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William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: a Life

William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: a Life

Written by James Lee McDonough

Narrated by David Drummond


William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: a Life

Written by James Lee McDonough

Narrated by David Drummond

ratings:
4.5/5 (23 ratings)
Length:
27 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 15, 2016
ISBN:
9781515974680
Format:
Audiobook

Description

General Sherman's 1864 burning of Atlanta solidified his legacy as a ruthless leader. Yet Sherman proved far more complex than his legendary military tactics reveal. James Lee McDonough offers fresh insight into a man tormented by the fear that history would pass him by, who was plagued by personal debts, and who lived much of his life separated from his family. As a soldier, Sherman evolved from a spirited student at West Point into a general who steered the Civil War's most decisive campaigns, rendered here in graphic detail. Lamenting casualties, Sherman sought the war's swift end by devastating Southern resources in the Carolinas and on his famous March to the Sea. This meticulously researched biography explores Sherman's warm friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, his strained relationship with his wife, Ellen, and his unassuageable grief over the death of his young son, Willy. The result is a remarkable, comprehensive life of an American icon whose legacy resonates to this day.
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 15, 2016
ISBN:
9781515974680
Format:
Audiobook


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What people think about William Tecumseh Sherman

4.7
23 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Enlightening and enjoyable
  • (4/5)
    William Tecumseh Sherman was one of those Civil War figures I had read a great deal about through biographies of other generals, but I had never read anything specific to him. This book is a very comprehensive look at his time before and during the Civil War. I thought the author was very fair presenting all sides of him, although he did seem to err on the side of assuming Sherman was always in the right when it came to military decisions. I wish there was more detail about Sherman after the War as I would loved to have read more about that. In terms of the battles, they are written very well, but there were not enough maps included to help me visualize the troop movements and the terrain. Recommended for Civil War fans.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful book. Lee is more of an admirer of Sherman than other authors, and he makes some excuses for him. Theuse of letters by soldiers in the last part is wonderful and he is clearly the only author who had access to or used the vast number of letters left by Sherman. Also, I had not read anywhere about the reason for the success at Missionary Ridge by the union, I am something of a Civil War buff and I visited the battlefield; I have also read the memoirs of Sherman and Grant where they lie about this battle. It does not go into much about the eastern theatre of the War, because Sherman spent most of his career in the West. If you have this book and one about the east you will become an expert.
  • (5/5)
    Great book. A wealth of knowledge! I now know there's so much more to Sherman than the burning of Savannah! Very smart man. Great book! Highly recommended!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoy biographies and I picked this one up because I recently read one on the life of Ulysses S. Grant and became intrigued by some of the references to William Tecumseh Sherman therein.I found this book to be a well written and researched look at the life of Sherman, particularly as it relates to his actions during the Civil War, where he gained his greatest measure of fame and respect. Since I was well familiar with much of this through the Grant biography (though not the details of the Atlanta campaign), I was more intrigued with the period between Sherman’s initial Army career and his re-entry into the Army upon the commencement of Civil War hostilities, as well as his post-Civil War career. Before the War, he bounced back and forth in a succession of jobs and careers, all of which resulted in abysmal failure. Never has a man been better suited for a job, than Sherman in the role of Army commander.Sherman’s greatest strengths were in the area of logistics, planning, strategy and execution of that strategy. Never was this more apparent than in the Atlanta campaign, in which he provisioned over 100,000 federal troops via a single, strung-out rail line aided by local foraging. He repeatedly flanked the Confederate troops, forcing them to abandon strong defensive positions time after time, executing numerous dangerous river crossings until he reached the outskirts of Atlanta having fired barely a shot. This, at the same time that Grant was sustaining staggering losses in his attempt to batter the Army of Northern Virginia into submission. There would be no Cold Harbor for Sherman. While reveling in his success and enjoying the power of his position, he was nevertheless perfectly happy to defer to Grant in all things and was loyal to Grant his entire life, serving as Commanding General of the Army in the Grant administration and for many years thereafter. Questions have been raised concerning his mental stability and he clearly suffered some form of nervous breakdown early in the War when assigned responsibility for operations in Kentucky with very little support, however there is no indication that subsequent operations were ever impacted by what could have been a tendency toward depression. Certainly, the family dynamic which he faced (a less than supportive wife) would be troublesome to any man, especially one who faced as many personal financial and business reverses as did Sherman during the decade of the 1850s.All in all, this is a good biography of a very deserving subject; one that is relatively even handed, though the author tends to support Sherman’s position on most issues. I’ve read more engaging biographies (American Ulysses for one), but can recommend this one nonetheless.