This Day in Georgia History
February 08, 1820
William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio. After graduating from West Point in 1840, he served in the Mexican War and in the West. In 1844, Sherman had a six-month tour of duty in Marietta, Ga. [See Feb. 17 entry for more information.] He resigned his commission in 1853, subsequently becoming a banker, lawyer, realtor, and superintendent of a military academy in Louisiana. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Sherman became a colonel in the 13th U.S. infantry. In May 1861, he was promoted to brigadier general for volunteers, and a year later to major general. In 1863, he commanded the 15th Corps in the Vicksburg campaign, and in July 1863 was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army. Sherman was involved in various battles and campaigns, but his claim to history came during the Atlanta Campaign and subsequent March to the Sea in 1864, and his march through the Carolinas in 1865. Sherman continued military service after the Civil War, eventually being promoted to General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. He declined suggestions that he run for political office, and after retiring from the military in 1883 became an author. He died on Feb. 14, 1891 in New York City.