General William T. Sherman

By James Bradley 6-3-15
        William Tecumseh Sherman, born on February 8th, 1820, graduated from the United States Military Academy, finishing sixth among his class. Sherman saw little military action before the Civil War, since he was a superintendent at Louisiana Military Academy up until war broke out.  He resigned from his position and went to join the Union, where he was named Colonel of the 13th United States Infantry.  
        Sherman's first fought at the Battle of First Manassas, and even though he was defeated, he was promoted  to brigadier general.  He was then sent to Kentucky to help prevent the state from seceding, but after speaking out about how the war was not going to end quickly he was replaced. After winning the battle of Shiloh he was promoted to major general. He assisted in the capture of Vicksburg, and helped win the North win battle of Chattanooga.  He was then promoted to commander of the entire Western Theater
        Sherman, who famously stated "all war is hell" began to focus on destroying Confederate materials, as well as defeating the Southern people psychologicallyHe burned anything  that he thought could help the Confederacy, including a third of the city of Atlanta.  Sherman's success in Atlanta helped President Abraham Lincoln get reelected for a second term. After his success at Atlanta, he launched his famous "March to the Sea" campaign, marching his troops from Atlanta all the way to the city of Savannah, destroying everything in sight.  He then turned to march to South Carolina, where the war started, and also destroyed everything in sight.  Shortly after, he captured the city of Columbia and burned down a large amount of the city, just as he did in Atlanta and Savannah. Due to his radically new tactics of warfare, Sherman became to be known as the world's first modern general. 
        Sherman continued to fight, taking his troops to North Carolina, where he  defeated Confederate General  Joseph Johnston at the battle of Bentonville.  Johnston surrendered over all troops in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas to Sherman, which was the largest surrender of Confederate troops during the war. Sherman, who is best  remembered for coming up with the idea of "total war", remained in the military, were he eventually became a full general.  He served as general-in-chief from 1869 to 1883. Even though he passed away in 1891, Sherman's legacy lived on in the American designed M4 Sherman Tank, which was named after him .


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Sherman's March to the Sea

Work Cited
Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015. <>.