William Tecumseh Sherman

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Sherman, William Tecumseh


Born Feb. 8, 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio; died Feb. 14, 1891, in New York City. US military leader, general of the army (1869).

Sherman graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1840 and was commissioned in the artillery. He served in the US war against Mexico of 1846–48. Sherman retired from the army from 1853 to 1859 and worked as a bank manager and lawyer. In 1859 he was appointed superintendent of a military academy. During the US Civil War (1861–65), Sherman commanded a regiment, a brigade, and a division in the Northern army, achieving the rank of brigadier general in 1861. He took part in the battles of First Bull Run, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, among others. In March 1864, Sherman was given command of the army that made the successful “march to the sea”: starting from Chattanooga, Tenn., the army moved through the state of Georgia, taking Atlanta in September, to the Atlantic coast, taking Savannah in December and defeating the Southern army commanded by General J. E. Johnston. In early 1865, Sherman’s army turned north and advanced in the rear of the enemy to join up with the army of General U. S. Grant. After covering more than 1,300 km in a year, Sherman’s army joined up with Grant’s near Richmond, which led to encirclement of the main Southern forces commanded by General R. Lee and to their surrender in April 1865.

From 1869 to 1883, Sherman was commanding general of the US Army. Sherman’s memoirs were published in 1875 and 1972.