William Tecumseh Sherman: Memoirs of W. T. Sherman (Library of America)
William Tecumseh Sherman
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Hailed as prophet of modern war and condemned as a harbinger of modern barbarism, William Tecumseh Sherman is the most controversial general of the American Civil War.
"War is cruelty, and 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. With the propulsive energy and intelligence that marked his campaigns, Sherman describes striking incidents and anecdotes and collects dozens of his incisive and often outspoken wartime orders and reports.
This complex self-portrait of an innovative and relentless American warrior provides firsthand accounts of the war's crucial events--Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, the Atlanta campaign, the marches through Georgia and the Carolinas.
for service, and I offered him a division, but he declined it for the reason, as I understood it, that he had at one time commanded a corps. He is now in the United States service, commanding the Seventeenth Infantry. General McCook obtained a command under General Canby, in the Department of the Gulf, where he rendered good service, and he is also in the regular service, lieutenant-colonel Tenth Infantry. I returned to Nashville from Cincinnati about the 25th of March, and started at once, in a
caution while moving on the vigorous “offensive.” With the drawn battle of New Hope Church, and our occupation of the natural fortress of Allatoona, terminated the month of May, and the first stage of the campaign. Chapter XVII. ATLANTA CAMPAIGN—BATTLES ABOUT KENESAW MOUNTAIN. June, 1864. ON THE 1ST of June our three armies were well in hand, in the broken and densely-wooded country fronting the enemy intrenched at New Hope Church, about five miles north of Dallas. General Stoneman’s
perfectly, and parted good friends when their work was done. In the mean time I also had reconnoitred the entire rebel lines about Atlanta, which were well built, but were entirely too extensive to be held by a single corps or division of troops, so I instructed Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, on my staff, to lay off an inner and shorter line, susceptible of defense by a smaller garrison. By the middle of September all these matters were in progress, the reports of the past campaign were
grading, etc., and I attended the celebration of the first completed division of sixteen and a half miles, from Omaha to Papillon. When the orators spoke so confidently of the determination to build two thousand miles of railway across the plains, mountains, and desert, devoid of timber, with no population, but on the contrary raided by the bold and bloody Sioux and Cheyennes, who had almost successfully defied our power for half a century, I was disposed to treat it jocularly, because I could
receives Johnston’s surrender on April 26. Sherman learns that Stanton has published a report implying that he had been willfully insubordinate and possibly disloyal in his negotiations with Johnston. Many newspapers denounce Sherman in the following days and some again question his sanity. Travels to Savannah by boat and makes arrangements for the supply of Union forces in Georgia and the feeding of destitute civilians, then goes to Richmond, where he meets his army on May 9. Marches with them