit that sustained
the Confederate nation itself”, the homes, the property, the families,
and the food of the Southern heartland. He would march for Savannah,
Georgia and the seacoast, abandoning his own line of supply, and live
off the land and harvests of the Georgia Country. Grant finally
approved Sherman’s plan, so Sherman set off on his march eastward,
“smashing things to the sea.” On November 15, 1864, Sherman began his
march to the sea. “I can make . . . Georgia howl!” he promised.

Sherman left Atlanta, setting it up in flames as they left,
with 62,000 men, 55,000 of them on foot, 5,000 on cavalry horses,
and about 2,000 riding artillery 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 was remembered as a lean and strong
one. The bulk of the army was made up of Germans, Irish, Scotch, and
English. Sherman and his army arrived in Georgia 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 the other. The
army destroyed, demolished and crushed whatever got in their way, the
land, homes, buildings, and people. Bridges, railroads, machine shops,
warehouses- anything of this nature that was in Shaman’s path was
burned and destroyed. As a result of this march eliminating
a lot of the food to feed the Confederate army and its animals, the
whole Confederate war effort would become weaker and weaker and
weaker. Sherman went on toward the sea while the Confederacy could do

Sherman’s march to the sea was a demonstration that the
Confederacy could 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 effectively demolishing the Confederate homeland, and that was
all that mattered to Sherman. Because Sherman “waged an economic war
against civilians”, he has been called the first modern general.

Sherman is remembered by some as one of the best generals of the U.S.

Civil War, and by others(mainly whom live in the south) as a cruel,
brutal, horrible, and evil man. William Tecumseh Sherman is believed
to have coined the phrase, “War is hell.” “There is many a boy here
who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You can bear
this warning voice to generations to come.”

3. Peoples Chronology, License from Henry Holt and Company, Inc
4. The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press


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