Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865

Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865


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Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865 by Brooks D. Simpson, William T. Sherman

The first major modern edition of the wartime correspondence of General William T. Sherman, this volume features more than 400 letters written between the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the day Sherman bade farewell to his troops in 1865. Together, they trace Sherman's rise from obscurity to become one of the Union's most famous and effective warriors.
Arranged chronologically and grouped into chapters that correspond to significant phases in Sherman's life, the letters—many of which have never before been published—reveal Sherman's thoughts on politics, military operations, slavery and emancipation, the South, and daily life in the Union army, as well as his reactions to such important figures as General Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln.
Lively, frank, opinionated, discerning, and occasionally extremely wrong-headed, these letters mirror the colorful personality and complex mentality of the man who wrote them. They offer the reader an invaluable glimpse of the Civil War as Sherman saw it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807824405
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 05/10/1999
Series: Civil War America Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 976
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 2.50(d)

About the Author

Brooks D. Simpson is professor of history and humanities at Arizona State University. He is author of Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity and coeditor of Sherman's Civil War.

Jean V. Berlin is editor of A Confederate Nurse: The Diary of Ada W. Bacot, 1860-1863. She has also served on the editorial staffs of The Papers of George Washington and The Papers of William Thornton.

Table of Contents


Editorial Method
Symbols and Abbreviations
Chapter 1. November 3, 1860-February 25, 1861
Chapter 2. March 9, 1861-July 14, 1861
Chapter 3. July 15, 1861-December 12, 1861
Chapter 4. December 18, 1861-May 26, 1862
Chapter 5. May 31, 1862-August 25, 1862
Chapter 6. August 26, 1862-January 25, 1863
Chapter 7. January 25, 1863-March 16, 1863
Chapter 8. April 3, 1863-July 4, 1863
Chapter 9. July 5, 1863-December 30, 1863
Chapter 10. January 6, 1864-May 4, 1864
Chapter 11. May 20, 1864-September 4, 1864
Chapter 12. September 7, 1864-November 12, 1864
Chapter 13. December 13, 1864-February 24, 1865
Chapter 14. March 12, 1865-April 9, 1865
Chapter 15. April 12, 1865-May 30, 1865
Chronological List of Letters
List of Letters by Recipient


Washington, D.C., and Northeastern Virginia
Central Kentucky
Western Tennessee
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas
Chattanooga to Atlanta
Savannah to Durham Station


William Tecumseh Sherman and Thomas Ewing Sherman
Ellen Ewing Sherman and Thomas Ewing Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman Jr., "Willy"
Thomas Ewing Sr.
The four Sherman girls: Lizzie, Rachel, Elly, and Minnie
John Sherman
The four Ewing brothers: Hugh, Philemon, Thomas, and Charles
James B. McPherson
Ulysses S. Grant
Henry W. Halleck
William T. Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, and his generals
Major General William T. Sherman at Atlanta

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Indispensable not just for Sherman scholars but for any serious student of the Civil War. Sherman's letters are pungent, opinionated, profound in their grasp of the political and military dimensions of the Civil War, and deeply revealing of the man himself. This is a book we have needed for a long time.—Mark Grimsley, author of The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865

[A] superb collection.—New York Review of Books

For contemporary insight into the tragedy of the Civil War read the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, the poems of Herman Melville, and the letters of W. T. Sherman. This volume, for the first time, puts Sherman on the bookshelf with Lincoln and Melville.—Charles Royster, editor of Memoirs of W. T. Sherman

Simpson and Berlin have made a representative and incisive thick sample—they neither leave out the harsh stuff nor edit away the complexity and the sheer cussedness of the man, while they present his constructive and often loving side with equal fairness. . . . [An] absorbing volume.—Civil War History

This edition promises to be the standard printed source for Sherman's Civil War letters. No Sherman scholar or Civil War buff can afford to ignore this important publication, containing as it does the insights of one of the conflict's most controversial and important generals.—John F. Marszalek, author of Sherman's Other War: The General and the Civil War Press

Carefully edited by two Civil War historians, the volume features illuminating chapter introductions. . . . The collection replaces earlier expurgated works. Intended for general readers as well as professional historians, it is essential for all academic libraries.—Choice

The portrait that emerges from this new edition of [Sherman's] wartime correspondence . . . depicts the immense complexity of this multi-dimensional military man. . . . The result is an engaging account of the Civil War seen through the eyes of one of its most important participants. The reader gains a sense of being present as events unfold.—Civil War Regiments

This first-rate volume belongs in every university, military, and general library both North and South to add depth to our understanding of the Civil War and one of the premier warriors who rose to prominence between 1861 and 1865.—Military and Naval History Journal

Henceforth all serious scholars of the Civil War and of American military history will want—certainly they should want—Sherman's Civil War in their personal libraries. It is an outstanding and lasting contribution to historical literature and research for which editors and the publisher deserve the highest praise for having made it available.—Journal of Military History

This is a valuable research tool for those writing about the Civil War in the western theater. But even the casual reader will find Sherman's life captivating. Through these letters one views a wide range of emotions-fear, anger, triumph-and is reminded that history is just the story of people. Sherman just happens to be one of the most controversial that America has produced.—North Carolina Historical Review




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