William Sherman Essay Research Paper William Tecumseh

William Sherman Essay, Research Paper William Tecumseh Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman was born on February 8, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio. He was given his middle name after the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Tecumseh had tried to unite the tribes of the Ohio River Valley against American forces on their land in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

William Sherman Essay, Research Paper

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman was born on February 8, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio. He was given his middle name after the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Tecumseh had tried to unite the tribes of the Ohio River Valley against American forces on their land in the first decade of the nineteenth century. These attempts were unsuccessful though. In 1829, when Sherman was nine his father passed away so he went to live with a family friend, Thomas Ewing. Ewing was a influential Missouri politician. His other 10 siblings were distributed among the relatives and friends of the family. After he attended the academy at Lancaster, Sherman entered West Point Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in 1840 in the top six of his class. During the Mexican War, he saw service in California and for his meritorious service he received a brevet. He then left California and served as an officer in the commissary department of the army, but then resigned from the army in 1853. He resigned in order to pursue a business, legal, and educational career. Sherman rejoined the army in May 1861 after Louisiana seceded from the Union and the Civil War broke out. He was commissioned a colonel of volunteers and commanded a brigade in the first battle of Bull Run, on July 21, 1861. Later that year, in September, he was given command of the Kentucky Army and the Department of the Ohio River. After given this command, he reported that he would need 200,000 men to carry out a successful campaign in that region. The press said that Sherman was crazy and timed proved them right. Sherman frequently fought with the press and Lincoln scorned him for this. After Sherman went through a nervous breakdown, he was sent to a post in Missouri. At the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, Sherman was in the middle of a great fight. For his services there he received the rank of major general. After this battle, Ulysses S. Grant endured much criticism off the many mistakes of the battle. Grant wanted to withdraw from the army, but Sherman persuaded him to stay. He also played a huge role in Grant’s victory at Vicksburg. As its successful conclusion Sherman generously gave all the credit to his superior officer. So Grant went on to be commander of the armies of the United States for that campaign and Sherman was then appointed to fill his place as commander in the West. This pleased Sherman because now he could show the nation his leadership skills without any way to take his praise. The Western Forces Sherman now had command of exceeded over 100,000 men. So with his men he carried on the campaign on which his fame novelly rests. On May 6, 1864, he left Chattanooga, Tenn., for Atlanta, Ga. It took him four months to cover the 135 miles between the two places. And along the way in the Kenesaw mountains, Sherman was soundly defeated but went on his way to Atlanta which was reached on September 2. He then captured the city and burned it to the ground. After clearing the city of its civil population and resting his men, he started on his famous march of 400 miles. “From Atlanta to the sea” it was called. He had 68,000 men after the Atlanta raid, but no news of him reached the North for 32 days. He had cut himself off from his base of supplies and his men lived on what they could get from the country through which they passed. They covered a path 60 miles wide in their march, and in that path everything that they could not use but that might prove of use to the enemy was ruthlessly destroyed. So all military value to the Confederacy was destroyed as well as plantations and every bit of food. The Southerners had virtually no forces in that area except some cavalry and militia, which most consisted of old men and young boys, so Sherman’s troops made good time for there Savannah, Ga, destination. In his view of this destruction, Sherman was to be quoted saying, “War is hell.”

Within 24 days of leaving Atlanta, he reached Savannah and left behind him a ruined and devastated land. Sherman’s army met up with the Union fleet, which had been blockading the city, and took the city on December 21. Sherman offered the city to President Lincoln as a “Christmas gift” to the nation. With the capture of this major city came 150 heavy guns, plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton. After about a month’s rest Sherman turned northward with his army, expecting to join Grant near Richmond, the Confederate capital. The plans were to close in on Robert E. Lee from the back side and as Sherman continued every step reduced the area upon which the Confederates in Virginia could depend for aid. His advance through South Carolina was slower but even more destructive than the march through Georgia. As he went through North Carolina, Sherman was opposed by General Joseph E. Johnston in engagements at Averasboro and Bentonville. He then learned of Lee’s surrender and asked for generous terms. He understood better than any other Union general the South and the devastation it had suffered was kind about the treaty, but Secretary of War Edward Stanton repudiated them. So on April 26, 1865 Johnston signed under the same terms as Robert Lee had surrendered. So after this Sherman took one last march, this time to Washington to speak with the President. Sherman was appointed commander of the Missouri district at the end of the Civil War. This area stretched from the Rocky mountains to the Mississippi. Here he laid troops to protect transcontinental railroad workers from the Indians who feared that the railroad would mean further encroachment on their territory. He also established military outposts across the region, expanding the network of federal authority. It was in this time that Sherman was outspoken in his belief that Indian policy should be set by the army and that the main goal of the policy should be to place the different tribes on reservations and force them to stay there. He was a member of the peace commission that negotiated the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Sherman remained in the army as commander in the West until Ulysses S. Grant became president in 1869. He then became the commander of the entire American army. And it was while he was in this position that he directed a series of campaigns that finally crushed Indian resistance across the plains. He saw clearly the devastating blows of striking at the economic basis of the Plains Indians lives. He and General Philip Sheridan made a plan to by attacking Indian encampments during the winter because that is when their supplies and mobility were both severely limited. With Sheridan as his field commander, Sherman Moved first against the Kiowas and Comanches of the southern Plains. By the late 1870’s, these and the other once free roaming warrior tribes of the plains had been forced onto reservations. He held the position as commander of the United States Army until November 1883 and retired from active duty early in 1884. Sherman established a school in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1881. During his time away he wrote personal memoirs that became among the keenest, and most intellectual of the war. In 1884, it was proposed that he run for president. His infamous response was “If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.” He moved to New York, where he died on February 24, 1891

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