Saturday, June 16, 2012

William T. Sherman: Trans-Mississippian

No matter your personal feelings about Sherman, it cannot be denied that this controversial figure was one of the giants of the Civil War. Over the years, I have read many books that deal with Sherman in some fashion, but it was not until reading John F. Marszalek’s Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion For Order that a key fact about his life suddenly dawned on me; he sure spent a lot of time in the trans-Mississippi! In 1846, the young professional soldier was dispatched to California, a place where he lived frequently until 1860. His activities there were varied, and the details about them can be found in any standard biography. Besides California, though, he lived also in St. Louis as well as New Orleans and Pineville, Louisiana. After the war, he remained in the military with his duties taking him to the West on inspection tours and negotiations with the Indians. There is little doubt that the trans-Mississippi had a powerful impact on his life. Fittingly, he is buried west of the Mississippi in St. Louis, a city that the General loved.

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