Sherman’s March, more accurately known as the Georgia and Carolinas Campaigns, cut a swath across three states in 1864–1865. He worked as a bank manager in San Francisco, and became first superintendent of Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy in 1859. “Let the people know and feel that we deeply deplore the necessity of such destruction, but must protect ourselves and the boats,” he told his subordinate. Sherman’s march from Vicksburg to Meridian, Mississippi, in early 1864 is relatively unknown, although publications discussing “hard war,” “total war,” or modern warfare sometimes mention this campaign. He was surprised to observe that his army lived well from what they found on northern Mississippi’s farms. Meridian Campaign With the death of the elder Sherman in 1829, William became the ward of Senator Thomas Ewing, secretary of the treasury in the William Henry Harrison and John Tyler administrations and secretary of the interior in the Zachary Taylor administration. This scorched-earth policy had begun in Mississippi, where his men repeatedly burned the city of Jackson until it became known as “Chimneyville,” because only chimneys remained. The Meridian Campaign was the next step in Sherman’s evolving attitude toward the prosecution of war. He began striking at points near to where the attacks had taken place. Accompanied by Inspector Gen. Randolph B. Marcy and a small cavalry escort, Sherman traveled northwestward from San Antonio and visited forts Mason, McKavett, Concho, Griffin, and Belknap. reset. While in eastern Tennessee he sent Brigadier General Grenville Dodge on a mission to “hunt the pests that infest our country. Although he attended West Point, Sherman did not derive his principles from his education there. Handbook of Texas Online, The bomber, under attack, was flying 200 mph at 22,000 feet in frigid air.... Get inside articles from the world's premier publisher of history magazines. Mobile could provide the southernmost anchor for another split of the Confederacy. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman 's troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864. This article was written by Buck T. Foster and originally published in the Summer 2007 issue of MHQ Magazine. The Black Hills of South Dakota by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. His entire war experience, particularly as Ulysses S. Grant’s subordinate, provided him with battlefield savvy and tactics to do just that. The general had spent much time in the South as a U.S. Army officer and as superintendent of what later became Louisiana State University. Sherman understood that by not having to guard a supply or communications line, he could free the men previously used to protect that line for use on the battlefield. Jackson Expedition Dan Bullock died at age 15 in 1969 and efforts to recognize the young African-American Marine continue and are highlighted in this Military Times documentary. He is best known for his actions in the Civil War, where his performance was mixed. Nothing that Sherman saw on this ride altered his opinion that the frontier was pacific and that claims of Indian raids were greatly exaggerated. In the winter of 1914, the only surviving son of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War general who fought for the Union and burned Atlanta, unexpectedly showed up at the offices of America. In the first three years of the war, Sherman went from rigorously protecting Southern civilians and their property to believing that these citizens were ultimately responsible for the war and had to be convinced to stop supporting it. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/sherman-william-tecumseh. For example, John F. Marszalek’s Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (1993) devotes only five pages to it, while Michael Fellman’s Citizen Sherman (1995), Stanley P. Hirchson’s The White Tecumseh (1997), and Lee B. Kennett’s Sherman: A Soldier’s Life (2001) barely mention it. While Hattaway and Jones describe the changing Federal strategy and Grimsley notes how Federal attitudes toward Southern civilians modified during the war, they do not create a complete picture of Sherman’s campaign. With Ewing's influence, Sherman was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1836; he graduated sixth in his class and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery in Florida on July 1, 1840. He also caused Johnston to retreat. William Tecumseh Sherman was a U.S. Civil War Union Army leader known for "Sherman's March," in which he and his troops laid waste to the South. William Tecumseh Sherman was born in 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio, to Charles Robert Sherman, a successful lawyer. Our men will become absolutely lawless unless this can be checked.”, When Grant marched on the capital of Mississippi in May 1863, his men once again lived successfully off the land. Confederate cavalry leader Major General Earl Van Dorn striking at his supply and communication lines at Holly Springs and Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest hitting at other locations in northern Mississippi isolated the Union force from its base. Sherman therefore chose the destruction of Meridian as his main objective for the winter of 1863-1864. In 1840 Sherman graduated from the U.S. Military Academy near the top of his class. Grant immediately ordered his men to live off the countryside, hoping that he could reestablish his lines before continuing on the campaign. Although recent works have rightfully concluded that Sherman was not the first general to promote a harsher attitude toward civilians, he nevertheless moved war in that direction to a far greater degree than any of his contemporaries. Sherman remained unsure, however, whether a Union army could live off the hostile country as successfully as the enemy’s army had done in its own territory. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies (Washington: Department of the Navy, 1894–1927). / At the time, Sherman decided that because of the hot summer weather and the exhaustion of his men, he should postpone any movement on Meridian. Most of the tactics Sherman employed during the Meridian Campaign, such as using feints and acquiring supplies from the countryside as he progressed, were not new to war. The Union army had allowed this type of action before 1862. He served in a variety of positions throughout the South and garnered no special notice. General William Tecumseh Sherman once said of war, "It is all hell, boys." Grant believed that destroying enemy supplies “tended to the same result as the destruction of armies.” Sherman had already tried a variation of this tactic when he had punished the Confederate citizens for aiding the guerrillas and destroyed their supplies, thereby denying such goods to the irregulars. After he had driven out the Confederate forces, Grant fanned out his men across the city, telling them to “collect stores and forage, and collect all public property of the enemy [and to destroy] the river railroad bridge and the road as far east as possible, as well as north and south.”, Sherman sent his men to set fire to piled railway tracks and ties, heating the rails and twisting them to render the rails useless, a task that came to be called making “Sherman neckties.” He ordered the destruction of “presses, sugar, and everything public not needed by us,” but he cautioned again that “the private rights of citizens should be respected.”. His father died while William was still a boy and after his father’s death, he was raised by a family friend, attorney Thomas Ewing. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. Were they justified? Photograph from Fort Davis Archives. He remarked to Halleck that within a radius of fifteen miles from his principal position, “everything of subsistence of man or beast has been appropriated for the use of our army.” Grant later commented in his memoirs, “I was amazed at the quantity of supplies the country afforded. Marching on Meridian, Sherman combined all the tactics he had learned during the first three years of the Civil War. His younger brother John served in the U.S. Senate. Sherman began to take his pursuit of guerrillas and the punishment of those assisting them to the next level. If not, he intended to persuade them into feeling that way. Background . Sherman had already issued a special order empowering the provost marshal to prepare a list of thirty inhabitants. He wrote triumphantly: “Jackson, once the pride and boast of Mississippi, is now a ruined town.” Sherman also remarked happily that after his two successful raids on the capital, “Jackson ceases to be a place for the enemy to collect stores and men from which to threaten our great river.” This was the first step that illustrated Grant’s and Sherman’s belief that the Union army needed a new type of strategy to win the war. After the war he served as adjutant general of the Division of the Pacific, and on May 1, 1850, after an engagement of seven years, he married the daughter of his guardian, the socially prominent Eleanor Boyle Ewing; the couple had eight children. He summed up his new attitude in one line when he wrote to his brother near the end of December 1863: “The Army of the Confederacy is the South.” This time, however, he meant all Southern residents, not just those living close to guerrilla activity. Battle of Shiloh In keeping with the Federal government’s mindset, Sherman believed his troops should take all precautions not to disturb the property of those civilians who did not participate in guerrilla action or aid guerrillas. “Sherman’s March to the Sea” from Atlanta to the seaport town of Savannah was intended, as Sherman said, “to make Georgia Howl.”  For weeks, he and his army virtually disappeared from the War Department’s view. Many historians have credited Sherman with creating the policy of “total war,” of modern warfare. Sherman left a legacy of famous quotes, including perhaps his most famous, “War is hell.” This, too, was an abridged version of his actual words: “Young men think war is all glory. Similarly, Sherman biographies give this campaign little attention. / Support the Handbook today. When Grant was promoted to command all Union armies in the field and left for the Eastern Theater, he put Sherman in charge of the Military Division of Mississippi in the Western Theater. And his brother Hoyt was a successful … As commander of Grant's Fifteenth Corps, Sherman took part in the capture of Vicksburg, for which he was rewarded with promotion to brigadier general in the regular army to date from July 4, 1863, the date of the city's surrender. (Rodney Bryant and Daniel Woolfolk/Military Times)... Homepage Featured Top Stories, Homepage Hero, Vietnam, Vietnam Magazine, Vietnam War. That same month, however, Sherman became concerned about guerrilla cavalry, as they were constantly attacking his supply lines and destroying Union provisions. He led Union forces in crushing campaigns through the South, marching through Georgia and the Carolinas (1864–65). Steele’s overzealous troops destroying private property typified what often happened on such raids. "I have seen not a trace of an Indian thus far and only hear the stories of the people, which indicates that whatever Indians there be only come to Texas to steal horses," he wrote to Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds, commander of the Department of Texas. The Players In the spring of 1864, Union and Confederate troops in the […] The Union commander, General William Sherman, also believed a sustained campaign deep into Confederate territory would bring the entire war to an end. Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). Sherman entered the U.S. military academy at age 16. Abandoning his supply lines, however, was an innovative idea. Roughly seven months after the fall of Vicksburg, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman took his army across central Mississippi, intent on undermining that region’s ability to wage war. The Confederacy used the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and the Southern Railroad of Mississippi, which intersected at Meridian, to shuttle vast amounts of men and supplies through the Magnolia State. What they did wasn’t by mistake or necessity. The club hosted some distinguished guests and performers including Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and "Buffalo Bill" William Cody. Once Mississippi seceded from the Union on January 9, 1861, Jackson became a seat of war. Two days after writing his letter to Senator Sherman, the general ordered Colonel Charles C. Walcutt of the 46th Ohio Volunteers to the town of Randolph, Tennessee. He fought a series of battles against Joseph Johnston‘s Confederate army in the mountains of North Georgia and continually sought to outflank his opponent—except at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Foster is a college professor in Mississippi, Sherman was not the only Union General moving away politics. 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