CDV OF BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN

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Item Code: 1139-164

Bust view of Sherman in uniform. He wears a double-breasted coat. Image is clear with very good contrast. A printed paper label, “Sherman, W.” is pasted above his head. Photographer’s backmark, E. & H.T. Anthony, New York.

William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–1865), achieving recognition for his command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies that he implemented against the Confederate States.

Born in Ohio into a politically prominent family, Sherman graduated in 1840 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He interrupted his military career in 1853 to pursue private business ventures, without much success. In 1859 he became superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy (now Louisiana State University), a position from which he resigned when Louisiana seceded from the Union. Sherman commanded a brigade of volunteers at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861 before being transferred to the Western Theater. Stationed in Kentucky, his pessimism about the outlook of the war led to a nervous breakdown that required him to be briefly put on leave. He recovered by forging a close partnership with General Ulysses S. Grant. Sherman served under Grant in 1862 and 1863 in the battles of forts Henry and Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh, the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River, as well as the Chattanooga campaign that 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. He led the capture of the strategic city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas involved little fighting but large-scale destruction of cotton plantations and other infrastructure, a systematic policy intended to undermine the ability and willingness of the Confederacy to continue fighting. Sherman accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865, but the terms that he negotiated were considered too generous by US Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who ordered General Grant to modify them.

When Grant became president of the United States in March 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army. Sherman served in that capacity from 1869 until 1883 and was responsible for the U.S. Army's engagement in the Indian Wars. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into party politics and in 1875 published his memoirs, which became one of the best-known first-hand accounts of the Civil War.

This image was part of the Ray Ritchie collection. [jet] [ph:L]

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