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William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman



William Tecumseh Sherman (18201891)
CLASS OF 1840

After West Point, the Ohio-born Sherman served at southern posts as an artillery officer before the Mexican War brought him to California. Returning east in 1850, he married Ellen Ewing, daughter of the man who had raised him after his father’s early death. They had eight children. Sherman resigned from the army in 1853, but struggled in civilian life until 1859, when he happily became head of the Louisiana Military Seminary.

Secession drove Sherman north and the outbreak of war brought him back to the army. He rose to prominence with Ulysses S. Grant in the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns. When Grant moved east to take command of all Union armies, Sherman launched the drive through Georgia and the Carolinas that devastated the Confederacy and made him famous. After the war, he succeeded Grant as the army’s commanding general.


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The Army in Reconstruction




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Class of 1846



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Robert Edward Lee
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William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
1820–1891
Class of 1840





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Choosing Sides Organizing for War Fighting the Civil War The Army in Reconstruction