Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman (Library of America)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Hailed as prophet of modern war and condemned as a harbinger of modern barbarism, William Tecumseh Sherman is the most controversial general of the American Civil War. “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it,” he wrote in fury to the Confederate mayor of Atlanta, and his memoir is filled with dozens of such wartime exchanges. With the propulsive energy and intelligence that marked his campaigns, Sherman describes striking incidents and anecdotes and collects dozens of his incisive and often outspoken wartime orders and reports. This complex self-portrait of an innovative and relentless American warrior provides firsthand accounts of the war’s crucial events—Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, the Atlanta campaign, the marches through Georgia and the Carolinas.
the latest and most authentic information from naval officers now there, to land our whole force on the Mississippi side, and then to reach the point where the Vicksburg & Jackson Railroad crosses the Big Black (f); after which to attack Vicksburg by land, while the gunboats assail it by water. It may be necessary (looking to Grant’s approach), before attacking Vicksburg, to reduce the battery at Haines’s Bluff first, so as to enable some of the lighter gunboats and transports to ascend the Yazoo
wagons to a regiment, but with an ample supply of stores, including mortars and heavy rifled guns, to be used against fortified places. 4th. That I have calculated, and so reported to General Grant, that this detachment of his forces in no event is to go beyond Shreveport, and that you will spare them the moment you can, trying to get them back to the Mississippi River in thirty days from the time they actually enter Red River. The year is wearing away fast, and I would like to carry to General
cotton, for over it I had no absolute control; and yet still later I received a note from the wife of General A. P. Stewart (who commanded a corps in Hood’s army), asking me to come to see her. This I did, and found her to be a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, wanting protection, and who was naturally anxious about the fate of her husband, known to be with General Hood, in Tennessee, retreating before General Thomas. I remember that I was able to assure her that he had not been killed or captured, up
between the two sections, from the fact that all the European immigrants were coming to the Northern States and Territories, and none to the Southern. The slave population in 1860 was near four millions, and the money value thereof not far from twenty-five hundred million dollars. Now, ignoring the moral side of the question, a cause that endangered so vast a moneyed interest was an adequate cause of anxiety and preparation, and the Northern leaders surely ought to have foreseen the danger and
genocidal wars the United States waged against Native Americans on the western plains, campaigns conducted while Sherman was the head of the U.S. Army. In his fascinating, compelling, and detailed account of his life, Sherman lays out how, step by step, this almost gentle and most compassionate of soldiers came to embrace a brutal and inhumane approach to war, one that has been the mark of every major conflict since his time. William Tecumseh Sherman emerged from the Civil War as one of its