General William Tecumseh Sherm Essay

1681 words - 7 pages

General William Tecumseh Sherman General William T. Sherman, one of the greatest Civil War generals, proved to be an extremely significant factor for the Northern cause due to his mastery of military warfare and thus notable contribution to the South's defeat. Despite of the fact that early on his military career looked quite grim and hopeless, being publicly ridiculed and called insane, he later displayed great strategic expertise and proved his adversaries wrong. Although he begun his wartime career as colonel of a volunteer brigade, he finished it as General of the American Army and was even nominated various times to presidency. His most significant feats include the capture of Atlanta and Savannah, thus splitting the confederacy in two. He is also notoriously known for his famous "March To Sea", in which he wreaked havoc throughout the central Southern states. Sherman's most famous words, spoken until after the war, stand up for his belief of total war with the statement "war is hell" (Boys Life 366).William T. Sherman lived through many circumstances in life which, at first appearing to be negative, greatly aided him in becoming the second greatest Union general. Sherman was born into a large family in Lancaster, Ohio on February 8, 1820 (McPhersonxxx 731). His family had had a long history of political positions, although Sherman was always strong in his dislike for the such. 1829 proved to be an impacting year in his life, when his father died leaving his mother responsible for their ten children (Sherman 1). Sherman was taken in as an adoptive child by Mr. Thomas Ewing, a family friend (Sherman 1). This man proved to be an important figure in his life because his political influence managed to get Tecumseh into West Point when he was sixteen. He graduated sixth in his class in 1840 (Ward 706). Sherman then held insignificant military positions in Florida and Mexico, and played no fighting role in the Mexican War, posted as a recruiting officer (Britannica 1). In 1853, after being stationed in California, he retired from service due to the Gold Rush and took up a banking position in a nearby bank (Ward 706). He failed in this area and attempted at being a lawyer and farmer, but also failed. He then wished to enter the military once again, yet encountered difficulties, and was able to receive a teaching position at a military college in Louisiana only through friend contacts (Sherman 1). He was quite happy here but had to resign when Louisiana seceded in 1861, because felt it "treason to talk of secession" (Sherman 2). He then continued his search for a military position, and declined several because he felt "unwilling to take a mere private's place" because of his several years of military service (Sherman 2). On May 14th 1861, William T. Sherman was appointed a colonel of the Thirteenth Regular Infantry (Sherman 3).Although Sherman's involvement in the war had finally begun, the contributions he rendered early on were quite small. He...

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