Before his spectacular career as General of the Union forces, William Tecumseh Sherman experienced decades of failure and depression. Drifting between the Old South and new West, Sherman witnessed firsthand many of the critical events of early nineteenth-century America: the Mexican War, the gold rush, the banking panics, and the battles with the Plains Indians. It wasn't until his victory at Shiloh, in 1862, that Sherman assumed his legendary place in American history. After Shiloh, Sherman sacked Atlanta and proceeded to burn a trail of destruction that split the Confederacy and ended the war. His strategy forever changed the nature of warfare and earned him eternal infamy throughout the South. Sherman's Memoirs evoke the uncompromising and deeply complex general as well as the turbulent times that transformed America into a world power. This Penguin Classics edition includes a fascinating introduction and notes by Sherman biographer Michael Fellman.