William Sherman
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1820
Date of Death: 1891
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Convert to Catholicism
Occupation: Soldier, Lawyer, Banker, Educator, Author of Non-Fiction
Spouse: Eleanor Boyle Ewing
Children: Eight
Military Branch: Union Army
(American Civil War)
Turtledove Appearances:
The Guns of the South
POD: January 17, 1864
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Military Branch: U.S. Army
(Second American Revolution)
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): How Few Remain
Type of Appearance: Direct
Military Branch: US Army
(War of Secession
Second Mexican War)
William Tecumseh Sherman (February 20, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a General in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War (1861–5), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the South, most notoriously in the March Through Georgia.

After the Civil War, Sherman oversaw the country's various Indian Wars, and published his memoirs.

William Sherman in The Guns of the SouthEdit

General William Sherman's advance into the heart of the Confederacy was halted by General Joseph Johnston, whose forces were armed with AK-47s. Sherman's forces met Johnston's at Rocky Face Ridge, and then again as Resaca and Snake Creek Gap. After these encounters, Sherman's losses were so heavy that he was unable to press forward for fear of losing more men.

William Sherman in Southern VictoryEdit

When the War of Secession began in 1861, William Sherman was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the regular army and participated in the First Battle of Bull Run, where he fought with distinction and received a promotion to Brigadier General of Volunteers. Unfortunately, not long afterwards, Sherman suffered a breakdown, an event that would later haunt his military career. Although he fought with valor at Shiloh, and received a promotion to Brevet Major General, it came to naught when the Union was defeated at Camp Hill, and forced by Britain and France to recognize the Confederacy. In the years following, Sherman was stripped of his brevet rank and was returned to colonel. Haunted by lingering rumors of insanity, he would never receive a generalship of regular troops.

Nonetheless, Sherman remained in the US Army and by 1881, he commanded the defenses of San Francisco from his headquarters at the Presidio. When the Second Mexican War began later that year, Sherman organized volunteers and harbor guns in preparation for any attacks. His efforts were mocked greatly by anti-war journalist and Confederate veteran Samuel Clemens of The Morning Call. Because of this, he interviewed Clemens on suspicion that he was a Confederate agent, but found nothing to substantiate it and gave Clemens a letter to that effect.

As the war dragged on, the Royal Navy turned up the pressure against the United States and raided San Francisco. In spite of Sherman's preparations, the harbor guns were Infective and his own troops proved inadequate in stopping the Royal Marines from raiding the US Mint.

After the British raid on San Francisco, Sherman was greatly embarrassed and ridiculed in the city's papers, especially the Morning Call. However, after the cease fire was called, Sherman loudly insisted that with more fortifications, he could make the city impregnable. Although he never received his request, he took matters into his own hands, bringing in many more guns to defend the city. Although all of these were small-caliber field pieces, which weren't a match for the RN's big guns, they had the twin advantages of being common and mobile.

Upon hearing this, Samuel Clemens couldn't help but acknowledge that Sherman was making an effort compared to most US generals and politicians.

See AlsoEdit


Military offices
Preceded by
Ulysses S. Grant
General-in-Chief of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Philip Sheridan