Today I am going to be writing about two civil war generals that were fighting for the Union cause in the Civil War. This first is Philip Henry Sheridan and the second is William Tecumseh Sherman.
Philip Henry Sheridan
Philip Sheridan was born in Albany, New York in 1831, and entered West Point Military Academy in 1848. Sheridan was suspended for a year (for fighting with a fellow class-mate), but returned a and ended up graduating in 1853. After graduating, Sheridan was appointed as Brevet Second Lieutenant in the 1st US Infantry. He served in Texas for a while, before being moved to the 4th US Infantry and Fort Reading, California.
When the Civil War broke out, Sheridan began climbing the ladder of authority, eventually becoming a general. As a general, Sheridan was known for his “Scorched Earth” tactics. That basically meant that he burnt everything behind him and the army he was leading, so that the enemy wouldn’t have anything to help them when they came through. After the war and under Stephen Grover Cleveland, Sheridan was promoted to General of the Army. Philip Henry Sheridan died in 1888.
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was a character. He was born in February of 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio. Sherman’s father died when he was nine years old, leaving him, his mother, and his siblings with basically nothing to live on. The young boy then went to live with a friend of the family, Thomas Ewing Sr. At the age of 16, Sherman entered West Point Military Academy, graduating in 1840, and joining the US military as Second Lieutenant of the 3rd US Artillery. In 1850, he asked for Ellen Ewing’s hand in marriage. Ellen Ewing was the daughter of the man who had “adopted” him when he was nine years old. She was looked upon as his foster sister. That same year, Sherman was promoted to Captain in his division.
When the Civil War started, he first saw action in the first Battle of Bull Run (also known as Manassas by Confederates). Sherman was a very nervous man, and after a while, the strain of leading so many men in battle took a toll on his nerves. He took a much needed sabbatical back at the house he was raised in, but he grew very depressed and even suicidal. It was then that he decided to join the army again. Once he got back into fighting, Sherman excelled, and became one of Ulysses Grant’s close friends. Over the course of the war, William Tecumseh Sherman proved himself to be an avid soldier, and eventually a fantastic general. Sherman utilized the “Scorched Earth” tactics and he was famous for “Sherman’s Neckties” which were the metal railroad rails that he would have his men heat up a little bit and wrap around trees so that they were totally and completely un-useable to the enemy. Ulysses Grant appointed Sherman as General of the Army when he became president, and he served in that position for 15 years.