Cover image for Sherman's Civil War : selected correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865
Sherman's Civil War : selected correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865
Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891.
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 948 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E467.1.S55 A4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The first major modern edition of the wartime correspondence of General William T. Sherman, this volume features more than 400 letters written between the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the day Sherman bade farewell to his troops in 1865. Together, they trace Sherman's rise from obscurity to become one of the Union's most famous and effective warriors.

Arranged chronologically and grouped into chapters that correspond to significant phases in Sherman's life, the letters--many of which have never before been published--reveal Sherman's thoughts on politics, military operations, slavery and emancipation, the South, and daily life in the Union army, as well as his reactions to such important figures as General Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln.

Lively, frank, opinionated, discerning, and occasionally extremely wrong-headed, these letters mirror the colorful personality and complex mentality of the man who wrote them. They offer the reader an invaluable glimpse of the Civil War as Sherman saw it.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Sherman once remarked that his letters were "sought after like hot cakes." With this superb edition of more than 400 letters drawn from the general's vast personal and official correspondence, it is easy to see why. Sherman wrote much and wisely about war though too often hastily and even angrily about politics and society. The letters read like an epistolary novel, showing Sherman as a loving husband and ambitious military man who found his calling in war. Sherman's devotion to the Union echoes throughout, as does his racism and impatience with posturing politicians, bungling officers, intractable civilians, and anyone else he could not control. The letters show how the famous Grant-Sherman friendship formed, how Lincoln rose in esteem among military men, and how military policy shaped emancipation and Reconstruction. Sherman's prejudices and arrogance will infuriate, just as his insights on war will inform. This well-edited collection is a triumph, sweeping all other editions of Sherman's and other generals' letters before it. Highly recommended.ÄRandall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

These letters of William T. Sherman mirror his tumultuous Civil War career. The collection begins in 1860 with Sherman's views of the secession crisis from his vantage point as the superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary and Military Academy; it ends with his farewell to his victorious army at the Grand Review in May 1865. Carefully edited by two Civil War historians, the volume features illuminating chapter introductions. It includes only letters sent by Sherman, with a large number of the missives going to his wife and to his politically powerful relatives, the Ewings, and to his brother, John. Winnowed from several repositories, many of the letters are hitherto unpublished. Often insightful, occasionally "imprudent" (as Sherman admitted), this correspondence illuminates Sherman's candid views on myriad topics: politicians, the press, blacks, and the dangers posed by Confederate guerillas. Sherman's pen describes--and sometimes skewers--the military leadership of both sides; especially valuable are his portraits of the generals in the western theater. The collection replaces earlier expurgated works. Intended for general readers as well as professional historians, it is essential for all academic libraries. M. Muir Jr. Austin Peay State University

Table of Contents

Editorial Method Symbols and Abbreviations
Chapter 1 November 3, 1860-February 25, 1861
Chapter 2 March 9, 1861-July 14, 1861
Chapter 3 July 15, 1861-December 12, 1861
Chapter 4 December 18, 1861-May 26, 1862
Chapter 5 May 31, 1862-August 25, 1862
Chapter 6 August 26, 1862-January 25, 1863
Chapter 7 January 25, 1863-March 16, 1863
Chapter 8 April 3, 1863-July 4, 1863
Chapter 9 July 5, 1863-December 30, 1863
Chapter 10 January 6, 1864-May 4, 1864
Chapter 11 May 20, 1864-September 4, 1864
Chapter 12 September 7, 1864-November 12, 1864
Chapter 13 December 13, 1864-February 24, 1865
Chapter 14 March 12, 1865-April 9, 1865
Chapter 15 April 12, 1865-May 30, 1865
List of Letters
List of Letters by Recipient
Washington, D.C., and Northeastern Virginia Central Kentucky Western Tennessee Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas Chattanooga to Atlanta Savannah to Durham Station IllustrationsWilliam Tecumseh Sherman and Thomas Ewing Sherman Ellen Ewing Sherman and Thomas Ewing Sherman William Tecumseh Sherman Jr., "Willy" Thomas Ewing Sr. The four Sherman girls: Lizzie, Rachel, Elly, and Minnie John Sherman The four Ewing brothers: Hugh, Philemon, Thomas, and Charles James B. McPherson Ulysses S. Grant Henry W. Halleck William T. Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, and his generals Major General William T. Sherman at Atlanta.