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He settled in Kansas to practice law, but without much success. In , William T.

William T. Sherman

Sherman was head master at a military academy in Louisiana. He proved to be an effective administrator and popular with the community. As sectional tensions rose, Sherman warned his secessionist friends that a war would be long and bloody, with the North eventually winning.

When Louisiana left the Union, Sherman resigned and moved to St. Louis, wanting nothing to do with the conflict.

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Though a conservative on slavery, he was a strong supporter of the Union. In May , William T. Sherman was appointed colonel in the 13th U. He was then sent to Kentucky and became deeply pessimistic about the war, complaining to his superiors about shortages while exaggerating the enemy's troop strength.

The Conquerors: William Tecumseh Sherman

He was eventually put on leave, considered unfit for duty. The press picked up on his troubles and described him as "insane. In mid-December , Sherman returned to service in Missouri and was assigned rear-echelon commands. Grant's capture of Fort Donelson in February His first test as a commander in combat came at Shiloh.

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Likely fearing renewed criticism of appearing overly alarmed, William T. Sherman initially dismissed intelligence reports that Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was in the area. He took little precaution shoring up picket lines or sending out reconnaissance patrols.

On the morning of April 6, , the Confederates struck with Hell's own fury. Sherman and Grant rallied their troops and pushed back the rebel offensive by day's end.


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With reinforcements arriving that night, Union troops were able to launch a counter attack the next morning, scattering Confederate troops. The experience bonded Sherman and Grant to a lifelong friendship. Sherman remained in the West, serving with Grant in the long campaign against Vicksburg.

However, the press was relentless in its criticism of both men. As one newspaper complained, the "Army was being ruined in mud-turtle expeditions, under the leadership of a drunkard [Grant] whose confidential adviser [Sherman] was a lunatic. In February, , Sherman launched a campaign from Vicksburg, Mississippi, to destroy the rail center at Meridian and clear Confederate resistance from central Mississippi. The Confederates, under General Leonidas Polk, put up some resistance, but his 10, troops were no match for the 45, Union juggernaut.

In early September , under heavy siege, Confederate Lt. John Bell Hood and his men were forced to evacuate Atlanta destroying as many supplies and munitions as they could before William T. Sherman took Atlanta and ultimately burned what was left of it to the ground. With 60, men, he began his celebrated "March to the Sea," ripping through Georgia with a mile-wide path of total destruction.

Sherman understood that to win the war and save the Union, his Army would have to break the South's will to fight. Everything was ordered to be destroyed in this military strategy, known as "total war. When Grant became president in , William T. Sherman took over as general commander of the U.

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One of his duties was to protect construction of the railroads from attack by hostile Indians. Believing the Native Americans were an impediment to progress, he ordered total destruction of the warring tribes.


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Mediocre to Average? William T. Sherman as a Battlefield Commander

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