: William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891), prominent military leader from Ohio, helped to lead the Union Army to victory in the Civil War. In this portrait photograph he is shown in old age. His hair and beard are white, and he is wearing civilian attire. His signature appears at the bottom of the portrait. Below the signature is the name and business address of a photography studio: "C. Parker / 447 Penn. Ave. Washington, D.C."
Sherman was born on February 8, 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio. He was named after Tecumseh, the famous Shawnee leader. Sherman's father died in 1829. Sherman's mother could not take care of all of her children and had several of them adopted into other families. Thomas Ewing, a neighbor and close family friend, raised William Sherman as a foster son.
Sherman attended common schools and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1836. He graduated in 1840, ranking sixth in a class of forty-two students. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of artillery. He participated in the Seminole War from 1840 to 1842. During the late 1840s, he was stationed in California and helped Californians secure their independence from Mexico in the Mexican-American War. He resigned his commission in 1853 and went into banking, at which he was not successful.
n 1859, Sherman became the superintendent of the Louisiana Military Academy. He also served as a professor of engineering, architecture, and drawing. At the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861 Louisiana's seceded from the Union. Sherman resigned his position and returned to the North. In May 1861, Sherman joined the Union army and was immediately commissioned a brigadier-general of volunteers. He commanded the Third Brigade, First Division, of the Army of Northeastern Virginia at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. His men suffered numerous casualties in the battle. He was transferred to the Department of the Cumberland in August 1861, and Sherman assumed command of that department in October of that year. In this position, Sherman played a vital role in securing Kentucky for the Union.
Following the fall of Atlanta, Sherman set out on a "March to the Sea." He determined to break the will of the Southern population between Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia. Sherman left his wagon train behind and ordered his men to feed themselves with what they could find along the way. The Northerners even requisitioned food from the slave population. Sherman realized that the civilian population was supplying the Confederate military with food and other supplies. He decided that one way to win the war was to break the will of the civilian population and to end its ability and desire to equip an army. He left Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and traveled the more than two hundred miles to Savannah by December 21. He faced little resistance from the Confederate military. In 1865, Sherman led his army into the Carolinas, using the same tactics that he had used on the "March to the Sea." General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered at Durham Station, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865 and the Civil War soon came to an end.
Sherman remained in the military following the Civil War, serving first as the commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi and then commander of the Military Division of the Missouri. When Ulysses S. Grant became President of the United States in 1869, Sherman replaced him as General of the United States Army. He retired on November 1, 1883, and was succeeded by General Philip Sheridan. Sherman moved to New York City in 1886. He died on February 14, 1891, and was buried in St. Louis, Missouri. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06605 Subjects
: Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891; Civil War 1861-1865; Portraits; 1861-1865--Military officers--Union Places
: Lancaster (Ohio); Fairfield County (Ohio)