William Tecumseh Sherman: Civil War General

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William Tecumseh Sherman

There were many great generals of the civil war. Grant, Lee, Jackson, all notable names. But one name that stands out is Sherman; William Tecumseh Sherman. W. S. Sherman was born February 8th, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio. He was raised by a family friend named Thomas Ewing. He had 10 siblings and was raised as a Christian. However, he was never much of a churchgoer and never used his formal christian name. Instead his friends called him "Cump." He went to school at West Point academy and graduated in 1840 a second lieutenant. He was a general of the Union army. He died in New York City on February 19, 1891.

Sherman believed that the Confederacy's strategic, economic, and psychological ability to wage further war had to be definitively crushed if the fighting were to end (Buck). By using "scorched earth" tactics he decimated the south's ability to fight. This form of warfare involved winning the battles then burning the crops and plantations as they pushed south. This left the southern economy crippled and barely able to supply their armies.

Sherman commanded one of the three corps in the siege of Vicksburg. After the fall of Vicksburg he operated successfully against Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. In October he was made commander of the Department of the Tennessee, and went with Grant to Chattanooga in the middle of November; was in the battle of Missionary Ridge and then moved to the relief of Burnside in east Tennessee (Gil).

Sherman was perhaps most famous for his March to the Sea, destroying all confederate property in a wide area across the South. After his capture of Atlanta in 1864, Sherman mobilized 62,000 of his troops and waged war across Georgia, from Atlanta to Savannah (Paul). Unhappy with the killing and maiming of Union and Confederate soldiers in combat blood baths, he decided on complete destruction, hoping to insure fewer casualties while helping bring the war to an end as quickly as possible. He...
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