A chronology of key events in the life of William T. Sherman, 1820-1891.
1820, Feb. 8
Born, Lancaster, Ohio, to Charles R. Sherman (1788-1829) and Mary Hoyt Sherman (1787-1852); known as “Cump” to family and friends.
Informally adopted by Thomas Ewing (1789-1871), after death of father Charles R. Sherman
Graduated, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Fought in the Seminole War in Florida
Stationed at Fort Morgan on Mobile Bay, Ala.
Stationed at Fort Moultrie, Charleston harbor, Charleston, S.C.
Stationed in California during the Mexican War; served as an adjutant first to Philip Kearny, then to Richard B. Mason; remained in California until 1850.
1850, May 1
Married foster sister Eleanor “Ellen” Boyle Ewing (Oct. 4, 1824-Nov. 28, 1888)
Daughter Maria Boyle Ewing (“Minnie”) Sherman (Jan. 28, 1851-Nov. 22, 1913) born.
Promoted to captain in commissary service
Served in St. Louis, Mo., and New Orleans, La.
Daughter Mary Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Sherman (Nov. 17, 1852-Apr. 6, 1925) born
Resigned military commission
Managed bank in San Francisco, California; daughter Minnie remained with her Ewing grandparents in Ohio
Son William T. (“Willy”) Sherman, Jr. (June 8, 1854-Oct. 3, 1863) born
Son Thomas Ewing Sherman (Oct. 12, 1856-Apr. 29, 1933) born
Moved to New York to manage bank
Moved to Kansas to engage in real estate law and management firm with his brothers-in-law
Superintendent, Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, Pineville, La. (later Louisiana State University)
Daughter Eleanor Mary (“Elly”) Sherman (Sept. 5, 1859-July 18, 1915) born
Moved to Missouri in March to become president of the St. Louis Railroad
Rejoined army in May as colonel of Thirteenth Infantry
Daughter Rachel Ewing Sherman (July 5, 1861-Oct. 26, 1919) born
Fought at Battle of Bull Run in Virginia in July
Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in August
Served in Kentucky as Robert Anderson’s subordinate in the Department of the Cumberland; Anderson’s resignation in October left Sherman in command; replaced by Don Carlos Buell in November
Served briefly under Henry W. Halleck in Missouri.
Poor performance in Kentucky and Missouri leads to rumors in the press of insanity
Assigned to train troops in Benton Barracks, Mo.
Given command of the Department of Cairo in Paducah, Ky.
Served under Ulysses S. Grant at Battle of Shiloh (Tenn.), Apr. 6-7
Served under Henry W. Halleck in Corinth campaign in Mississippi in May
Promoted to major general of volunteers
Assigned as military governor of Memphis, Tenn., in July
Served in Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns
Son William died on Oct. 3, while family was visiting Sherman in camp
Commanded the Department and the Army of the Tennessee
Led Meridian campaign in Mississippi in February-March
Assumed command of Union armies in the West after Ulysses S. Grant named commander of all the Union armies in Mar.
Son Charles Celestine Sherman (June 11, 1864-Dec. 4, 1864) born
Captured Kennesaw Mountain defended by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston in June; captured Atlanta, Ga., in September
Promoted to major general of the Union army
Led “March to the Sea,” Nov. 15-Dec. 21; captured Savannah, Ga., in Dec.
Led troops in Carolinas campaign, February-March
Accepted surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston on Apr. 26
Assumed command of the Military Division of the Mississippi
Promoted to lieutenant general
On diplomatic mission to Benito Juarez in Mexico
Son Philemon Tecumseh (“Cumpy”) Sherman (Jan. 9, 1867-Dec. 6, 1941) born
Commanding general of the United States Army
Took a year's leave for trip to Europe
Moved military headquarters to St. Louis, Mo.
Published Memoirs of General William T. Sherman. New York: D. Appleton. 2 vols.
Returned military headquarters to Washington, D.C.
Toured Civil War campaign sites in the South
Established school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Passed command of the army to successor Philip H. Sheridan in November and moved to St. Louis; President Chester A. Arthur issued official order of Sherman’s retirement on Feb. 8, 1884.
Declined to be a candidate for Republican Party nomination for president
Moved to New York, N.Y.
Published revised and corrected edition of Memoirs of General William T. Sherman.
1888, Nov. 28
Wife Ellen Ewing Sherman died
1891, Feb. 14
Died, New York, N.Y.