William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on February 8, 1820. Twenty years later he graduated from West Point and began his service in the U.S. Army.
We know of Sherman because of his service during the Civil War. He was appointed in May 1861 as a colonel of the 13th Infantry; as such, he led a brigade at the Battle of Bull Run. He was promoted to brigadier general and took part in the capture of Vicksburg. Sherman became commander of the Division of the Mississippi in March 1864.
Commanding about one hundred thousand troops, General Sherman swept through Georgia. He captured Atlanta and continued on to Savannah. He commanded his troops to destroy everything of military value in their path; his strategy proved very effective even though it caused much bitterness. He and his troops then turned northward on their way through North and South Carolina; they forced Confederate General Joseph Johnston to surrender in April 1865.
Sherman became the commanding General of the Army in 1869 and served in that position until 1883. When proposed as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 1884, Sherman declared: “If nominated I will not accept. If elected, I will not serve.”
When General Sherman retired from the Army, he became the manager of a banking house in San Francisco. He passed away on February 14, 1891.