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Before his spectacular career as commanding general of the Union forces of the West, William Tecumseh Sherman experienced decades of frustration and failure. He participated in many of the critical events of early-nineteenth-century America: the protracted war against the Indians, the California gold rush, the banking panics, the political turmoil, and the elusive search for fame and fortune. Sherman's place in American history was still in doubt during the first stages of the Civil War, when he reluctantly led a Union brigade to humiliating defeat at Bull Run. It was not until his major role at the Battle of Shiloh that he began to assert his brilliance as a military commander. After his capture of Atlanta in 1864, which secured Abraham Lincoln's reelection, Sherman launched the infamous March to the Sea. Combining a ruthless scorched-earth strategy with shrewd psychological and propaganda, Sherman forever changed the nature of American warfare.
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.