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Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman (Complete and Unabridged) Paperback – March 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 606 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Unabridged edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450532047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450532044
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,780,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Library of America is an award-winning, nonprofit program dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as "the most important book-publishing project in the nation's history" (Newsweek), this acclaimed series is restoring America's literary heritage in "the finest-looking, longest-lasting edition ever made" (New Republic). --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

William Tecumseh Sherman (1820 – 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States.[1] Military historian Basil Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".[2] Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865. When Grant became president, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army (1869–83). As such, he was responsible for the conduct of the Indian Wars in the western United States. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known firsthand accounts of the Civil War.

Customer Reviews

His writing is very, very good, and easy to read.
bixodoido
I only mention Grant's memoirs because they were the incentive to tackle General Sherman's memoirs as well.
Ronnie Meek
I would strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in the events of the Civil War.
Ben Rosenkrans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Connor on August 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am reviewing the Library of America edition of Sherman's Memoirs
In 1875 General William Sherman published the first edition of his Memoirs. They were controversial. Eleven years later Sherman published his second edition, with two new chapters, and appendixes. To be sure the memoirs remained controversial. Even today there seems to be no middle ground. He is either a great general, or an overrated one. He is either "hailed as a prophet of modern war or condemned as a modern barbarism." There have been full scale biographies and books about his campaigns, but none are as rewarding as these memoirs.
The chapters which interested me the most were the ones where Sherman is most emotionally involved. In Chapter 7 Sherman writes of his time at the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. Sherman gives a "Clay Whig" description of that state's secession, and how hard he took it. Another chapter which I found thrilling is Chapter 19. On page 601 Sherman quotes a letter he wrote to Atlanta's Mayor James Calhoun and others: "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and all those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out."
I recommend the Library of America edition of Sherman's Memoirs because it reprints the second edition. Make sure you buy a reprint of the second edition because the it includes information that was not included in the first edition.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By bixodoido on September 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After the Civil War, there were many public misunderstandings and misrepresentations about General William T. Sherman. Secretary of War Stanton had caused to be published certain opinions of his that Sherman had messed things up, and many supporters of General Grant gave him all the credit for Sherman's famous march to the sea and Atlanta campaign (which was entirely Sherman's idea). Partly to dispel popular misconceptions about him, and partly to provide future historians with a great primary resource (which intention he states in the opening pages of this work), General Sherman decided to undertake the writing of his memoirs, and this is the result.

The historical value of these memoirs is enormous. Sherman contributed a great deal to the war, and was partially responsible for the war ending when it did. He conducted one of the most brilliant military campaigns in modern history (actually, they were three campaigns--Atlanta, Savannah, and the Carolinas) and accomplished what many considered to be the impossible. His policy of total war, applied in the South, was utilized by Sheridan in the Shenandoah, and was later slightly modified to be used against the Indians. Thanks to his memoirs, we have a step-by-step account of how this policy developed.

Sherman's work is engaging and very to the point. He is meticulous almost to a fault in his quest for accuracy and detail. His writing is very, very good, and easy to read. Also, Sherman truly (I believe) endeavored to be completely objective in his evaluations, and accomplished this end better even than most modern historians. He is quick to give praise and slow to censure, but is not afraid to record the failures of his subordinates when necessary.
Read more ›
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nick Nalepa on May 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately General Sherman did not share General Grant's natural ability with the pen. General Sherman's book is a collection of his major wartime correspondence linked together by his narrative. This provides a quite fascinating look at Sherman's career for the historian of both the professional or "armchair" variety, but may make for a more tedious read for the common enthusiast. Nevertheless, many gems are contained in the pages of this blunt and straightforward story. The memoirs are the source of all his famous quotes and misquotes that are popularly repeated, such as "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it".
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anne M. Post on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Written by General W.T. Sherman himself; first published less than a decade after the end of the Civil War. Although 1100+ pages, every paragraph of this book is fascinating. While it can't possibly be read in one sitting it's very difficult to put down.
In character with the efficency of organization he was known for in managing every aspect of his life, this book is pure information, fact, personal insights, important correspondence, personal recollections of conversations with relevant historic figures and is, at times very amusing.
Rather than dealing with his whole life, this book was written as a first hand account detailing events of the Civil War, particularly the armies under his direct command as well as events leading up to the Civil War and relevant political events after the war.
Straightforward and efficient, no fluff.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Paul Adkins on May 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sherman wrote well.

Compared to the flowery prose of others from this era, Sherman uses clear and simple words that carry well to the modern age. Further, he has a fascinating story to tell of shipwrecks, banking disasters, gold discoveries and then of course The War.

I would recommend this to those who are already more than familiar with the American Civil War. What we see here is one man's view and you need to understand that he had his own opinions.

The Battle of Chattanooga is perhaps the most obvious example of this. Was Sherman's attack really the cause the Rebel center collapsed? He seems to have honestly thought so. Most scholars take exception.

This is simply a limitation of the memoir form. You should not take all that he has written as historical fact, but as the honest recollections of a man who was there at the critical moments of the War.

I recommend it. At its best, it is like reading a letter from a long-gone uncle about his long-ago adventures.
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