Sherman sought, therefore, a way to end the war with as little bloodshed as possible. In the fall of 1864, the Union General William Tecumseh ("Cump") Sherman took 60,000 men and pillaged his way through Georgia's civilian farmsteads. In April 1863, the Federal government would set forth a distinction between civilians and combatants inhabiting the Confederacy in its General Order 100, “Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field.” Article 22 read in part that there is a “distinction between the private individual belonging to a hostile country and the hostile country itself, with its men in arms. Two of the best examples are Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones’ How the North Won the War (1983) and Mark Grimsley’s The Hard Hand of War (1995). Meridian Campaign Bruce Catton, This Hallowed Ground (New York: Pocket Books, 1956). At one point, when asked a question about “good Indians,” he responded that, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead,” which became, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” in popular vernacular. His plan suggested the possibility of an amphibious assault near Mobile, a large cavalry raid, numerous feints, or a march of more than twenty thousand infantry straight across a hundred and fifty miles of enemy territory. On the ride from Fort Belknap to Fort Richardson, however, Sherman and his party barely missed falling victim to the war party of Satanta, Satank, and Big Tree. Many historians have credited Sherman with creating the policy of “total war,” of modern warfare. Railroad ties were uprooted, heated over fires to make them malleable, and then twisted around tree trunks as “Sherman neckties” to insure the tracks couldn’t be repaired. Given his long-running feuds with the press, that was probably a wise decision. His entire war experience, particularly as Ulysses S. Grant’s subordinate, provided him with battlefield savvy and tactics to do just that. After exhausting all conventional methods for dealing with these threats, he began to strike at the local Southern towns, which he considered the supply bases for the Confederates. His last battle was Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19–21, 1865. Dan Bullock died at age 15 in 1969 and efforts to recognize the young African-American Marine continue and are highlighted in this Military Times documentary. He served in a variety of positions throughout the South and garnered no special notice. Dictionary of American Biography. Governor Pettus quickly began to acquire arms and supplies for the large number of volunteers coming into the state army. Why did General William T. Sherman want to capture Atlanta? Confederate cavalry leader Major General Earl Van Dorn striking at his supply and communication lines at Holly Springs and Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest hitting at other locations in northern Mississippi isolated the Union force from its base. These were not hollow threats. His comments about guerrillas implied condemnation of their style of warfare. With Ewing's influence, Sherman was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1836; he graduated sixth in his class and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery in Florida on July 1, 1840. Since Sherman is now best known for his destructive … It served as a hub for Confederate traffic between Mississippi and the rest of the eastern Confederacy. Sherman’s March, more accurately known as the Georgia and Carolinas Campaigns, cut a swath across three states in 1864–1865. During the first year of the American Civil War, William T. Sherman had considered proper treatment of noncombatants and their property his soldierly duty. If elected, I will not serve.” He was one of the commanders who kept away from politics. There, Sherman impatiently ordered a frontal assault that cost him 3,000 men, while the Confederates lost only 1,000. Just after the fall of Vicksburg, while in Jackson for the second time, Sherman conducted a campaign of destruction to render the city unusable to the Confederate army. With the reorganization of the army that followed the war, Sherman was made lieutenant general on July 25, 1866; he superseded John Pope on August 11, 1866, as commander of the Division of Missouri. Income was generated from the rental of the theatre to other groups. Thus began one of the great partnerships of the Civil War; Sherman would later say, in reference to the wild rumors that had been spread about them, “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”. The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry. Most of the tactics Sherman employed during the Meridian Campaign, such as using feints and acquiring supplies from the countryside as he progressed, were not new to war. “Almost incredible feat”: Norman Jackson Fights Fire in the Sky. However, the military recognized the importance the Lakota Nations attached to the area and in 1867 General William T. Sherman stated that the Army was not in a position to investigate the Black Hills and would not protect any civilians who did so. William T. Sherman was one of the most successful Union generals in the Civil War. contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. Battle of Bentonville. He led Union forces in crushing campaigns through the South, marching through Georgia and the Carolinas (1864–65). While many historians contend that Jomini’s works had little influence on these officers because his The Art of War was not translated into English until late in 1854, most military tacticians and strategists of the period drew upon this work for their own writings. ... Pfc. “Absolute war,” in his opinion, should remain an action reserved for belligerents, and he made no mention of expanding such a strategy to the civilian population. He published one of the most popular and well-read first-hand accounts of the Civil War, his book Memoirs, published in 1875. Although he experienced limited success with this tactic, Sherman believed that the key to protecting the Mississippi, a major key to Union victory, was to strike at Confederate resources in the Magnolia State. Sherman could not capture those directly responsible for the sniping, but, as an example to others, he decided to punish those who assisted in the attack on the boat—or did not prevent it. The expedition demonstrated to Sherman and other Federal commanders how to conduct “hard war” successfully. He wrote triumphantly: “Jackson, once the pride and boast of Mississippi, is now a ruined town.” Sherman also remarked happily that after his two successful raids on the capital, “Jackson ceases to be a place for the enemy to collect stores and men from which to threaten our great river.” This was the first step that illustrated Grant’s and Sherman’s belief that the Union army needed a new type of strategy to win the war. This scorched-earth policy had begun in Mississippi, where his men repeatedly burned the city of Jackson until it became known as “Chimneyville,” because only chimneys remained. It was called The Savannah Campaignand was lead by Major General William T. Sherman. In the preceding months, Sherman had tried diligently to end the guerrilla attacks along the Mississippi River with a series of precise retaliations. Jomini contended that the violence between two enemy armies on the battlefield had few limitations but that civilians away from the fighting should not be included. Sherman contended that the American conflict was a similar situation. This was typical of armies marching through enemy territory in the Civil War. reset. Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits. On September 1, 1864, Sherman and his army captured Atlanta, Georgia, an important transportation center in the Confederacy. It was along this same ridge that he formed his first line of battle on the morning of April 6, 1862, and where he was first attacked by the Confederates. “It is not our wish or policy to destroy the farmers or their farms, but of course there is and must be remedy for all evils.”. He burned Atlanta and set off, with a force of 60,000, on his famous march to the sea, devastating the country. It is time they should feel the presence of war on our side.”. Now he understood that he would have to take his actions even further to obtain his desired goal—ending attacks on Mississippi River shipping. Still, his “March to the Sea” in 1864 was a success in its goal to cripple the Confederate’s ability to wage war. Show them no mercy and if the people don’t suppress guerrillas, tell them your orders are to treat the community as enemies.”, In January, while on a trip down the Mississippi to investigate another river attack, he heatedly wrote: “For every bullet shot at a steamboat, I would shoot a thousand [cannons into every] hapless town on Red, Ouachita, Yazoo [Rivers], or wherever a boat can float or soldiers march.” Four days later he ordered Brigadier General A.J. “Sherman’s March to the Sea” from Atlanta to the seaport town of Savannah was intended, as Sherman said, “to make Georgia Howl.”  For weeks, he and his army virtually disappeared from the War Department’s view. Sherman did not develop his style of warfare in a week or even a year. He needed to capture Atlanta in order to reach the port cities on the coast. Vicksburg Campaign And his brother Hoyt was a successful banker. If they refused to assist in the apprehension of the culprits, then they would suffer the consequences. These experiences, and what he learned along the muddy roads from Vicksburg to Meridian, would allow him to wreak more havoc on an enemy population’s supplies and psyche than any other general in the Civil War had done previously—and earn lasting immortality for it. Sherman could support his own armies with his enemy’s assets. Accompanied by Inspector Gen. Randolph B. Marcy and a small cavalry escort, Sherman traveled northwestward from San Antonio and visited forts Mason, McKavett, Concho, Griffin, and Belknap. He thought this was the best way to keep border state civilians from straying to the Confederate side. Sherman remained steadfast in his belief that wanton destruction of private citizens’ property was wrong, but he now believed the “exigencies of the war” forced him to take a new approach. South Carolina had set the nation on the road to war when it seceded and sent emissaries to other Southern states urging them to join in forming a new confederation, and it was in South Carolina that the first shots were fired, at Fort Sumter. According to a … Sherman did not like the idea put forth by General Orders 107 and 108. Sherman was ordered to return to Johnston and tell him they could only discuss surrender of his Army of Tennessee, and Grant was dispatched to make sure no bounds were overstepped. On December 21, 1864, his troops took Savannah from the Confederates, and he dispatched a message to Lincoln that later became famous; he offered the city as a Christmas present to the president. To such as would rebel against a Government so mild and just as ours was in Peace, a punishment equal would not be unjust,” he declared. Britannica Quiz. As 1864 began, Sherman continued to grapple with the guerrillas who unrelentingly attacked locations along the Mississippi River. A We at that time were restrained, tied to a deep-seated reverence for law and property. A His brutal and devastating method of waging war (“Hard War” he called it) remains controversial to this day. Even at this stage, Sherman considered his objective to be removing supplies from the enemy’s use and putting them to use by his own troops. Each monograph appreciates the role of the expedition as the beginning of the Federal army’s new style of warfare bringing the realities of war to a civilian population, but neither provides details on exactly what Sherman learned here or the campaign’s overall significance. Knowing that he had the confidence of his brother, he wrote freely. The pivotal circumstances in Sherman’s transformation came because of his dealings with guerrillas along the Mississippi River and his participation in the Vicksburg Campaign in 1862 and 1863. A Controversial Question: Were Fears of China Justified? He hoped to move across Mississippi as soon as his men were rested and the cool fall weather had arrived. Atlanta Campaign Burning Atlanta and the Start of the March While moving south down the Mississippi from Memphis on transports in December 1862, as part of the Vicksburg Campaign, Sherman continued his policy of punishing those who sniped at river craft. Click on image for larger image and transcript. In addition to the theatre/ballroom, Casino Hall also offered members the use of a bowling alley, gaming tables and a bar. Two of his foster brothers would serve as major generals in the Union Army during the Civil War. Guerrilla raids on Union supplies and firings upon boats along the Mississippi River continued to anger Sherman when his troops garrisoned Memphis in 1862. Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Blue (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964). Grant, Sherman’s superior, had bigger plans than Meridian, but an attack on the Mississippi town would fit nicely into his larger strategy. Sherman did not believe that all Southern civilians were at war with the Union army. For more information go to: If successful in Mississippi, Sherman would intensify his activities, saving lives while simultaneously obtaining effective results. Officers' row, ca. Soon after, word arrived that Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Grant. As during his first trip to Jackson, Sherman went about destroying and confiscating supplies from the area in and around the city. After reassignment to the army of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Sherman commanded a division at the battle of Shiloh. “Satan and the rebellious saints of Heaven were allowed continuance of existence in Hell, merely to [feel] their just punishment. Some sources say “William” was added later. The 360-mile march extended from Atlanta in central Georgia to Savannah on the Atlantic coast and lasted from November 12 to December 22, 1864. A great number of the thirty thousand paroled troops from Vicksburg had entered into partisan and regular service throughout the state, enhancing the number of enemy troops already there. He took great care in seeing that his policies and the conduct of his men did not trample upon the perceived rights of secessionist or unionist civilians. His dealings with guerrillas in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi had hardened his resolve toward nonbelligerents. Halleck thought Texas was a more important target, so he did not provide Grant with the approval he wished. His father died while William was still a boy and after his father’s death, he was raised by a family friend, attorney Thomas Ewing. The principle has been more and more acknowledged that the unarmed citizen is to be spared in person, property, and honor as much as the exigencies of war will admit.” The key factor was war necessity, and as Article 28 pointed out, there was also a right of retaliation. In this he was reflecting Lincoln’s belief that Texas was especially important to U.S. interests. “Sherman, William Tecumseh,” Sherman’s men held a special hatred for the Palmetto State and left a trail of tears and ashes in their wake before crossing into North Carolina, where they burned even the pine forests that provided tar for the state’s shipbuilding works. 1871. Sherman's Meridian Campaign: A Practice Run for the March to the Sea. 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