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Essay/Term paper: William tecumseh sherman

Essay, term paper, research paper:  American Civil War

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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 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. 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 nothing.

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." RESOURCES 1.



2. The AMERICAN HERITAGE Picture History of THE

CIVIL WAR VOLUME TWO By the Editors of

AMERICAN HERITAGE 3. Peoples Chronology, License

from Henry Holt and Company, Inc 4. The Concise

Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press  

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