Famous Past Leader

Civil War General

William Tecumseh Sherman 1820-1891

Born February 8, 1820, William T. Sherman was one of eleven children of an Ohio Supreme Court Justice, who died in 1829, leaving his family to live with a few of his friends and family. One such friend being Senator Thomas Ewing, who was able to grant Sherman entry to the United States Military Academy. After graduating sixth of his class in 1840, he showed an extraordinarily average military career. During the Mexican-American war he was stationed solely in California, causing him to resign from the military in 1853. Afterwards he worked in banking and law, before becoming the superintendent of the Louisiana Military academy in 1859.

At the start of the Civil War, he reenlisted in the military on the Union side, and became a colonel of the 13th United States infantry. President Lincoln, impressed with Sherman's performance at the battle of first Manassas, promoted him to Brigadier General on August 7, 1861. On May 1st, 1862 Sherman was promoted to Major General, despite having been defeated at the battle of Shiloh by Confederate General Albert Sydney Johnston. Soon after General Ulysses S. Grant was made commander of all of the Union's military, Sherman was made commander of all Union forces in the western theatre.