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William Tecumseh Sherman: Things You May Not Know

In terms of a crucial figure during the Civil War, we shouldn’t forget about William Tecumseh Sherman. He played a significant role in the triumph over the Confederate States. This event has also made Sherman one of the most well-known military leaders in history.

This powerful general was born on February 8, 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio with an unusual middle name given by his father. The middle name given by his father was Bob. Shawnee was also a charismatic leader during his era.

It was pretty interesting that Sherman’s middle name was inspired by Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Shawnee was the leader against the British during 1812 war. The confederency of the Indian Tribes in Ohio was also build by him. Sherman’s father argued that Shawnee was a powerful warrior.

William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman

Despite the fascinating fact about his middle name, William Tecumseh Sherman was still known as a great figure in U.S. history thanks to his roles in the Civil War. He was even frequently linked to the California Gold Rush.

In 1848, when Sherman was stationed in San Francisco, he assisted to convince Richard Mason, a military governor at that time, to examine the first findings of gold in California. Sherman was engaged in the mission and confirmed the presence of rich gold deposits.

A Case of Nervous Breakdown during the Civil War

Even though Sherman was known for his role in the Civil War, some believed that he might have suffered a nervous breakdown during the moment. William Tecumseh Sherman was just promoted to become brigadier general before commanding Union troops in Tennessee and Kentucky.

At that time, Sherman was recognized for his promising performance during the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. However, Sherman didn’t want this new role and experienced a mental breakdown as a consequence of the big responsibilities.

During this period, Sherman was continuously overestimating things, including the mass of Confederate strengths in the region. Moreover, he constantly appeared on edge and clutched in his posts to President Lincoln. That’s why historians believed that Sherman was suffering from nervous fatigue at that time.

during the Civil War
during the Civil War

Whatever the reasons are, these behaviors of William Tecumseh Sherman were noted in the history and some even labeled him insane. This condition was then followed by his request to be removed from the position at the beginning of November 1861.

Although the request was not granted immediately, Sherman was eventually reassigned to the Western Theater at the end of the year. Once he worked with General Ulysses S. Grant, another crucial victory was achieved and remained remembered.

March to the Sea and Sherman’s Generosity

Among his numerous roles in the war, the March to the Sea was believed as one of the most remarkable operations he did. At that time, William Tecumseh Sherman left Atlanta secretly and tried to cover it by splitting all telegraph links to the North.

Due to this plan, what the Confederates could do was only guessing where Sherman and his army were headed without knowing the truth. On the other hand, the Union high command was left in the dark without knowing the progress of this mission.

President Lincoln was worried at that time and said that they know which way he took but don’t know what place Sherman will come out at the end. After a moment, Sherman reached the sea and sent a well-known message to the president.

In addition to his powerful role in various wars, William Tecumseh Sherman was also well-known for being generous. Of course, this perception didn’t appear for any reason since Sherman was known for accepting the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate General, in Durham.

At that time, Sherman granted the rebels amnesty and even permitted the Southern states to re-enter the Union without delay. However, the agreement between Sherman and the Confederate General Joseph was rejected by Edwin Stanton.

Outside the Military Career of General Sherman

Sherman was not only known for his action in the war, but he was also famous for running a San Francisco bank after leaving the military in 1853. On the other hand, William Tecumseh Sherman proved a competent entrepreneur due to the Gold Rush bubble.

However, because of financial hysteria, his branch caved in and he was left shamed by others. One of the primary reasons is because a lot of his military friends, including Generals George Thomas and Braxton Bragg, had assigned some money to him.

To deal with their losses, Sherman decided to liquidate his assets of around $20,000. After that, he abandoned the banking world in 1858. In conclusion, Sherman had such an up and down challenge during his military and business lives. He was also repeatedly assigned to run for president but always declined it. Whatever it is, William Tecumseh Sherman will remain one of the powerful figures in history.