Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University?

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Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University
Sherman Before the Civil War – Sherman became a banker, but was overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of San Francisco, a city teeming with an influx of speculators. Sherman’s bank failed in 1857, and he briefly moved to Kansas, where he practiced law. Sherman returned to the South in 1859, when he accepted a position as superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy (now Louisiana State University ).

  • He was a popular headmaster and was very fond of the friends he made there.
  • Sherman was not an ardent opponent of slavery, but he was vehemently against the idea of Southern secession over the issue.
  • He repeatedly warned his Southern friends of the dangers they faced taking on the more prosperous, industrialized North, but to no avail.

He resigned his position after Louisiana seceded in January 1861. For several months, he worked as the president of a St. Louis streetcar company. After the Confederate States of America attacked Fort Sumter, Sherman worried that President Abraham Lincoln was not committing enough troops to bring the war to a swift end.
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What was General Sherman known for?

William Tecumseh Sherman, (born February 8, 1820, Lancaster, Ohio, U.S.—died February 14, 1891, New York, New York), American Civil War general and a major architect of modern warfare. He led Union forces in crushing campaigns through the South, marching through Georgia and the Carolinas (1864–65).
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What did Sherman do after the Civil War?

William Tecumseh Sherman, although not a career military commander before the war, would become one of “the most widely renowned of the Union’s military leaders next to U.S. Grant.” Sherman, one of eleven children, was born into a distinguished family.

His father had served on the Supreme Court of Ohio until his sudden death in 1829, leaving Sherman and his family to stay with several friends and relatives. During this period, Sherman found himself living with Senator Thomas Ewing, who obtained an appointment for Sherman to the United States Military Academy, and he graduated sixth in the class of 1840.

His early military career proved to be anything but spectacular. He saw some combat during the Second Seminole War in Florida, but unlike many of his colleagues, did not fight in the Mexican-American War, serving instead in California. As a result, he resigned his commission in 1853.

He took work in the fields of banking and law briefly before becoming the superintendent of the Louisiana Military Academy in 1859. At the outbreak of the Civil War, however, Sherman resigned from the academy and headed north, where he was made a colonel of the 13th United States Infantry. Sherman first saw combat at the Battle of First Manassas, where he commanded a brigade of Tyler’s Division.

Although the Union army was defeated during the battle, President Abraham Lincoln was impressed by Sherman’s performance and he was promoted to brigadier general on August 7, 1861, ranking seventh among other officers at that grade. He was sent to Kentucky to begin the Union task of keeping the state from seceding.

While in the state, Sherman expressed his views that the war would not end quickly, and he was replaced by Don Carlos Buell, Sherman was moved to St. Louis, where he served under Henry W. Halleck and completed logistical missions during the Union capture of Fort Donelson, During the Battle of Shiloh, Sherman commanded a division, but was overrun during the battle by Confederates under Albert Sydney Johnston,

Despite the incident, Sherman was promoted to major general of volunteers on May 1, 1862. After the battle of Shiloh, Sherman led troops during the battles of Chickasaw Bluffs and Arkansas Post, and commanded XV Corps during the campaign to capture Vicksburg,

At the Battle of Chattanooga Sherman faced off against Confederates under Patrick Cleburne in the fierce contest at Missionary Ridge. After Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to commander of all the United States armies, Sherman was made commander of all troops in the Western Theatre, and began to wage warfare that would bring him great notoriety in the annals of history.

By 1864 Sherman had become convinced that preservation of the Union was contingent not only on defeating the Southern armies in the field but, more importantly, on destroying the Confederacy’s material and psychological will to wage war. To achieve that end, he launched a campaign in Georgia that was defined as “modern warfare”, and brought “total destructionupon the civilian population in the path of the advancing columns,” Commanding three armies, under George Henry Thomas, James B.

McPherson, and John M. Schofield, he used his superior numbers to consistently outflank Confederate troops under Joseph E. Johnston, and captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864. The success of the campaign ultimately helped Lincoln win reelection. After the fall of Atlanta, Sherman left the forces under Thomas and Schofield to continue to harass the Confederate Army of Tennessee under John Bell Hood,

Meanwhile, Sherman cut off all communications to his army and commenced his now-famous “March to the Sea,” leaving in his wake a forty to sixty mile-wide path of destruction through the heartland of Georgia. On December 21, 1864 Sherman wired Lincoln to offer him an early Christmas present: the city of Savannah,

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell. – William Tecumseh Sherman Following his successful campaign through Georgia, Sherman turned his attentions northward and began marching through the Carolinas, chasing the Confederates under the command of Joseph E.

Johnston, He continued his campaign of destruction, in particular targeting South Carolina for their role in seceding from the Union first. He captured Columbia, South Carolina, on February 17, 1865, setting many fires which would consume large portions of the city.

He went on to defeat the forces of Johnston in North Carolina during the Battle of Bentonville, and eventually accepted the surrender of Johnston and all troops in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas on April 26, 1865, becoming the largest surrender of Confederate troops during the war. After the war, Sherman remained in the military and eventually rose to the rank of full general, serving as general-in-chief of the army from 1869 to 1883.

Praised for his revolutionary ideas on “total warfare,” William T. Sherman died in 1891.
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Was General Sherman good or bad?

Speaking at the 1880 reunion of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union general best known for his destructive march through the Confederacy’s heartland uttered the words that would be reshaped for posterity: “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys,” the 60-year-old William Tecumseh Sherman declared, “it is all hell.” Remembered more pithily as “War is hell,” the phrase distilled a sentiment that Sherman had voiced on many occasions, including once before the mayor and town council of Atlanta after he had brought that key Confederate city to its knees.

  1. The fact that this grand master of scorched-earth devastation abhorred war was, in his mind, neither an irony nor a contradiction.
  2. Sherman simply saw his approach to war as the best way of limiting its lethal potential.
  3. Others, and not only partisans of the Confederacy, see it differently.
  4. To them, Sherman’s devastating march through the South opened the way to the kind of warfare that culminated in World War II.

Called total war, it goes beyond combat between opposing military forces to include attacks, both deliberate and indiscriminate, upon civilians and non-military targets. But was Sherman truly responsible for the strategic rationale that we now associate with the bombings of London, Dresden, and even Hiroshima? It is a question that historians continue to debate.

  1. Sherman arrived on the world stage in much the same way his fellow officer and eventual commander, Ulysses S.
  2. Grant, did.
  3. Both were native Ohioans who went to West Point.
  4. Both served for several years before giving civilian life a try.
  5. Both had a hard time out of uniform, although Sherman ended up as the very able superintendent of a Louisiana military institute (forerunner of Louisiana State University) until that state’s secession forced him to resign and go back north.

Unlike Grant, Sherman had not served in the Mexican War, where so many future Union and Confederate officers underwent their baptism by fire. Instead, he had been stationed in Florida (in the Second Seminole War) and several southern states, acquiring a knowledge of people and topography that would serve him well in the war to come.

  1. Sherman was a brave and inspiring leader, a brilliant strategist if not a great tactician, and one of the few Union officers who comported themselves well during the disastrous Battle of Bull Run.
  2. Yet he was prone to melancholy and could be carried away by his worst imaginings.
  3. Early in the war, he so exaggerated the size of Confederate forces in Kentucky that he had a nervous breakdown.

But Sherman knew his limitations and weaknesses. When he was offered commands above his friend Grant, he refused and insisted on serving under him. “Sherman looked at Grant and concluded that he was a better general, who had the whole package,” says historian John Marszalak, a professor emeritus at Mississippi State University and author of several books on Sherman.

Grant only worried about what he saw in front of him, whereas Sherman worried about things over the next hill.” After the first day of the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, Grant’s reply to Sherman’s evaluation of the nearly disastrous outcome was typical: “Yes. Lick ’em tomorrow, though.” Carnage. The two men proceeded to give the Confederates a licking throughout much of what was known as the Western Theater, achieving great successes (notably in Chattanooga and Vicksburg) that largely eluded Union generals back in the East.

Experiences in this theater had a decisive effect on Sherman’s emerging vision of what was necessary to win the war. The primary lesson was the sheer carnage of combat, with 23,700 combatants left dead, wounded, or missing after the Battle of Shiloh alone (2,000 of whom were in Sherman’s division).

Appalled by the numbers, Sherman grew even angrier at what he considered the irregular warfare of the Confederates, including guerrilla attacks and the mistreatment and murder of Union prisoners. Sherman also felt that Southerners, many of whom he had befriended before the war, were personally and collectively responsible for the treasonous split.

Why, he increasingly questioned, should the society that initiated the war not be made directly mindful of its cost? Foreshadowing his full-blown policy, Sherman tore down houses in one Kentucky village to rebuild a bridge that retreating Confederates had destroyed.

  1. When the villagers requested vouchers for repayment, Sherman told them to bill the Confederacy.
  2. That view only hardened with time.
  3. When Abraham Lincoln summoned Grant to Washington to assume command of all Union armies, Grant put Sherman in charge of the Military Division of the Mississippi.
  4. Grant urged Sherman not to go after territory but to pursue the Confederate forces and destroy them.

It was counsel that Sherman, his sights set on Atlanta, quietly ignored. Indeed, apart from one disastrous battle with Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston’s army, Sherman conducted brilliant maneuvers around his foe, all the while protecting the railroad lines that conveyed some 1,300 tons of supplies a day to support his three moving armies.

The fall of Atlanta on Sept.2, 1864, was not just the conquest of a crucial urban transportation hub between the upper and lower South. It also saved Lincoln from certain electoral defeat and made Sherman a Union hero. Not resting on his laurels, Sherman launched his most famous campaign: the March to the Sea.

He decided to forsake supply lines behind him and instead plunder his way to Savannah, feeding his 60,000 troops with what his foraging “bummers” collected from farms and destroying anything that directly supported the war effort or the institution of slavery (including dogs, notoriously used for tracking escaped slaves).

His goal, as he put it bluntly, was to “make Georgia howl.” After taking Savannah, Sherman persuaded Grant to let him proceed through the Carolinas, expressly to punish the state (South Carolina) that had led secession. Grant, who had wanted Sherman to bring his army north by sea, relented. So was it total war? Many Southern partisans have claimed so because it was unnecessary.

The war had been lost even before the March to the Sea began. And the restraints that Sherman had imposed on his army in Georgia were loosened during the march through South Carolina, leading, some charge, to the fires that razed Columbia. (Recent scholarship reveals multiple causes: accidental fires set by drunken Yankees and fires set by retreating Confederates, all fanned by freakishly strong winds).

  • Even nonpartisan historians acknowledge that the collateral damage increased.
  • It was at least a step in the direction of total war,” says Princeton’s noted Civil War historian James McPherson, “because so many civilians suffered and some went hungry.
  • And really had it in for South Carolinians.” Psychological.

But as both McPherson and Marszalek emphasize, a lot depends on how you define total war. To Marszalek, Sherman’s way of war fell short of total because it had limits and never targeted civilians directly. Both historians also agree that Sherman’s greatest innovation was in psychological warfare.

Sherman came to the conclusion,” says Marszalek, “that the best way to end the war was not to continue the bloody head-to-head fighting but to convince Southerners through destructive and psychological warfare that their government could not defend them.and that the Confederacy itself was, in Sherman’s words, ‘a hollow shell.'” Even though he helped make war a greater hell, Sherman never doubted its necessity.

Three years after delivering his famous remarks, he spoke just as directly from the heart: “Wars are not all evil; they are part of the grand machinery by which this world is governed, thunderstorms which purify the political atmosphere, test the manhood of a people, and prove whether they are worthy to take rank with others engaged in the same task by different methods.”
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Why was Sherman important to Union victory?

The Fall of Atlanta – General Sherman’s troops captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864. This was an important triumph, because Atlanta was a railroad hub and the industrial center of the Confederacy: It had munitions factories, foundries and warehouses that kept the Confederate army supplied with food, weapons and other goods.
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Why Sherman was a good leader?

Book Details – General William Tecumseh Sherman famously said “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.” This statement has contributed to his mythic status as a grim-visaged Civil War character who embodied implacable war. Utilizing unique and highly successful maneuvering techniques, Sherman was an original, decisive, and efficient leader.

  1. Rising steadily through the ranks during the Civil War, Sherman quickly became Ulysses S.
  2. Grant’s right hand man.
  3. He went on to lead the Union capture of Atlanta, a major victory that contributed to Lincoln’s reelection during a tough phase of the war.
  4. Legend has him burning a sixty-mile-wide swath of desolation across the South, but while he held the harsh view that the Southern people must feel the pain of the war if it were ever to end, he also showed courtesy and restraint to those Southerners he encountered and strictly limited the destruction to strategic targets.

An integral component to the North’s success, Sherman was directed and single-minded in his pursuit of Union victory and a re-united country. Acclaimed Civil War historian Steven E. Woodworth delivers a nuanced, insightful portrait of General Sherman, as a man who shied away from the spotlight and only wanted the war to end as quickly as possible.
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Why was William Sherman a good general?

A brilliant leader who understood well the impact that war has on soldiers and societies, Sherman was credited by Liddell-Hart as being the first ‘modern’ general. But as the architect of a brutal campaign that severly weakened the Confederacy, Sherman also invoked fear and anger from enemies and friends alike.
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Why was Sherman a hero?

General William T. Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman was a soldier, businessman, teacher, and author who served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War and afterward led troops against the Indians in the American West. Born Tecumseh Sherman in Lancaster, Ohio on February 8, 1820, to Judge Charles Robert Sherman and Mary Hoyt Sherman, William was one of 11 children.

His father died when he was nine, and he was taken in and raised by a family friend. He joined the Military Academy at West Point at the age of 16. Upon graduation in 1840, he entered the Army as a second lieutenant and saw action in the Second Seminole War (1840-1842). Later, he would serve in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

In 1853, Sherman resigned from his military commission and became president of a bank in San Francisco. However, the bank failed in the financial panic of 1857. Afterward, he practiced law in Leavenworth, Kansas, a venture that was unsuccessful. In 1859, he accepted a job as the first superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, which he held until the outbreak of the Civil War, Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Battle of Atlanta, Georgia He distinguished himself as a division commander at Shiloh, Tennessee, and thus was promoted to major general in May 1862. After the occupation of Memphis, he took command of the District of Memphis from October through December 1862.

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After his defeat at Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi, he served in the capture of Arkansas Post. When General Ulysses S. Grant assumed supreme command in the West, Sherman became commander of the Army of the Tennessee. He commanded the Union left in the Chattanooga campaign before he moved to Knoxville to the relief of General Burnside.

In March 1864, when Grant became Commanding General, Sherman succeeded him as supreme commander in the West. His Atlanta campaign resulted in the fall of that city on September 2, 1864. Sherman burned through the city and, with 60,000 men, began his famous march to the sea,

  • Savannah, Georgia, fell on December 21.
  • In February 1865, Sherman started northward through South Carolina,
  • In North Carolina, General Joseph E.
  • Johnston opposed Sherman in engagements at Averasboro and Bentonville, but Johnson surrendered to Sherman after hearing of General Robert E.
  • Lee’s surrender.
  • When the Civil War was over, General Ulysses S.

Grant promoted Sherman first to Lieutenant General in 1866 and Commanding General of the U.S. Army in 1869 when Grant became President. Operating in the West, he deployed troops to protect transcontinental railroad workers from Indians who feared that the railroad would mean further encroachment on their territory.

  1. He also established military outposts across the region, expanding the network of federal authority.
  2. The general who marched through Georgia during the Civil War was not the sort who would go easy on the Indians,
  3. Sherman believed Indians should be punished for their atrocities, put on reservations, and forced to stay there.

He continued with his philosophy directing a series of campaigns that finally crushed Indian resistance. He perceived the devastating effects of striking at the economic basis of the Plains Indians ‘ lives. By aggressively killing the buffalo and attacking Indian encampments during the winter, he weakened his enemy when their supplies and mobility were limited. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Sherman’s March through South Carolina © Kathy Alexander / Legends of America, updated December 2021. Also See: The Civil War Indian War Campaigns and Battles Sherman’s famous March to the Sea The Union in the Civil War I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine.
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What was the outcome of Sherman’s march?

Casualties and aftermath – Sherman’s March to the Sea spanned some 285 miles (459 km) over 37 days. His armies sustained more than 1,300 casualties, with the Confederacy suffering roughly 2,300. Between 17,000 and 25,000 enslaved Black people were freed while on the march, including more than 7,500 in and around Savannah.

The economic impact of the march was staggering. Sherman estimated a total Confederate economic loss of $100 million (more than $1.5 billion in the 21st century) in his official campaign report. In 1870, five years after the war’s end, the South’s overall agricultural output was 28 percent of the nation’s total output, some 10 percent below prewar levels.

Some economists have measured residual agricultural effects lasting through 1920. Together with Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea may have tipped the scales of victory toward the Union. The pacification of Georgia cut the Confederacy in half and denied the insurgent states much of their former industrial and agricultural capacity.

This had significant ramifications across their remaining military operations. Desertions soared as news of Georgia’s devastation began to reach the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, which was engaged in some of the war’s most intense combat. In South Carolina Sherman waged a new scorched-earth campaign with a vengeance reserved for the first state to have seceded from the Union.

Less than six months later Gen. Robert E. Lee would surrender to the Union at Appomattox Court House and bring a formal end to the American Civil War. Apart from its economic and military payoff, the march’s impact may have lingered longest in the Southern psyche.

  1. The destruction of Georgia displayed the unfettered might of the Union war machine.
  2. Confederate morale reached new lows as Sherman burned his way east.
  3. Civilian accounts describe the terror of encountering Sherman’s foraging parties and the unauthorized bands of bummers.
  4. Locals experienced a sense of growing dread as they anticipated the main columns advancing through their property and seizing everything of value,

In the hearts of Georgians, Sherman left behind a smoldering resentment of the North that persisted well into the 20th century. In addition to its effects on Georgia and the South, Sherman’s March to the Sea revolutionized the military tactics of his time.

Many scholars of military history contend that his psychological warfare was one of the first modern examples of total war. His focus on crushing civilian morale presaged the bloody World Wars of the 20th century. Like the morale-focused campaigns of future generals, Sherman’s march squeezed out a victory with ruthless precision.

Myles Hudson
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Was Sherman a hero or a war criminal?

By the end of this section, you will: –

Explain the various factors that contributed to the Union victory in the Civil War

Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s actions after the capture of Atlanta and his subsequent March to the Sea are sometimes seen as anticipating the pattern of total war in the twentieth century. Some have claimed that Sherman was a war criminal, authorizing plunder and looting of civilian property.

  1. But the matter is more complex than either of these charges indicate.
  2. In fact, Sherman’s actions were the culmination of a Union policy toward civilians that evolved during the course of the war.
  3. Initially, the Union adhered to a policy of “conciliation,” waging a somewhat limited war based on the notion that the majority of individuals in the seceded states did not support the breakup of the Union and that the governments of these states were illegal and did not represent their people’s will.

Thus, early in the Rebellion, Union generals ordered their soldiers to respect the private property, including slaves, of all civilians, even those who were actively working against them. Even such generals as Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, who later advocated “hard war,” adhered to the policy of conciliation.

Conciliation seemed to be working until George McClellan’s stalemate on the Virginia peninsula in the early summer of 1862 and the emergence of Robert E. Lee, whose subsequent victories substantially strengthened the rebellion. As a result, Union generals such as Henry Halleck in Missouri and Benjamin Butler in New Orleans began to use what historians have called “pragmatic” policies, treating Unionists and those who were neutral better than they treated those who opposed the Union.

The prominence of guerrilla warfare in Missouri and Tennessee meant that pragmatic policies took hold more quickly in the West than in Virginia. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Champ Ferguson, pictured here in an 1850s photograph, was a Southern guerrilla fighter. He and his company of men attacked civilians who held Union sympathies in Tennessee during the war. Upon his capture, Ferguson was executed for alleged war crimes. By 1863, pragmatism began to give way to “hard war,” according to which Southerners who were identified as secessionists were the target of “directed severity,” a policy characterized by destruction of public property but also by a general unwillingness to harm civilians.

Like pragmatism, hard war gained traction earlier in the West than it did in the East. A milestone of sorts was reached in early 1863 when General Halleck published General Order 100, which provided “a generalized set of regulations” regarding the legal aspects of conducting war. The document, signed by President Lincoln in April 1863, authorized hard war but placed clear limits on its conduct.

The Vicksburg Campaign signaled the beginning of the Union’s hard war policy, permitting whatever was necessary including the destruction of civilian property to bring the conflict to an end. During the Vicksburg Campaign, Grant lived off the land for a time, allowing his army to take what it needed from civilians in its path.

Approximately seven months after the fall of Vicksburg, Sherman applied the “hard hand of war” against central Mississippi during the Meridian operation. This operation was different in that, for the first time, Sherman instructed Union troops to wage a war of destruction, leaving civilians with enough for survival but not enough to support military activity.

The Meridian operation, which provided a blueprint for Sherman’s March to the Sea, was also an example of psychological warfare, meant to destroy any hope the people might have had of a Confederate victory. In September 1863, Sherman laid out his emerging philosophy in a long letter to Halleck. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, pictured here in 1865 in uniform, led the destructive March to the Sea that caused millions of dollars in damages in Georgia. It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness; that it has been attended by no force, and that no women or children have suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors and friends.

My real reasons for this step were, we want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation. We want to contract the lines of defenses so as to diminish the garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital parts instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs. This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by families as residences.

Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended and fairly captured. As captors we have a right to it. The residence here of a poor population would compel us sooner or later to feed them or see them starve under our eyes. The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and hurtful to our cause.

Sherman’s correspondence with Halleck also included the letters he exchanged with the Confederate commander General John Bell Hood. Sherman wrote: You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.

I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war.

The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling. After the fall of Atlanta, Sherman asked for and received permission from Grant to march to Savannah. On this march, Sherman deployed 62,000 troops in two wings.

He departed Atlanta on November 15 and, for the next month, he cut a swath of destruction 60 miles wide from Atlanta to Savannah, systematically destroying anything that could benefit the Rebel military effort. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University This 1864 photograph shows Union forces destroying a railroad in Atlanta by pulling up the railroad ties. Sherman’s goal was to “make Georgia howl.” “We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and we must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.” The hard war was here for Georgia.

  • We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people of the South, but we can make war so terrible,
  • Make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” Sherman contended that the United States and its representatives had the right to “remove and destroy every obstacle if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper that all who do not aid are enemies, and we will not account to them for our acts.” Some still believe Sherman’s army burned every home in its path.

In fact, although the men destroyed public buildings, they largely left individual homes intact. But the myth of terrible destruction, rather than the truth of directed severity, has persisted. The March to the Sea was meant to demonstrate to Southern civilians that “they could be hurt” and that “the Confederate government was powerless to protect them.” It was also meant as a policy to end the horrific Civil War, which had killed more than 600,000 soldiers.
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Why were Sherman’s so weak?

A Poor Defense: Sherman tanks in WW2 Contributed by Nicholas Hopkins A Glimpse of the lives of American soldiers constructed with materials of the 3 rd Armored Division Archives, housed at the University of Illinois Archives Research Center. “Sherman Tank” RS 26/20/70, MMischnick Sherman, Germany, February, 15-26, 1945.

Experiencing WWII from the inside of a M4 Sherman tank was famously dangerous. Henry J. Earl retells his experience with the Sherman in a 1983 letter to Lt Colonel Haynes Dugan, one of the G-2 intelligence officers for the 3 rd Armored Division. The hit was low on the side. The interior of the tank was lit by a ball of fire caused by the terrific friction of the penetration.

A white hot eighteen pound projectile entered the empty ammunition rack under the floor. The earlier modes of the M-4 “Sherman” medium tank did not store ammunition under the turret floor. The steel walls of the compartment prevented the molten metal from striking the interior of the hulland ricocheting throughout the tank.

This saved the crew.” Unfortunately, many Sherman operators of WWII were not this lucky. The M4 Sherman was the primary tank utilized by the United States army during World War Two. It also became the main tank of the other Allied countries, except for Russia. The popularity of the Sherman was not due to its superior design, but its availability and mass production.

On the contrary, this tank suffered from serious design flaws. Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that it was the soldiers within these tanks that bore the brunt of the Sherman’s problems. Sherman tanks first saw action in North Africa in 1942. At the time they fared well against the German equivalent tank, the Panzer IV.

  • It was for this reason that the Army thought the Sherman would be able to hold its own during the invasion of Normandy and into Europe.
  • This was not the case.
  • Death Traps, Belton Cooper’s aptly name book about American armored divisions in WW2 evidences this fact.
  • The 3rd Armored Division entered combat in Normandy with 232 M4 Sherman tanks.

During the European Campaign, the Division had some 648 Sherman tanks completely destroyed in combat and we had another 700 knocked out, repaired and put back into operation. This was a loss rate of 580 percent.” “German Tiger Tank” RS 26/20/76 MMischnick, France, Aug.27-Sept.2, 1944.

Sherman tanks were not nearly as efficient or as armored as the primary German tank, the Panzer IV. This was a fact even before the upgrading of Panzer gun barrels and armor in 1943. Shermans were under-gunned when fighting German Tiger tanks and out-maneuvered when facing German Panther tanks. These disparities are shown in an account of the famous Lt.

Colonel William B. Lovelady, commander of the 3 rd Armored Division’s 2 nd Battalion, retold by Lt. Colonel Haynes Dugan. “One of his Shermans turned the corner of a house and got off three shots at the front of a Panther, all bounced off. The Sherman then backed behind the corner and was disabled by a shot penetrating two sides of the house plus the tank.” Because of their insufficient armor, the insides of Sherman tanks were prone to catching fire during combat.

  • This problem was compounded when fires ignited shells and other munitions inside a tank.
  • Sherman M4’s were jokingly referred to by British soldiers as “Ronsons”, a brand of lighter whose slogan was “Lights up the first time, every time!” Polish soldiers referred to them simply as “The Burning Grave”.

In the course of the war, tactics of coordination, as well as better ammo storage systems, were implemented to reduce the tank’s many deficits. Armored divisions also kept very efficient repair crews. The faults of the Sherman were also balanced by the sheer number that could be manufactured and the speed of this production.

  • Regardless of the reasons for the Sherman’s problems, individuals of the Third Armored division dealt with them in their daily lives.
  • The Sherman M4 medium tank proved to be both a “death trap” for American soldiers and a poor defense against German tanks.
  • However, its use by almost all of the Allied Forces was crucial to their ultimate success in WWII.

Clearly, the 3rd Armored Division Archives can lend perspective to both the heroic, and dangerous, actions of WWII and the most frustrating aspects of quotidian Army life. By utilizing the archives’ many personal stories of soldiers and the wide range of supplementary documents, one can find an answer or discover a brand new set of questions within the 3 rd Armored Division Archives.

If you would like to listen to 3rd Armored Division Staff Sergeant Anthony Hufnagel describe his experience with the Sherman M4, listen to these two audio files:

Letter to a Mr. von der Weiden from Henry J. Earl (1983). Haynes Dugan Papers, Record Series 26/20/76, Box 1, Folder, Jan-June, 1985. Cooper, Belton. Death Traps, Random House, 1998. xii. Correspondence from Haynes Dugan to Walter Stitt. Book Review, Record Series 26/20/76, Box 10, Folder 1998, January-September, p.2.
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Did Sherman invent total war?

Sherman’s March to the Sea (also known as the Savannah campaign or simply Sherman’s March ) was a military campaign of the American Civil War conducted through Georgia from November 15 until December 21, 1864, by William Tecumseh Sherman, major general of the Union Army,

The campaign began on November 15 with Sherman’s troops leaving Atlanta, recently taken by Union forces, and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. His forces followed a ” scorched earth ” policy, destroying military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property, disrupting the Confederacy’s economy and transportation networks,

The operation debilitated the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender. Sherman’s decision to operate deep within enemy territory without supply lines was unusual for its time, and the campaign is regarded by some historians as an early example of modern warfare or total war,
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What city is General Sherman most famous for destroying?

On November 15, 1864, U.S. forces led by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burned nearly all of the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia. This event occurred near the end of the U.S. Civil War during which 11 states in the American South seceded from the rest of the nation.

The Confederate States of America was formed to maintain the institution of enslaving people of African descent. More than 3,000 buildings (including businesses, hospitals, homes, and schools) were destroyed. The Atlanta Campaign aimed to cut off Atlanta’s vital supply lines that provided Confederate troops with reinforcements, ammunition, and goods such as clothes, first-aid medicines, and equipment.

As Atlanta lay smoldering, Sherman and his troops began their audacious, infamous “March to the Sea,” a massive scorched-earth campaign that ended in the port city of Savannah, Georgia, on December 21.
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What city did Sherman not burn?

Time Travel: Why did Sherman spare Savannah? One of the great enduring mysteries locked in the history of Savannah is why Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman chose not to burn down the city of Savannah. Sherman sought approval from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, then in command of all Union armies, and President Abraham Lincoln for his plan to march his army of 60,000-62,000 soldiers from Atlanta to Savannah. After some initial misgivings and reluctance, both Grant and Lincoln approved the strategy. About mid-November 1864 Sherman started his infamous “March To The Sea.” Sherman allegedly declared that “Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses and people will cripple their military resources. I can make the march and make Georgia howl!” (‘Sherman’s March’ by Burke Davis) He further articulated his intent was “to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses and make them fear and dread us.” How did this Civil War campaign play out? Did Sherman torch everything in his path? No. This was not a “scorched earth” mission, even though there was a ton of destruction by his forces. More than 300 miles of rail lines in 40 counties of central Georgia were rendered useless, some of it becoming labeled “Sherman’s neckties” for the end product of the Union efforts. One account indicates that by the end of the march, roughly 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, 13,000 head of cattle and millions of pounds of corn and fodder had been seized by Sherman’s men. The plundering of the towns of Georgia became widespread and on occasion Southern women were raped. Confederate soldiers avenged these atrocities and lettered messages were affixed to the slain perpetrators warning “Death To All Foragers” (Sherman’s March). Union soldiers themselves executed such offenders also. Some cities were burned by Sherman while others were not. What about Savannah? Why was it spared? Many interesting theories have been advanced, some more credible than others. First, it is suggested that the Northern general had a girlfriend who lived in Savannah and this led him to exercise the restraint. One of my fellow tour guides quickly debunks this notion by rhetorically asking his patrons if they have ever seen pictures of the general. Pictures and historical descriptions of Sherman are not very flattering. Vanity just didn’t seem to enter into his persona, unlike that of General Hugh Kilpatrick of the Union. Secondly, it is alleged that Savannah was spared because the city was too beautiful to burn. Thirdly, some stories forward the notion that a mason rode out to ask for leniency knowing that Sherman was a member of that brotherhood, too. Another theory is that a deal had already been struck and approved by Sherman. Brigadier Gen. John W. Geary and the mayor of Savannah, Dr. Richard Arnold, had met and settled upon terms of surrender of the city. The city would surrender without resistance in exchange for the promise by Geary to protect the city’s citizens and their property. Geary telegraphed Sherman and the latter accepted the terms. Thus, the protection of property could easily be interpreted to foreclose any thoughts of setting fire to the city. One group of scholars says we have the U.S. Department of the Treasury to thank for the decision not to ignite the town. Treasury agent A.G. Browne arrived in town several days before Christmas 1864 for the purpose of laying claim to certain highlights of the spoils (including 25,000-38,000 bales of cotton) captured by the Union. It was really his idea that Sherman should present the city as a gift to Lincoln. Sherman agreed. Why destroy it if you are going to gift wrap it? Probably the most compelling reason, in the opinion of this writer, is the one offered by Burke Davis in his aforementioned book: Savannah was a port and as such an invaluable prize as a naval base and supply center. A “Federal garrison there would not only solidify the gains it would close to the enemy one more port to which blockade-runners had been bringing supplies to keep the Confederacy alive.” Having said all that, maybe we have assumed a fact not in evidence – that the city of Savannah was actually spared. There was, in fact, a huge fire that destroyed 100-200 buildings and killed several people in Savannah on the night of January 27-28, 1865, according to the Savannah Daily Herald. This fire was thought to be caused by an incendiary device but there was no definitive answer as to who may have started it, according to author Derek Smith of “Civil War Savannah.” Union men were still occupying the city at the time and some officers assisted in fighting the fire. Sherman had already left town before the fire occurred. Sometimes there are no answers, just more questions! Dean Coon owns Travel Thru Time Tours in Savannah. Contact him at [email protected] or 912-335-8496. : Time Travel: Why did Sherman spare Savannah?
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What was the only thing Sherman did wrong was stop?

The only thing Sherman did wrong was stop at the sea.
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What are 5 facts about Sherman’s march to the sea?

Sherman’s March to the Sea Quick Facts | Ohio Civil War

Also known as: Savannah Campaign Date: November 15 – December 21, 1864″Location: Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia Location: Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia” Notable engagements: Battle of Griswoldville (November 22), Buck Head Creek (November 28), Waynesboro (December 4), Honey Hill (November 30)Principal Union commander(s): Major General William T. Sherman (overall), Major General Oliver O. Howard, Major General Henry W. Slocum, Brigadier General Judson KilpatrickPrincipal Confederate commander(s): Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, Major General Joseph Wheeler Union forces engaged: Army of the Tennessee, Army of GeorgiaConfederate forces engaged: Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Confederate militiaNumber of Union soldiers engaged: Roughly 62,000 Number of Confederate soldiers engaged: Roughly 12,500Estimated Union casualties: UndeterminedEstimated Confederate casualties: Undetermined Result: Union victoryIn a telegram to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, dated October 9, 1864, Major General William T. Sherman stated that he would “make Georgia howl” during his March to the Sea.The Union army traveled in two columns as it moved across Georgia during Sherman’s March to the Sea; the right wing was the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Major General Oliver O. Howard, and the left wing was the Army of Georgia, commanded by Major General Henry W. Slocum. Major General William T. Sherman’s personal escort on the Sherman’s March to the Sea was the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, a unit made up entirely of Southerners who remained loyal to the Union.The depleted Confederate forces in the South were able to offer little resistance to the Union army as it cut a swath of destruction across Georgia during Sherman’s March to the Sea.Major General William T. Sherman estimated that the March to the Sea inflicted about $100 million in damages to the South (about $1.378 billion in 2010 dollars). Historian Lee Kennett calculated that Sherman’s troops wrecked 300 miles of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines; seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle; confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder; and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills during the March to the Sea.The path of destruction the Union arm cut as it moved across Georgia during Sherman’s March to the Sea was about 60 miles wide and about 250 miles long.After occupying Savannah, Georgia at the conclusion of the March to the Sea, Major General William T. Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.”

: Sherman’s March to the Sea Quick Facts | Ohio Civil War
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Why was the Sherman better than a tiger?

A tank veteran on Fury: ‘Very realistic, but it can’t show the full horror of war I first met Bill about five years ago in his local pub following a Remembrance Day service in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. Recently widowed, he sat in the corner on his own, nursing his pint.

We struck up a conversation about the war and over time became firm friends. Bill was called up in 1942 and joined the Essex Yeomanry where he trained as a radio operator, later being assigned to Sherman tanks. Aged 21, he was one of the first ashore on D-Day, tasked with firing at a German gun emplacement defending the village of Le Hamel, before rejoining his tank.

Within 45 minutes, he’d been shot by a German sniper hiding in the adjacent field. The soldier next to him was killed. Bill played dead, his colleague slumped on top of him. His leg bears the scar to this day. I lay there on the beach in a pool of my own blood for 10 hours. Bill in June, revisiting Gold beach. Photograph: Nicolas Milton/The Guardian Within six weeks of being repatriated to Britain, Bill was back on the front line, fighting his way into Germany in a Sherman tank. In March 1945 he was one of the first people across the Rhine in a floating “Duplex Drive” Sherman. The cast of Fury. Photograph: Giles Keyte Set over 24 hours in April 1945, Fury follows the fortunes of a Sherman tank commander called Don “Wardaddy” Collier () and his crew as they find themselves behind enemy lines, outgunned and outnumbered, in a desperate last pitched battle to the death.

Much of the movie tracks the evolving relationship between Wardaddy and Norman “Cobb” Ellison (Logan Lerman), a fresh recruit shocked by the reality of war.Bill was also the youngest in his tank and had a very close relationship with his crew. But they were better disciplined than those in Fury. I was in the Essex Yeomanry, a territorial regiment.

All the crew were from Essex except me. It took us a while to get along but then I trusted them implicitly with my life. We fought along side the Americans in their Sherman tanks and I found them to be very brave. We didn’t write the name of our tank on the barrel like they did in Fury or plaster the inside with photographs but we were just as proud of our tank. The start of the Hayfield Battle in Fury. Photograph: Giles Keyte Director David Ayer has spoken of the lengths gone to for maximum verisimilitude, with computer graphics eschewed save for the laser beams used to show tracer fire. Though Oxfordshire doubles for Germany in terms of location, Ayer was able to use a real German Tiger 131 tank, the only working model in the world, captured from the Germans on the secret orders of Winston Churchill (and currently housed at Bovington).

For Bill, the scene in which this Tiger tank takes on three US counterparts was the most realistic part of the film. Fury accurately portrays how superior the German tanks were. A Sherman provided you with protection against most enemy fire but against a Tiger it could easily become your coffin. I remember a very near miss where an eight cm shell from a Tiger tank went within inches of our turret and we decided not to stay around too long after that.

In open combat we never had a chance. So, like in Fury, we always had to be one step ahead. It was only because we could call up air strikes and had many more tanks than the Germans that we eventually won. The Tiger Tank in Fury. Photograph: Giles Keyte As the film makes clear, a Sherman tank was a lightweight in comparison to a Tiger. The Sherman weighed 33 tonnes and had a 75mm gun, compared to the Tiger’s 54 tonnes and a 88mm gun. A Tiger also had 3.9 inch thick armour, so shells from a Sherman literally bounced off it.

In response to an attack from a Tiger, Wardaddy yells: “It will end soon. But before it does, a lot more people gotta die.” Again, says Bill – quite right. Though the film can’t go far enough. Fury shows just how vulnerable you were fighting in a Sherman tank. There is a lot of blood and gore in the film but nothing can really come close to the true horrors of tank warfare.

I saw people being blown up and burnt alive. Going to see Fury you don’t get that dreadful, nauseating smell of burnt flesh. That will stay with me forever. Photograph: Sony/Photograph: Sony The corpses certainly mount up in, particularly in the final scene. This was the only part Bill felt lacked credibility. I thought the film showed accurately how tough life could be in a tank, but the final scene where the crew hold out against a battalion of Waffen SS troops was too far fetched. Bill revisiting the beach where he was shot on D Day. Photograph: Nicolas Milton/The Guardian One scene from Fury shows Wardaddy attempting to toughen up Norman by forcing him to shoot a German prisoner in the back, against his will. The prisoner pleads for his life and shows both of them a photo of his wife and children.

This brought back memories for Bill of the end of his own war, spent in the German port of Kiel. We came around a corner and there was a member of the Volksstrum armed with a Panzerfaust. I looked at him and he must have been at least 55 and his hands were shaking uncontrollably. We trained our browning machine gun on him and were just about to shoot him when he laid down his weapon and surrendered.

Not being able to leave him there he climbed on the back of our tank and we gave him a lift into the town. He had quite good English and showed me pictures of his wife and two sons, who had both died in the war. I liked him because he reminded me of my own father.
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Who opposed Sherman?

Atlanta Campaign
Part of the American Civil War
Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and his staff in the trenches outside of Atlanta
Date May 7 – September 2, 1864
Location Northwestern Georgia and around Atlanta 33°44′56″N 84°23′17″W  /  33.749°N 84.388°W Coordinates : 33°44′56″N 84°23′17″W  /  33.749°N 84.388°W
Result Union victory

/td> Belligerents United States Confederate States Commanders and leaders William T. Sherman George H. Thomas James B. McPherson † John Schofield Oliver O. Howard Joseph E. Johnston John B. Hood William J. Hardee Leonidas Polk † Joseph Wheeler Units involved Military Division of the Mississippi :

  • Army of the Cumberland
  • Army of the Ohio
  • Army of the Tennessee
Army of Tennessee Strength 112,819 Beginning- 60,000 Infantry, 11,000 cavalry, 7,000 Artillery Casualties and losses 31,687 ; (4,423 killed, 22,822 wounded, 4,442 missing/captured) 34,979 ; (3,044 killed, 18,952 wounded, 12,983 missing/captured)

The Atlanta campaign was a series of battles fought in the Western Theater of the American Civil War throughout northwest Georgia and the area around Atlanta during the summer of 1864. Union Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman invaded Georgia from the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, beginning in May 1864, opposed by the Confederate general Joseph E.

  1. Johnston,
  2. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee withdrew toward Atlanta in the face of successive flanking maneuvers by Sherman’s group of armies.
  3. In July, the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, replaced Johnston with the more aggressive General John Bell Hood, who began challenging the Union Army in a series of costly frontal assaults.

Hood’s army was eventually besieged in Atlanta and the city fell on September 2, setting the stage for Sherman’s March to the Sea and hastening the end of the war.
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Which Sherman was the best?

For the role it was intended, the M4 Sherman was a truly superb medium American tank. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University The M4 Sherman medium battle tank was one of the most iconic fighting vehicles of World War 2 and a defining image of the American Army in Europe. It was an excellent tank that excelled not only on the battlefield, but also along its whole chain of financing, production, and logistics.

The measure of what makes a good tank isn’t just a one on one tank battle in an open field. That is unrealistic and ignores most of the key elements of war. The country’s ability to build, supply, pay for and operate the tank must be taken into account as well as how the tank slots in with the military’s other weapon systems and doctrine.

In nearly every metric, the M4 Sherman proved itself a worthy tank, here are eight reasons why the Sherman was the best tank of WW2.
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Why is Sherman called the first modern general?

William Tecumseh Sherman is often referred to as the first modern general because of his scorched earth tactics, targeting not only the Confederates’ armies, but also their war effort.
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What are the characteristics of William Sherman?

Command and Control Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University A WARRIOR WITHOUT WAR, William Tecumseh Sherman was an ambitious West Point graduate who stood at the periphery while other men went into combat: garrisoned in coastal Florida at the edge of the fighting during the Second Seminole War, sent first to Pittsburgh as a recruiting officer and later to California as an administrator during the war with Mexico.

The disappointed soldier eventually resigned his commission and turned to business, with mixed results and little happiness. He was a reasonably capable banker for a bit, a bad lawyer for a bit less, and the enthusiastic superintendent of a Louisiana military academy right up until the moment Southern states began to secede.

Marooned during an intermediate period on a farm in the remote precincts of Kansas, Sherman took a dark view of his prospects. “I look upon myself as a dead cock in the pit, not worthy of further notice,” he wrote to his absent wife. The Civil War—arriving in his early forties—came as a kind of gift, delivering him from professional death.

Endlessly frustrated in his martial ambitions, he sulked. Sherman has always been known as an odd duck: depressive, erratic, prone to fits of mania and abiding personal grudges. He also married his sister, or at least his foster sister, though he passed their long periods of duty-related separation with whatever women were locally available.

A new biography by the respected military-history writer Robert L. O’Connell revisits this well-known story, telling it again. It’s an important story, but it remains unclear why the world needed a fresh study of an oft-chronicled figure. Working through O’Connell’s endnotes, a reader finds that much of the material in the book comes from other biographies and Civil War histories, none of which are especially obscure.

  1. Notes for just the first chapter cite (among other sources) John F.
  2. Marszalek’s Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order, Michael Fellman’s Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman, and Lee Kennett’s Sherman: A Soldier’s Life,
  3. One of these biographies was published by a major commercial press; all three were published in the 1990s or later.

Similarly, O’Connell’s descriptions of Civil War politics and battles are often drawn from James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom, easily the best-known narrative synthesis of Civil War history written in recent years. This is a new walk down a thoroughly familiar trail.

Trying to offer a fresh perspective, O’Connell sets out to integrate several different William Tecumseh Shermans—”the strategic man, the general, the human being”—into a layered narrative. The general on the battlefield and the husband at the family table are supposed to be the same historical character, each explaining the other; the battle goes like x because the family shaped the general into y,

No marital discord, no martial brilliance. Wandering the country in his many roles as a soldier and a businessman, for example, Sherman fought his politically powerful father-in-law over the question of where his wife would live. Thomas Ewing continually sought to keep his daughter at home in Ohio, while his son-in-law usually wanted to take her to whatever military or commercial outpost he was temporarily occupying.

Ellen Sherman took her own stubborn place in this “fifteen-year tug-of-war,” resisting and giving in as she saw fit. O’Connell’s conclusion suggests the general value of this kind of supposedly integrated analysis: “Those seeking to explain Sherman’s eventual virtuosity as a military strategist,” he writes, “might pause to consider that he cut his strategic teeth on a long and complex domestic struggle with two crafty and exceedingly resourceful adversaries, in some respects the match of anyone he would meet later.” This is the kind of claim that doesn’t stand up to any examination at all.

Is every military officer with a complicated marriage a genius on the battlefield? Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University General William Tecumseh Sherman, Atlanta, 1864. O’Connell also argues that Sherman’s Army of the West served as the root of an American military culture seeking to combine the country’s democratic temperament with the realities of military command. After he discusses how the general’s army of citizen soldiers marched across Georgia, O’Connell concludes that “its spirit, its organizational DNA, survived to become the seminal element behind the evolution of subsequent US ground forces.

If it is true that Americans have a peculiar ability to remain creatively disobedient within large and otherwise rigid organizations, then this quality was certainly given full vent in Sherman’s army, where challenges were met and adaptations made from both the bottom and the top.” But this blending of the citizen’s virtues with the soldier’s obligations has been well established as the heart of Revolutionary-era military culture.

Most famously among many available examples, the historian David Hackett Fischer described the cultural milieu that brought New England farmers to the Battle Road in April 1775, as men literally dropped their plows and ran to fight seasoned British troops who had marched on militia stores in Concord.

Fischer’s 1994 book, Paul Revere’s Ride, is a primer in the development of the democratic American army, and it chronicles events that took place before Sherman was born. Those looking for the organizational DNA of American ground forces would do better to start with the late-colonial New England militia, or with privately organized and publicly legitimated Revolutionary militias of association.

In the earliest American fighting organizations, challenges were often met—and adaptations often made—from both the bottom and the top. Similar stories could be told about Jacksonian military culture. Sherman was part of the third or fourth generation to inherit the peculiar application of the American ethos to military discipline; it’s therefore anachronistic to suggest that his relationship with his great democratic mass of subordinates furnished the founding DNA for this brand of soldiering.

  • To be sure, O’Connell writes vividly and clearly, and his prose is mostly a pleasure to read.
  • A deep understanding of military history often flashes through that lively writing.
  • As it should: O’Connell, who holds a Ph.D.
  • From the University of Virginia, trained as a military historian, and spent a career in military intelligence.

But the disparity between O’Connell’s obvious skill and his not-entirely-successful book suggests the presence of a recurring problem for biographers. Digging for years into the history of a single figure, the author of a life story faces the danger of narrative eclipse: The deeply examined personality moves across the rest of the historical landscape, taking on an exclusive place in a story that it didn’t have in reality.

Consider, for example, the book’s claim that its subject has been unfairly cast as a signal innovator in another sphere—the crafting of military tactics in an emerging age of technologically advanced total war. Sherman, O’Connell writes, “still stands indicted as one of the originators of what is termed ‘modern war’—wholesale assaults on civilian populations as an integral part of military strategy.” O’Connell pronounces this historical judgment “flimsy,” arguing that Sherman had no conscious intention of becoming an originator of modern war: “Sherman was not clairvoyant; he had only the foggiest notion of where military technology was heading.

He was enveloped in his own time, intent upon accomplishing specific strategic objectives. He did what worked, and the idea of his being at the root of the future of war would have struck him as laughable.” But a historical figure needn’t intend to be the root of something or other to actually be at the root of it.

Nor does it make sense to suggest that having a hand in the creation of modern warfare is an indictable offense. The morality of such warfare, like morality of all kinds, depends upon its application. A full examination of Sherman’s place in the vanguard of modern warfare would put him in his actual historical context, examining those around him rather than just his personality and individual choices.

Sherman burned his way through Georgia and South Carolina, for example, but his colleague Philip Sheridan also burned his way through the Shenandoah Valley, in a campaign O’Connell doesn’t mention. Both men pursued a policy that comported with the Lieber Code, a newly developed war doctrine issued by President Abraham Lincoln as General Orders No.100 in April 1863—before the commencement of either Sherman’s or Sheridan’s campaigns against civilian infrastructure.

Working from the assumption that “sharp wars are brief,” the Lieber Code explicitly authorized the starvation and bombardment of civilian populations; like Sherman’s sustained siege of Atlanta, and like the aggressive campaigns that both generals commanded to demoralize Southern civilians, it sits very clearly at the root of modern war.

The personalities of Francis Lieber, Philip Sheridan, and William Tecumseh Sherman do not alter this reality. (The legal historian John Fabian Witt has written an important new account of the Lieber Code and its effects, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History,) Looking to Sherman’s personality as the basis of nearly all of his wartime conduct, O’Connell makes him the “seminal” originator of developments that were authored by many hands.

  • The specifics of Sherman’s campaigns against the South’s civilian resistance also sometimes get curiously flattened out in O’Connell’s account.
  • He casually mentions, for example, that the general decided outside Atlanta to “soften up the city with siege artillery.” Sherman’s army bombarded civilian-populated Atlanta for thirty-six consecutive days during July and August of 1864.

This was not a mere softening up. William Tecumseh Sherman was an important figure who lived in the context of an important era. Fierce Patriot only tells us one of these stories. An itinerant history professor, is writing a book about American military justice for Norton.
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What did Sherman say about the Indians?

Freedom: A History of US. Check the Source. “The Useless Indians”: An Assessment by General William T. Sherman | PBS

The Useless Indians”: An Assessment by General William T. Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman—shown here in uniform—was an effective Union general during the Civil War. But during the 1860s and ’70s he found himself increasingly frustrated as he faced a new enemy in the West that used guerilla warfare.

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Freedom: A History of US. Check the Source. “The Useless Indians”: An Assessment by General William T. Sherman | PBS
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Was Sherman a hero or a war criminal?

By the end of this section, you will: –

Explain the various factors that contributed to the Union victory in the Civil War

Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s actions after the capture of Atlanta and his subsequent March to the Sea are sometimes seen as anticipating the pattern of total war in the twentieth century. Some have claimed that Sherman was a war criminal, authorizing plunder and looting of civilian property.

  1. But the matter is more complex than either of these charges indicate.
  2. In fact, Sherman’s actions were the culmination of a Union policy toward civilians that evolved during the course of the war.
  3. Initially, the Union adhered to a policy of “conciliation,” waging a somewhat limited war based on the notion that the majority of individuals in the seceded states did not support the breakup of the Union and that the governments of these states were illegal and did not represent their people’s will.

Thus, early in the Rebellion, Union generals ordered their soldiers to respect the private property, including slaves, of all civilians, even those who were actively working against them. Even such generals as Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, who later advocated “hard war,” adhered to the policy of conciliation.

  • Conciliation seemed to be working until George McClellan’s stalemate on the Virginia peninsula in the early summer of 1862 and the emergence of Robert E.
  • Lee, whose subsequent victories substantially strengthened the rebellion.
  • As a result, Union generals such as Henry Halleck in Missouri and Benjamin Butler in New Orleans began to use what historians have called “pragmatic” policies, treating Unionists and those who were neutral better than they treated those who opposed the Union.

The prominence of guerrilla warfare in Missouri and Tennessee meant that pragmatic policies took hold more quickly in the West than in Virginia. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Champ Ferguson, pictured here in an 1850s photograph, was a Southern guerrilla fighter. He and his company of men attacked civilians who held Union sympathies in Tennessee during the war. Upon his capture, Ferguson was executed for alleged war crimes. By 1863, pragmatism began to give way to “hard war,” according to which Southerners who were identified as secessionists were the target of “directed severity,” a policy characterized by destruction of public property but also by a general unwillingness to harm civilians.

Like pragmatism, hard war gained traction earlier in the West than it did in the East. A milestone of sorts was reached in early 1863 when General Halleck published General Order 100, which provided “a generalized set of regulations” regarding the legal aspects of conducting war. The document, signed by President Lincoln in April 1863, authorized hard war but placed clear limits on its conduct.

The Vicksburg Campaign signaled the beginning of the Union’s hard war policy, permitting whatever was necessary including the destruction of civilian property to bring the conflict to an end. During the Vicksburg Campaign, Grant lived off the land for a time, allowing his army to take what it needed from civilians in its path.

Approximately seven months after the fall of Vicksburg, Sherman applied the “hard hand of war” against central Mississippi during the Meridian operation. This operation was different in that, for the first time, Sherman instructed Union troops to wage a war of destruction, leaving civilians with enough for survival but not enough to support military activity.

The Meridian operation, which provided a blueprint for Sherman’s March to the Sea, was also an example of psychological warfare, meant to destroy any hope the people might have had of a Confederate victory. In September 1863, Sherman laid out his emerging philosophy in a long letter to Halleck. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, pictured here in 1865 in uniform, led the destructive March to the Sea that caused millions of dollars in damages in Georgia. It is sufficient for my Government to know that the removal of the inhabitants has been made with liberality and fairness; that it has been attended by no force, and that no women or children have suffered, unless for want of provisions by their natural protectors and friends.

My real reasons for this step were, we want all the houses of Atlanta for military storage and occupation. We want to contract the lines of defenses so as to diminish the garrison to the limit necessary to defend its narrow and vital parts instead of embracing, as the lines now do, the vast suburbs. This contraction of the lines, with the necessary citadels and redoubts, will make it necessary to destroy the very houses used by families as residences.

Atlanta is a fortified town, was stubbornly defended and fairly captured. As captors we have a right to it. The residence here of a poor population would compel us sooner or later to feed them or see them starve under our eyes. The residence here of the families of our enemies would be a temptation and a means to keep up a correspondence dangerous and hurtful to our cause.

Sherman’s correspondence with Halleck also included the letters he exchanged with the Confederate commander General John Bell Hood. Sherman wrote: You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.

I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war.

  • The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling.
  • After the fall of Atlanta, Sherman asked for and received permission from Grant to march to Savannah.
  • On this march, Sherman deployed 62,000 troops in two wings.

He departed Atlanta on November 15 and, for the next month, he cut a swath of destruction 60 miles wide from Atlanta to Savannah, systematically destroying anything that could benefit the Rebel military effort. Sherman Served As A Superintendent Of What Future University This 1864 photograph shows Union forces destroying a railroad in Atlanta by pulling up the railroad ties. Sherman’s goal was to “make Georgia howl.” “We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and we must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.” The hard war was here for Georgia.

  • We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people of the South, but we can make war so terrible,
  • Make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” Sherman contended that the United States and its representatives had the right to “remove and destroy every obstacle if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper that all who do not aid are enemies, and we will not account to them for our acts.” Some still believe Sherman’s army burned every home in its path.

In fact, although the men destroyed public buildings, they largely left individual homes intact. But the myth of terrible destruction, rather than the truth of directed severity, has persisted. The March to the Sea was meant to demonstrate to Southern civilians that “they could be hurt” and that “the Confederate government was powerless to protect them.” It was also meant as a policy to end the horrific Civil War, which had killed more than 600,000 soldiers.
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Why was William Sherman a hero?

Hated across the South but a hero to the North, William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta in record time and lay waste to the Georgia and South Carolina countryside on his 1864 ‘March to the Sea.’ A failed banker, he re-entered the military in 1861 under a personal cloud dispelled only by victories at Shiloh and
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What city is general Sherman most famous for destroying?

On November 15, 1864, U.S. forces led by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman burned nearly all of the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia. This event occurred near the end of the U.S. Civil War during which 11 states in the American South seceded from the rest of the nation.

The Confederate States of America was formed to maintain the institution of enslaving people of African descent. More than 3,000 buildings (including businesses, hospitals, homes, and schools) were destroyed. The Atlanta Campaign aimed to cut off Atlanta’s vital supply lines that provided Confederate troops with reinforcements, ammunition, and goods such as clothes, first-aid medicines, and equipment.

As Atlanta lay smoldering, Sherman and his troops began their audacious, infamous “March to the Sea,” a massive scorched-earth campaign that ended in the port city of Savannah, Georgia, on December 21.
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Why is Sherman called the first modern general?

William Tecumseh Sherman is often referred to as the first modern general because of his scorched earth tactics, targeting not only the Confederates’ armies, but also their war effort.
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