William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. Sherman began his Civil War career serving in the First Battle of Bull Run and he served under General Ulysses S. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the Western Theater of the war and 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. Shermans subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacys ability to continue fighting and he accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865, after having been present at most major military engagements in the Western Theater. When Grant assumed the U. S. presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army, as such, he was responsible for the U. S. Armys engagement in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years. Sherman advocated total war against hostile Indians to force them back onto their reservations and he 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 famously declared that Sherman was the first modern general, Sherman was born in 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio, near the banks of the Hocking River. His father Charles Robert Sherman, a lawyer who sat on the Ohio Supreme Court. He left his widow, Mary Hoyt Sherman, with eleven children, Sherman was distantly related to American founding father Roger Sherman and grew to admire him. Shermans older brother Charles Taylor Sherman became a federal judge, 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, Sherman would marry his foster sister, Ellen Boyle Ewing, at age 30 and have eight children with her. Shermans unusual given name has attracted considerable attention. Sherman reported that his name came from his father having caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees. Since an account in a 1932 biography about Sherman, it has often reported that, as an infant. According to these accounts, Sherman only acquired the name William at age nine or ten and his foster mother, Maria Willis Boyle, was of Irish ancestry and a devout Roman Catholic. Sherman was raised in a Roman Catholic household, though he left the church. Sherman wrote in his Memoirs that his father named him William Tecumseh, Sherman was baptized by a Presbyterian minister as an infant, as an adult, Sherman signed all his correspondence – including to his wife – W. T. Sherman. His friends and family called him Cump
Sherman as a major general in May 1865. The black ribbon of mourning on his left arm is for U.S. President Lincoln. Portrait by Mathew Brady.
Sherman's childhood home in Lancaster
Young Sherman in military uniform
An 1866 painted portrait of Sherman, by George P.A. Healy