Saturday, February 8, 2003

Ohio Moments

Gen. Sherman took first steps in Lancaster

William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War general who led Union troops on a march to the sea, effectively ending the war, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on Feb. 8, 1820. He graduated from West Point in 1840, and was stationed in San Francisco during the Mexican War. Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War he was superintendent of Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy in Alexandria, La. As secession rumors heated up, Sherman resigned his position and returned to Ohio, stating a loyalty to the Union. He was commissioned a colonel in the Thirteenth Regular Infantry. In 1863, Sherman was given command of the Army of Tennessee. The following spring he was made supreme commander of the armies of the West and was told by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to "create havoc and destruction of all resources that would be beneficial to the enemy." On May 4, 1864, he began the Atlanta campaign. He captured the city Sept. 1 and occupied it for two months before setting out to divide the Confederacy in two by cutting a 60-mile-wide swath through Georgia. He reached Savannah Dec. 23 and sent a now-famous telegram to the president, presenting him the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift.

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments appears daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at or (513) 768-8361.

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