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GENERAL WM. T. SHERMAN. (1883). (Copyright by J. C. McCurdy & Co.—1883).

GENERAL

William T. Sherman

JAMES P. BOYD, A. M.

AUTHOR OF “MILITARY AND CIVIL LIFE OF U. S. GRANT,"

LIFE OF SHERIDAN,” ETC., ETC.

PUBLISHERS' UNION,

MARVARD
COLLEGE

COPYRIGHT BY
JAMES P. BOYD,

1891.

Introductory.

-HE last of the great military figures in the strife for the

preservation of the American Union passed away

with General William Tecumseh Sherman. Death withheld its band till he grew ripe in years, and came into the full enjoyment of the honors he so hardly won and so richly deserved. The illustrious soldier had time to culti. vate the arts of peace, to gauge the nation he had helped to save, and in turn, to be measured by the standards of patri. otic citizenship and ennobled manhood.

As soldier or citizen his is a unique figure. It stands out in history as one of a mighty group of generals whom the wars of half a century, and on two continents, called into prominence and crowned with laurels. It stands also as one of that lesser group of martial heroes whom the blandishments of political life and civil occupation could not swerve, and whose later ambitions found their gratification in philosophic contemplation and liberal devotion of matured energy to the ends of enlightened citizenship.

Many, indeed most, of the great leaders of the Union army came into prominence slowly. They were evolutione of their time, survivals, so to speak, of the ordeals which quickly consumed a host of the best favored and most promising. Sherman was a matured man when the echoes of Sumpter startled the nation. He was past forty. He had not distinguished himself as a military cadet at West Point. Hating the desultory life of a recruiting officer, he burned for action and distinction on the fields of Mexico, but had the misfortune to be consigned to the wastes of Lower California-an enemy's country, but far removed from the roar of cannon and scenes of strife. Dissatisfied with the hum-drum existence of the remote camp, he tasted of the speculative excitement incident to the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast. The taste was bitter. At last he drifted into the tame life of a military professor in a Southern college. Here he subsisted for a brief time, unmarked by the world, unmeasured by events.

Only when the great rebellion burst upon the country did the rolling stone settle. The dissatisfied, unrooted man then found a place and mission. Let it stand to his everlasting credit that, despite his environment, 'ne obeyed the spirit of loyalty, and threw his future in with that of his country. He understood the situation from the very firstunderstood better than most men of his time, so well indeed as to invite derision for his counsels, and subject himself to the charge of illusory statements and unbalanced judgment. Piqued at this, yet firm in his conviction, and thoroughly fixed in his devotion, he practically devoted himself, and fell in with the fortunes of one who seemed to grasp the Western situation, and who awakened the country with the capture of Fort Donaldson. The genius which proved too commanding to escape question, was yet not too proud to co-operate with that of another, on the lines which both sanctioned. The man, the officer, sunk himself in his cause. Duty was paramount to distinction. Shiloh must be fought, Memphis must fall, the Yazoo must be threaded, Vicksburg must surrender, the grand march must be made to Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge must close a two years' chapter of blood, before the discredited genius of the Cumberland Army, or the insane commander at Paducah, comes out into the clear sunlight of distinction,

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