Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order

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SIU Press, Nov 8, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 635 pages
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Sherman: A Soldier’ s Passion for Order is the premier biography of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War commander known for his “ destructive war” policy against Confederates and as a consummate soldier. This updated edition of John F. Marszalek’ s award-winning book presents the general as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success.

Sherman was profoundly influenced by the death of his father and his subsequent relationship with the powerful Whig politician Thomas Ewing and his family. Although the Ewings treated Sherman as one of their own, the young Sherman was determined to make it on his own. He graduated from West Point and moved on to service at military posts throughout the South. This volume traces Sherman’ s involvement in the Mexican War in the late 1840s, his years battling prospectors and deserting soldiers in gold-rush California, and his 1850 marriage to his foster sister, Ellen. Later he moved to Louisiana, and, after the state seceded, Sherman returned to the North to fight for the Union.

Sherman covers the general’ s early Civil War assignments in Kentucky and Missouri and his battles against former Southern friends there, the battle at Shiloh, and his rise to become second only to Grant among the Union leadership. Sherman’ s famed use of destructive war, controversial then and now, is examined in detail. The destruction of property, he believed, would convince the Confederates that surrender was their best option, and Sherman’ s successful strategy became the stuff of legend.

This definitive biography, which includes forty-six illustrations, effectively refutes misconceptions surrounding the controversial Union general and presents Sherman the man, not the myth. 

 

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Sherman: a soldier's passion for order

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Sherman taught America that "War is hell'' as he swept through Georgia and the Carolinas to destroy the Confederates' will to resist. The roots of Sherman's philosophy of total war and of his ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
xxiii
Unstable Beginnings
1
Making Southern Friends
30
Gold Rush Soldier
52
Setting Down Roots
77
The Disorder of Financial Life
93
Contented Southern Schoolmaster
123
Reluctant Warrior Under Attack
140
Punishing South Carlina and Ensuring Victory
317
Fame Tarnished
334
National Hero and the Souths Friend
360
Indian Country Chaos
377
The Anchor of Home
401
Commanding General versus the Politicians
422
Retiring from the Army and Refusing the Presidency
445
Safeguarding Historical Order
460

Rebirth at Shiloh
171
Restoring Order to Memphis
188
Battling the Bayous to Reach the Vicksburg Fortress
202
Practicing Destructive War in Mississippi
232
Atlanta Falls
259
March to the Sea
288
A Full Life Ends
479
Notes
501
Bibliography
587
Index
613
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

John F. Marszalek is Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Mississippi State University.  His publications include several books on William T. Sherman, and biographies of Civil War general Henry W. Halleck, black West Point cadet Johnson C. Whittaker, black congressman George W. Murray, and the infamous Jacksonian, Peggy Eaton.  

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