William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861-65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. Military historian B. H. Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general." Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865. When Grant assumed the U.S. presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army (1869-83). As such, he was responsible for the U.S. Army conduct in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years, in the western United States. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known firsthand accounts of the Civil War.
Memoirs of Gen. William T. Sherman - Volume 2by William Tecumseh Sherman
Hailed as a prophet of modern war and condemned as a harbinger of modern barbarism, Sherman is the most controversial general of the Civil War. "War is cruelty, you cannot refine it," he wrote in fury to the Confederate mayor of Atlanta, and his memoir is filled with dozens of such wartime exchanges and a fascinating, eerie account of the famous march through the Carolinas. sure the memoirs remained controversial. W. T. Sherman's memoirs are still controversial, even today. He is either a great general, or an overrated one. He is either "hailed as a prophet of modern war or condemned as a modern barbarism." The historical value of these memoirs is enormous. Sherman contributed a great deal to the war, and was partially responsible for the war ending when it did. He conducted one of the most brilliant military campaigns in modern history (actually, they were three campaigns--Atlanta, Savannah, and the Carolinas) and accomplished what many considered to be the impossible. His policy of total war, applied in the South, was utilized by Sheridan in the Shenandoah, and was later slightly modified to be used against the Indians. Thanks to his memoirs, we have a step-by-step account of how this policy developed. Sherman's work is engaging and very to the point. He is meticulous almost to a fault in his quest for accuracy and detail. His writing is very, very good, and easy to read. He endeavored to be objective in his evaluations. Quick to give praise and slow to censure, he was not afraid to record the failures of his subordinates. William T. Sherman is a very colorful figure in Civil War history. He may well be one of the most complex and intriguing individuals of the war. To some, he is a barbarian; to others, a deliverer. He is immensely quotable, and was very opinionated and outspoken. If you're contemplating studying the Civil War, do not be put off by this book's length. Far from being a dry account of a man's recollections, this is a very engaging and very worthwhile autobiography, and any student of the war will profit by reading it. Volume 2 covers the Atlanta Campaign (including Nashville, Chattanooga, Kennesaw Mountain, and other battles around Atlanta), the pursuit of General Hood, the "March to the Sea" from Atlanta to Savannah, chapters about Savannah and Pocotaligo, the Campaign of the Carolinas, the end of the war (from Goldsboro to Raleigh and Washington), and military lessons of the war, and the aftermath of the war.
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