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One Bad Move Essay

2114 words - 8 pages

Over the course of the semester, we have studied many different battles, complete wars, and different commanders, all of these through the lenses of American Military History. One key component of any battle or war is how the commanders leading the armies execute it. The way to measure a commander’s execution is by comparing his actions to the Principles of War, also known as MOSSMOUSE. The commander I will be evaluating is William T. Sherman, widely known in the South for his infamous Atlanta Campaign. He did have one hiccup however. This was his one bad move, the move he took at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain is a battle that took place on June 27, 1864 during American Civil War, which occurred from 1861-1865. This war was started because of many reasons. Many scholars like to point at the economic differences, the geographical differences, the ideals of the two different populations, and other sorts. But President Lincoln stated the purpose of this war very plainly: the war to end slavery for good. As the war started to shift more towards an Union victory over the Confederate states, General Ulysses S. Grant sent another general by the name of William T. Sherman on a vicious campaign through the South to gain control of the city of Atlanta to end the war for good. The now infamous move is now referred to as the Atlanta Campaign or Sherman’s March to the Sea. Sherman had one main goal and that goal was total war. His goal was to lay waste to the South and force them to surrender by all means necessary. This meant pillaging every city he came to, massacring any rebels he came across, but doing this in a strategic manner.
The commander leading the forces in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was as stated above, William T. Sherman. General Sherman’s education was one of likeness compared to many other military commanders. At the age of 16, he was appointed to West Point Military Academy. Sherman graduated and was given the rank of second lieutenant. In school he had the reputation of being an excellent student who lacked discipline. In his Memoirs, he wrote that he at average had one hundred fifty demerits a year every year he was at West Point. He had prior military service before his involvement in the American Civil War. He saw action only during the Second Seminole War, but nothing was major. He was promoted to first lieutenant during this period of time. Sherman did not see major action until the Civil War. Sherman saw action during the Battle of Bull Run, where he distinguished himself as a great soldier and leader. Afterwards, President Lincoln promoted him to brigadier general. He was also given command of holding Kentucky, a key border state. He saw action also at the Battle of Shiloh, serving underneath his future commander, Ulysses S. Grant. After this battle, he was promoted to major general. He was a key part in the Vicksburg Campaign and the Campaign in Chattanooga, both under Grant’s overall...

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