Born: February 8, 1820
Died: February 14. 1891
High of His Life: General Sherman received the surrender of all remaining Confederate forces commanded by Joseph E. Johnston (the largest surrender outside of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House) on April 26, 1865. On the second day of the Grand Review of the Armies on May 24, 1865, he led the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Georgia into Washington, D.C. to be seen and cheered at by the admiring crowds. During the war he conducted his famous – infamous, to some – March to the Sea, which saw Sherman’s troops living off the land and destroying any and everything that could be used by the Confederate war effort. This culminated in the capture of Savannah, Georgia on December 21, 1864. His capture of Atlanta, Georgia previously on September 2, 1864 helped ensure Lincoln’s re-election in the following November. He is considered by many historians to be the first “modern general.”
Low of His Life: Prior to his successes in the Western Theater, Sherman was one of the only generals to distinguish himself in the First Battle of Bull Run in July 21, 1861 but this was marred by his discontent – at the time – of how the war was going. He went through a nervous breakdown and even thought about committing suicide. Some people even called him “insane.”
Who Sees Him As a Hero: Military historians and strategists, Heinz Guderian, Erwin Rommel (a.k.a. The Desert Fox), George S. Patton.