William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. Sherman was born into a prominent political family, he was stationed in California. He married Ellen Ewing Sherman and together they raised eight children. Sherman's wife and children were all devout Catholics, while Sherman was a member of the faith but left it. In 1859, he gained a position as superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. Living in the South, Sherman grew to respect Southern culture and sympathize with the practice of Southern slavery, although he opposed secession. Sherman began his Civil War career serving with distinction in the First Battle of Bull Run before being transferred to the Western Theater.
He served in Kentucky in 1861, where he acted overly paranoid, exaggerating the presence of spies in the region and providing what seemed to be alarmingly high estimates of the number of troops needed to pacify Kentucky. He was granted leave, fell into depression. Sherman returned to serve under General Ulysses S. Grant in the winter of 1862 during the battles of forts Henry and Donelson. Before the Battle of Shiloh, Sherman commanded a division. Failing to make proper preparations for a Confederate offensive, his men were overrun, he rallied his division and helped drive the Confederates back. Sherman served in the Siege of Corinth and commanded the XV Corps during the Vicksburg Campaign, which led to the fall of the critical Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. After Grant was promoted to command of all Western armies, Sherman took over the Army of the Tennessee and led it during the Chattanooga Campaign, which culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee.
In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting by destroying large amounts of supplies and demoralizing the Southern people; the tactics that he used during this march, though effective, remain a subject of controversy. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas and Florida in April 1865, after having been present at most major military engagements in the West; when Grant assumed the U. S. presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army, in which capacity he served from 1869 until 1883. As such, he was responsible for the U. S. Army's engagement in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years. Sherman advocated total war against hostile Indians to force them back onto their reservations.
He was skeptical of the Reconstruction era policies of the federal government in the South. Sherman steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known first-hand accounts of the Civil War. British military historian B. H. Liddell Hart declared that Sherman was "the first modern general". Sherman was born in 1820 in Lancaster, near the banks of the Hocking River, his father, Charles Robert Sherman, a successful lawyer who sat on the Ohio Supreme Court, died unexpectedly in 1829. He left Mary Hoyt Sherman, with eleven children and no inheritance. After his father's death, the nine-year-old Sherman was raised by a Lancaster neighbor and family friend, attorney Thomas Ewing, Sr. a prominent member of the Whig Party who served as senator from Ohio and as the first Secretary of the Interior. Sherman grew to admire him. Sherman's older brother. One of his younger brothers, John Sherman, served as a U. S. senator and Cabinet secretary. Another younger brother, Hoyt Sherman, was a successful banker.
Two of his foster brothers served as major generals in the Union Army during the Civil War: Hugh Boyle Ewing an ambassador and author, Thomas Ewing, Jr. who would serve as defense attorney in the military trials of the Lincoln conspirators. Sherman would marry his foster sister, Ellen Boyle Ewing, at age 30 and have eight children with her. Sherman's unusual given name has always attracted considerable attention. Sherman reported that his middle name came from his father having "caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees,'Tecumseh'". Since an account in a 1932 biography about Sherman, it has been reported that, as an infant, Sherman was named Tecumseh. According to these accounts, Sherman only acquired the name "William" at age nine or ten, after being taken into the Ewing household, his foster mother, Maria Willis Boyle, was of a devout Roman Catholic. Sherman was raised in a Roman Catholic household, although he left the church, citing the effect of the Civil War on his religious views.
According to a story that may be myth, Sherman was baptized in the Ewing home by a Dominican priest, who named him William for the saint's day: June 25, the feast day of Saint William of Montevergine. The story is contested, however. Sherman wrote in his Memoirs; as a
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture cotton, a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves; each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U. S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch overnight.
After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither declared secession nor were they largely controlled by Confederate forces; the government of the United States rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished; the war lacked a formal end.
By 1865 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared". On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case; the antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona.
Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia, occupied by Federal troops; the Restored Government recognized the new state of West Virginia, admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war. Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, its blockade of the southern coast. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal; as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers; the most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were damaged. Internal movement became difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility; these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, jailed in preparation for a treason trial, never held; the initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War", had been appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation between 1781 and 1789. Benjamin Lincoln and Henry Knox held the position; when Washington was inaugurated as the first president under the Constitution, he appointed Knox to continue serving as Secretary of War. The Secretary of War was the head of the War Department. At first, he was responsible including naval affairs. In 1798, the Secretary of the Navy was created by statute, the scope of responsibility for this office was reduced to the affairs of the United States Army. From 1886 onward, the Secretary of War was in the line of succession to the presidency, after the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tem of the Senate and the Secretary of State.
In 1947, with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, the Secretary of War was replaced by the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, along with the Secretary of the Navy, have since 1949 been non-Cabinet subordinates under the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Army's office is considered the direct successor to the Secretary of War's office although the Secretary of Defense took the Secretary of War's position in the Cabinet, the line of succession to the presidency; the office of Secretary at War was modelled upon Great Britain's Secretary at War, William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington, at the time of the American Revolution. The office of Secretary at War was meant to replace both the Commander-in-Chief and the Board of War, like the President of the Board, the Secretary wore no special insignia; the Inspector General, Quartermaster General, Commissary General, Adjutant General served on the Secretary's staff. However, the Army itself under Secretary Henry Knox only consisted of 700 men.
Parties No party Federalist Democratic-Republican Democratic Whig Republican Confederate States Secretary of War Bell, William Gardner. Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff 1775-2005: Portraits and Biographical Sketches. Washington, D. C.: United States Army Center of Military History. Grossman, Mark. Encyclopedia of the United States Cabinet 1789-2010. Armenia, New York: Greyhouse Publishing. King, Archibald. Command of the Army. Military Affairs. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Judge Advocate General's School, U. S. Army
Battle of Perryville
The Battle of Perryville was fought on October 8, 1862, in the Chaplin Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky, as the culmination of the Confederate Heartland Offensive during the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi won a tactical victory against a single corps of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Union Army of the Ohio; the battle is considered a strategic Union victory, sometimes called the Battle for Kentucky, since Bragg withdrew to Tennessee soon thereafter. The Union retained control of the critical border state of Kentucky for the remainder of the war. On October 7, Buell's army, in pursuit of Bragg, converged on the small crossroads town of Perryville in three columns. Union forces first skirmished with Confederate cavalry on the Springfield Pike before the fighting became more general, on Peters Hill, when the Confederate infantry arrived. Both sides were desperate to get access to fresh water; the next day, at dawn, fighting began again around Peters Hill as a Union division advanced up the pike, halting just before the Confederate line.
After noon, a Confederate division struck the Union left flank—the I Corps of Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook—and forced it to fall back; when more Confederate divisions joined the fray, the Union line made a stubborn stand, but fell back with some units routed. Buell, several miles behind the action, was unaware that a major battle was taking place and did not send any reserves to the front until late in the afternoon; the Union troops on the left flank, reinforced by two brigades, stabilized their line, the Confederate attack sputtered to a halt. Three Confederate regiments assaulted the Union division on the Springfield Pike but were repulsed and fell back into Perryville. Union troops pursued, skirmishing occurred in the streets until dark. By that time, Union reinforcements were threatening the Confederate left flank. Bragg, short of men and supplies, withdrew during the night, continued the Confederate retreat by way of Cumberland Gap into East Tennessee. Considering the casualties relative to the engaged strengths of the armies, the Battle of Perryville was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
It was the largest battle fought in the state of Kentucky. Situated between the Southern states of Tennessee and Virginia and the Northern states of Illinois and Ohio, the border state of Kentucky was coveted by both sides of the conflict because of its central location and its control of key rivers the Ohio. In September 1861, Kentucky-born President Abraham Lincoln wrote in a private letter, "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly to lose the whole game."Opposing political elements within the state vied for control during the early part of the war, the state legislature declared official neutrality to keep out both the Union and the Confederate armies. This neutrality was first violated on September 3, 1861, when Confederate Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk occupied Columbus, considered key to controlling the Lower Mississippi. Two days Union Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant seized Paducah. Henceforth, the proclaimed neutrality was a dead letter. While the state never seceded from the Union, Confederate sympathizers who were members of the legislature set up a temporary Confederate capital in Bowling Green in November 1861.
It never wielded significant power inside the state. The Confederate States recognized Kentucky and added a star representing the state to the Confederate flag; the initiative to invade Kentucky came from Confederate Maj. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Department of East Tennessee, he believed the campaign would allow them to obtain supplies, enlist recruits, divert Union troops from Tennessee, claim Kentucky for the Confederacy. In July 1862 Col. John Hunt Morgan carried out a successful cavalry raid in the state, venturing into the rear areas of Buell's department; the raid caused considerable consternation in Buell's command and in Washington, D. C. During the raid and his forces were cheered and supported by many residents, he added 300 Kentucky volunteers to his 900-man force during the raid. He confidently promised Kirby Smith, "The whole country can be secured, 25,000 or 30,000 men will join you at once."Bragg considered various options, including an attempt to retake Corinth, Mississippi, or to advance against Buell's army through Middle Tennessee.
He heeded Kirby Smith's calls for reinforcement and decided to relocate his Army of Mississippi to join with him. He moved 30,000 infantrymen in a tortuous railroad journey from Tupelo, through Mobile and Montgomery to Chattanooga. Supply wagons and artillery moved overland under their own power through Rome, Georgia. Although Bragg was the senior general in the theater, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had established Kirby Smith's Department of East Tennessee as an independent command, reporting directly to Richmond; this decision caused Bragg difficulty during the campaign. Smith and Bragg met in Chattanooga on July 31, 1862, devised a plan for the campaign: The newly created Army of Kentucky, including two of Bragg's brigades and 21,000 men, would march north under Kirby Smith's command into Kentucky to dispose of the Union defenders of Cumberland Gap. Smith would return to join Bragg, their combined forces would attempt to maneuver into Buell's rear and force a battle to protect his supply lines.
Any attempt by Ulysses S. Grant to reinforce Buell from northern Mississippi would be handled by the two small armies of Maj. Gens. Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn. Once the armies were combined, Bragg's
Wytheville is a town in, the county seat of, Wythe County, in western Virginia, United States. It is named after George Wythe, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, mentor to Thomas Jefferson. Wytheville's population was 8,211 at the 2010 census. Interstate Highways 77 and 81 were constructed to intersect at the town, long a crossroads for travelers. During the American Civil War, Wytheville had a strategic importance, it was attacked in 1863 and 1865. The town is the birthplace of second wife of President Woodrow Wilson. Wythe County was created in 1789 and named for George Wythe, the "father of American Jurisprudence" and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In May 1790, Chris Simmerman donated 90 acres, along with John Davis's 10 acres, to establish a town and county seat. Robert Adams completed a town survey in November of that year, dividing the area into half-acre lots; the town did not have an official name yet, but was known as Wythe Court House. Two years in October 1792, the town was named Evansham, for prominent local citizen Jesse Evans.
After a disastrous fire in March 1839, the town was renamed Wytheville. At that time, it was home to about 500 residents. After the Reconstruction era, the majority-white community joined the rest of the state in reasserting white supremacy and Jim Crow rules, which lasted long into the 20th century. In 1926 the last lynching in Virginia took place here, when Raymond Bird, an African-American man, was taken from jail by a large group of white men, after being arrested for having sex with a white woman, he was shot, dragged miles behind a truck, his dead body hanged from a tree on a county road. He had first been accused of raping Minnie Grubb, daughter of his employer, but she insisted their relationship was consensual and bore his daughter; the community killed him three weeks later. The event provoked outrage and national coverage by newspapers. Bird's death was a catalyst for Virginia's passing an anti-lynching law in 1928 because of a campaign led by Louis I. Jaffé, editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.
It was supported by Governor Harry Flood Byrd Sr. who linked the bill to his efforts to attract new businesses to the state. A few cases of polio during the summer of 1950 swelled into an epidemic of hundreds, it was known to cause infantile and adult paralysis. Of the 5,513 inhabitants of the town, 184 people contracted the disease. From the beginning of June until the end of August, parents kept children inside, large gatherings were cancelled to diminish the chance of infection; as the epidemic progressed, ambulances drove victims 80 miles trip to Memorial Crippled Children's Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. Hearses from local funeral homes were used. African-American patients with polio were denied admission to Roanoke's hospital and were forced to make the 300 miles trip drive to St. Philip's Hospital in Richmond, the closest one to serve blacks; the Town Council erected billboards at all five entrances to the county, warning potential visitors of the epidemic and urging tourists to return the following year.
By the end of the summer, unknown assailants demolished all five billboards. Though the Town Council offered a reward for information, no one came forward; the Crockett's Cove Presbyterian Church, Haller-Gibboney Rock House, Loretto, St. John's Episcopal Church, St. John's Lutheran Church and Cemetery, Wythe County Poorhouse Farm, Wytheville Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wytheville is located at 36°56′52″N 81°5′13″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.3 sq mi, of which 0.04 sq mi is water. Wytheville is an important point on both I-77 and I-81 and lies amidst a wrong-way concurrency of I-77 and I-81, it is located about halfway between Tennessee/Virginia and Roanoke. On the I-77 corridor, it is located about halfway between Charleston, West Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina; the nearby community of Fort Chiswell is the control city for the northbound traffic on I-77 coming from Charlotte, Statesville and Mount Airy, North Carolina.
In the near future, Interstate 74 will go through Wytheville in addition to the two other interstates. Due to the confluence of I-77, I-81 and several U. S. Highways, its location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wytheville is known as "The Hub of Southwest Virginia" and "The Crossroads of the Blue Ridge". Due to its elevation, the climate of Wytheville is either classified as mountain temperate or humid continental, the town straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6B and 7A. Summers are warm and humid, although cooler than low-elevation places within the state, with only 4.6 days of 90 °F + highs annually, winters are cool to cold with occasional intervening warm periods and 11 nights of sub-10 °F lows. Monthly mean temperatures range from 30.7 °F in January to 70.4 °F in July. Snowfall averages 20.5 inches per season and occurs from December to March. As of the census of 2000, there were 7,804 people, 3,504 households, 2,112 families residing in the town; the population density was 546.8 people per square mile.
There were 3,776 housing units at an average density of 264.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 90.76% White, 7.19% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, 0.86% from two or