William Tecumesh Sherman


He never commanded in a major Union victory and his military career had repeated ups and downs, but William T. Sherman is the second best known of Northern commanders. His father had died when he was nine years old, and sherman was raised by Senator Thomas Ewing and eventually married into the family. Through the infuluence of his patron, he obtained an appointment to West. Point. Oly five cadets of the class on 1840 graduated ahead of him, and he as appointed to the artillery. He recieved a brevet for his services in California during the Mexican War, but resigned in 1853 as a captain and commissary Officer.

The years until the Civil War were not filled with success. Living in California and Kanasas, he failed in banking and las. in 1859 he seemed to have found his niche as the supertintendent of a military academy with is now Louisiana State University.

His assignments during the war:

Colonel, 13th Infantry (1861) Commanding 3rd Brigade, 1st Divison Army of Northeastern Virginia, (1861), Brigadier General, USV (1861), Commanding Brigade Divison of the Potomas (1861) Second in Command, Department of the Cumberland (1861), Commanding the department (1861), commanding District of Cairo, Department of the Missouri (1862) Cp,,amdomg 5th Divison Army of the Tennesse, (1862), Major General USV (1862) Commanding 5th Division, District of Memphis, Army of the Tennessee, (1862) commanding 1st Divison of District of Memphis, Army of the Tennessee (1862), Also commanding District of Memphis, 13th Corps Army of the Tennessee (1862) commanding Yazoo Expediton, Army of the Tennessee (1863) commanding 2nd Corps Army of the Mississippi, (1863) commanding 15th Corps Army of the Tennessee (1863) Brigadier General, USA (1863) commanding Army and Department of the Tennessee (1864), Commanding Military Divison of the Mississippi (1865) Major General, USA (1864), Lieutenant General, USA (1866), General USA (1869) and Commander In Chief, USA (1869-1883).

He led the Meridian expediton and then succeeded Grant in overall command in the west. Facing Joseph E. Johnson Army, he forced at all the way back to Atlanta were the Condeferate was replaced by John B. Hood who launched three disatrous attacks against the Union Troops near the city. Eventually taking possession of Atlanta, Sherman ordered the population evacuated and the military value of the city destroyed. He then embarked on his march to the sea.

Taking Savannah, he announced the city as a Christmas gift to the president and the country. Marching north to aid Grant in the final drive against Richmond, he drove through the Carolinas and accepted Johnsons surrender at Durham Station. His terms were considered too liberal and touching upon political matters and they were dissapproved by Secretary of War Stanton. The surrender was agreed on the basis of the Appomattox surrender.

After the war he remained in the service, replacing Grant as commander in chief and retiring in 1884. He was noted for his absolute refusal to be drawn into politics.