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Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Volume 1

Volume 1

Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Volume 1 by William T. Sherman
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Although he never commanded in a major Union victory and his military career had repeated ups and downs, William Tecumseh Sherman is the second best known of Northern commanders. His father died when he was nine and Sherman was raised by Senator Thomas Ewing and eventually married into the family. Through the influence of his patron, he obtained an appointment to West Point. Only five cadets of the class of 1840 graduated ahead of him, and he was appointed to the artillery.

Appointed to the colonelcy of an infantry regiment, he led a brigade of volunteers that crossed Bull Run and was named a brigadier general the next month. He was then sent to Kentucky as deputy to Robert Anderson and soon succeeded the hero of Fort Sumter in command of the department. During the campaign against Forts Henry and Donelson he was charged with forwarding reinforcements to Grant. Forming a good working relationship with the future commander-in-chief, Sherman waived his seniority rights and took a command under him. Praised by Grant, he was soon made a major general of volunteers.

Following the fall of the river city Sherman was named a brigadier general and led expeditions against Jackson and Meridian, succeeding Grant in overall command in the West. Eventually taking possession of Atlanta, Sherman ordered the population evacuated and the military value of the city destroyed. Sending George H. Thomas back to Tennessee to deal with Hood, he embarked on his March to the Sea. Taking Savannah, he announced the city as a Christmas gift to the president and the country.

On August 12, 1864, Sherman had been promoted to major general in the regular army, and he vacated his volunteer commission. He was the only man to twice receive the Thanks of Congress during the Civil War, first for Chattanooga and second for Atlanta and Savannah. After the war he remained in the service, and was promoted to full general, replacing Grant as commander-in-chief. He retired from the Army on February 8, 1884.

Digital Scanning, Inc.; January 1998
461 pages; ISBN 9781582180267
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Title: Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Volume 1
Author: William T. Sherman