WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN was born at Lancaster, Ohio, on 8 February 1820; upon his father's death, was adopted into the family of Thomas Ewing, 1829; was educated in a local academy, then attended the United States Military Academy, 1836-1840; was commissioned a second lieutenant, July 1840, and posted to the 3d Cavalry in Florida; was promoted to first lieutenant, November 1841, and served at various southern stations; served in California during the Mexican War as adjutant and aide to Generals Stephen W. Kearny, Persifor F. Smith, and Richard B. Mason, 1847-1850; married Ellen Ewing, 1850; was appointed captain, September 1850, and assigned to commissary duty in St. Louis and New Orleans, 1850-1853; resigned his commission, September 1853; engaged unsuccessfully in banking and law, 1853-1859, then successfully as superintendent of a military college at Alexandria, Louisiana, 1859-1861; was reappointed in the Regular Army as colonel, 13th Infantry, May 1861; was appointed brigadier general of volunteers, May 1861, and commanded a brigade at Bull Run in July; served in Missouri and Kentucky and commanded the Department of the Cumberland and the District of Paducah, 1861-1862; was appointed major general of volunteers, May 1862; commanded a division in the Tennessee-Mississippi campaigns and was wounded at Shiloh, April 1862; commanded the District of Memphis and the Vicksburg expedition 1862; commanded the XV Corps in the Vicksburg operations to its surrender and was appointed brigadier general in the Regular Army, July 1863; commanded the Army of the Tennessee in the Chattanooga-Knoxville operations, 1863-1864; commanded the Division of the Mississippi, 1864-1865, leading the Union forces in the invasion of Georgia; was promoted to major general, August 1864; commanded the Armies of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia in the final operations in the South, receiving the surrender of Confederate forces there, April 1865; was promoted to lieutenant general while in command of the Division of the Mississippi, July 1866; was on a special mission to Mexico, November-December 1866; commanded the Division of the Missouri, 1866-1869; was promoted to general, March 1869; was commanding general of the United States Army, 8 March 1869-1 November 1883; was acting secretary of war, 6 September-25 October 1869; sought to establish senior officer control over bureau heads, pressed for Army control over Indian affairs, urged consolidation of troops at strategic locations, and established a school for infantry and cavalry; retired from active service, February 1884; died in New York City on 14 February 1891.

The Artist

Daniel Huntington (1816-1906) painted the portraits of presidents and generals, writers and artists, Astors and Vanderbilts during seventy productive years as a working artist. About a thousand of his twelve-hundred known works are portraits; of these, fifteen are of secretaries of war and two of secretaries ad interim who also were incumbent commanding generals (Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman). Army records indicate that Huntington painted Sherman and Grant from life at a fee of $300 per portrait. His portrait of General William T. Sherman came into Army holdings in 1875, and is reproduced from the Army Art Collection.


Painting:  William Tecumseh Sherman.  By Daniel Huntington.
William Tecumseh Sherman
By Daniel Huntington
Oil on canvas, 291/2" x 241/2", 1875


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