The Life of William Tecumseh Sherman
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
124 
 Thumb up
7.80
 tip
 Hide
No man fascinates me as much as Sherman. His mind was a mess of contradictions. While a practitioner of hard war on civilian populations he was also quite merciful in victory and compared to other raiders, almost restrained. Although tactically unspectacular, he had the intelligence to avoid the same frontal attacks that cost Grant so dearly in Virginia. Sherman was not the greatest general of the war, but among the most skilled and colorful and one I never tire of reading about.

So, in the long tradition of Sherman biographies, I am offering my tiny contribution. I know I'll never write a book about the man, for enough has already been done. Yet, I always wanted to write something more than an article or geeklist. So I present you with this. In addition, it would be wonderful to read similar short biographies of varied Americans and their life. If told to write a series of similar geeklists, I would compose such a list about these men and women: John Stark, Thomas Jefferson, Judith Sargent Murry, Washington Irving, Henry Clay, Timothy Dexter, Martin Van Buren, Patrick Cleburne, William Tecumseh Sherman, Andrew Wyeth, Booker T. Washington, Scott Joplin, Theodore Roosevelt, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franklin Roosevelt, John Dillinger, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Martin Luther King, Bruce Lee, Martin Scorsese, Kurt Cobain, Eazy E, and Newt Gingrich.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Family Fluxx [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:4477]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Family - Unstable but Lucky

Charles Robert Sherman hailed from Connecticut, and like many from New England, he moved west as land and opportunity became scarce in his ancestral lands. In this regard Charles was not special. Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Stephen Douglas, and many other "westerners" came from Yankee roots. Charles was also not without connections. His most famous relative was Roger Sherman, a revolutionary and politician who played a key role in the ratification of the Constitution. Yet, for Charles it was a question of money and even reputation. The west offered a greater chance at both. So it was that Charles and his wife Mary settled in Lancaster, Ohio, becoming one of the leading families of the territory. Charles led some militia units in the War of 1812, practiced law, and was even a state Supreme Court Judge. He was allied to most of the powerful frontier families in Ohio. Although eccentric, prodigal, and given to self-doubt, he was also intelligent, lively, popular, and ambitious.

Although a veteran of the War of 1812, Charles had an abiding admiration for the great Shawnee war chief Tecumseh. It raised some eyebrows when he named his third son, a redhead, William Tecumseh Sherman. Still, things were looking up for the family. The eldest son, also named Charles, was finishing up his education at Ohio University, which his father had helped to found. Elisabeth was set to marry the promising William Reese. The young William showed intelligence and energy, and perhaps few doubted the same about his younger brothers, John and Hoyt. William was just as bright as the rest, but also precocious. When he ran away to the King family his father greeted him as "Cumpy King." William stayed home, but the nickname "Cump" stuck. Then, Charles Robert Sherman died suddenly, ending a promising career and throwing his family into chaos.

Charles Robert Sherman
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Children's Hour [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Childhood - Youth's Strained Pleasures

Sherman's grandmother Elizabeth, although strict and hardworking, could not keep the children. Nor could his mother Mary, who gradually became unhinged. Thomas Ewing, who was close to the recently deceased Charles Sherman, agreed to take the nine year-old William Tecumseh Sherman under his wing. Ewing, the textbook example of a self-made man, was among the most prominent Whigs of the era. He was eloquent, hard-working, and utterly devoted to his family. He was close friends with Daniel Webster and served in two presidential cabinets, being the first Secretary of the Interior. His family was large and prominent.

Life with the Ewings had am ambiguous effect upon Sherman. In his youth he had been wild, but the death of his father and estrangement from his mother, who he was most attached to, made him withdrawn and sensitive. Some of this was due to the actions of Maria Ewing, the matriarch of the family. She was a stern and devout Catholic who forced her faith onto all within reach.Although he never doubted the generosity of the Ewing family and just how much it helped him, Sherman tried to be his own man to the best of his abilities. He spurned Catholicism and politics, although he shared Thomas Ewing's particular Whig political philosophy, which was conservative, nationalistic, and favored stability and law over the ideals of democracy. Like Thomas Ewing, Sherman despised political radicals of all stripes. He also acquired one of his defining traits from Thomas Ewing: honesty. However, Sherman would throughout his life try to succeed without the direct aid of his foster-father. Indeed, when visiting Lancaster in later years, he made a point to stay with his mother, although it was done in part because she was mentally ill.

Thomas Ewing in 1849
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: The West Point Story [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
West Point - Demerits and Commendations

Charles Sherman had decided that Sherman should have either an army or a naval career. Thomas Ewing, ever devoted to the memory of his friend, secured for Sherman an appointment to West Point, America's military academy. It was at the time a small school, ridiculed by politicians as wasteful and aristocratic. Andrew Jackson cut its funding and attacked it in his speeches. This in turn only fed the elitism of cadets who felt they served a government that at best neglected them and at worst despised them. Still, the school survived, and its reputation for educational excellence grew, in particular its engineering courses, which produced leaders in road, rail, harbor, and bridge construction. Discipline was strict and honor was emphasized. Politics were rarely discussed and every cadet was expected to translate French, so as to learn from Napoleon. Still, true military topics were rarely taught, although in later years a "Napoleon Club" flourished.

Sherman thrived in this environment. When he entered the academy in 1836 some thought he was related to the unpopular officer Thomas W. Sherman. This soon ended as Sherman proved his willingness to go out on larks. It was something that divided the cadets more than anything else: there were the extremely dutiful, best exemplified by Robert E. Lee, and the more frivolous, represented in the extreme by George Pickett. Sherman fell between the two. So, in the words of William S. Rosecrans he was "one of the brightest and most popular fellows." His friends varied greatly. His first was Edward Ord, a conservative Southerner. Another was his roommate, George Thomas, also a southern, but more dour and serious minded. Thomas helped Sherman in his studies. He also met Henry Halleck, an older student who graduated while Sherman was there and became a professor. His non-military personal connections were maintained through letters, including a long correspondence with his foster-sister, Ellen Ewing. Sherman graduated in 1840, 6th in his class. He hoped to be an infantryman. Instead he was made a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery.

West Point in 1831
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Historic Charleston Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
East Coast - Seminoles and Ballrooms

After graduation, Sherman received a three month break. He continued to court Ellen, although she doubted the worth of a military life while Sherman was skeptical of her devout Catholic faith. Indeed, he was essentially a Deist. Before 1835 Sherman could have expected a posting in one of the sleepy garrison commands, but in 1840 half of the army’s roughly 11,000 soldiers and officers were fighting the Seminoles in Florida. It was a drawn out and expensive war that had perplexed most of the army’s high command. When Sherman arrived in 1841, Colonel William J. Worth, a brave and wily officer, had taken command and changed tactics. He had his men engage the Seminoles in the heat of summer, burning their villages and foodstuffs. Although it worked, summer campaigning led to a high desertion rate, and in an army where promotion was rare, many officers quit, giving Sherman the rank of first lieutenant far ahead of schedule. Sherman, who often worked on supplies, learned logistics from the war and the value of destroying supplies. The war also forged his prejudices against Indians, white settlers, and the militia.

By 1842 the Seminole War was effectively over, as much of the tribe surrendered. Some hold-outs withdrew into the Everglades, but the fighting ended. The army dispersed, and after a short stay in Mobile, Sherman found himself at Fort Moultrie, near Charleston. As a young officer, fresh from a victorious war, Sherman was accepted into all the most prominent homes. As the adopted son of a prominent politician, he was given better treatment than even his superiors. Sherman was hardly egalitarian, and he admired the Southern aristocracy and its ways. Yet, he was a thorough going soldier. Dancing held few charms and Sherman saw the great balls as fun, but over-wrought. Along with his friend, the taciturn Braxton Bragg, he mocked the more haughty Southern elites. Although an elitist, Sherman was known for his lax discipline. He also was popular with the officers, and sent on special missions to Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida. These years were on a whole, pleasant and dull. Sherman lusted, but did little about it. He talked about serious topics, but was always ready for a laugh. He hob-knobbed with Charleston’s elite, but preferred the company of the middling plantation owners. All in all, he was already shaping up to be a study in contradictions, a moderate man who stated his opinions with a grand flourish.

William J. Worth
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: The Gold Rush [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
San Francisco - Garrison Duty

In 1846 Sherman was at last transferred out of Charleston, for war had started between Mexico and America. At first Sherman was to be posted with an elite artillery unit, but he angered his superior. Instead, he did recruiting duty in Pittsburgh. While most of the 3rd Artillery was rushed to the front, Sherman was sent to California. The trip lasted nearly seven months. In that time Sherman’s friendship with Ord solidified, and he gained the favor of his superior, the bookish Henry Halleck. Eventually they arrived in Yerba Buena, California. Two days later the city was renamed San Francisco. The fighting in California, what little there had been, was over. Sherman’s compatriots from Charleston were busy winning fame while he was looking over a vast territory that had no more than 25,000 inhabitants. Still, he gained the favor of Colonel Richard Barnes Mason, the military governor. Sherman admired the stern soldier so much that he shaved his beard in emulation. Eventually he gave up the practice and remained bearded until he died.

Sherman was Mason’s adjutant, making him an assistant, errand boy, and adviser. Both men feared insurrection in 1847 and took harsh measures when needed, but generally tried to avoid angering the populace. Sherman’s friendship made him the envy of the other officers, who in turn tried to become even closer to Sherman. Then there came an event that transformed the sleepy back-water territory. In 1848 John Sutter and James W. Marshall sent Mason a sample of gold, requesting that it be verified. Sherman tested the gold and declared it to be genuine. Even if he had died shortly afterward, Sherman would still warrant a small place in history for this simple act. By the time Mason and Sherman made a more official declaration, California was being overrun. By 1850 250,000 people called it home. The economy boomed, but also caused prices to rise. Sherman and his officers could barely make ends meet. The aged Mason was promoted and replaced, but Sherman was given no commendation. By this time he was desperate. He knew that Ord was making more money as a land surveyor. He missed Ellen, felt slighted by the high-command, and seemed aimless without Mason’s steady hand. In perhaps the most rash decision of his life, he resigned his commission in 1849.

The Young Officer
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Risky Business [Average Rating:4.12 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Private Citizen - Banker

Sherman's resignation was withdrawn with the promise of promotion and a trip east, but his growing unease with military life did not abate. The east seemed like the true land of opportunity. Sherman delivered dispatches to Winfield Scott, America's premiere soldier, in New York City and dined with him. He met the president, Zachary Taylor, and with Thomas Ewing serving as the first ever Secretary of the Interior, there seemed no limit to his chances at promotion. However, Sherman was more determined to marry Ellen, and that required a compromise: Sherman would quit the army and Ellen would stop her campaign to make Sherman a Roman Catholic. The wedding was the talk of Washington, and among the guests were Taylor himself. Still, it was a difficult time for Sherman. He wanted to avoid Ohio and not be seen as creature of Ewing. Indeed, he turned down a place in Taylor's funeral procession, and spent his days observing the great events that led to the Compromise of 1850. Promoted to captain through the influence of Scott and Ewing, he spent time in St. Louis as Ewing's agent. For a man who saw no action in Mexico, it was an impressive turn of events, but for the independent minded Sherman, this was a kind of quiet torture. Sherman tried to stay in the army, even as Ellen left him to return to Ohio. His posting to New Orleans, arguably the most Catholic city in America, gave him some hope that Ellen would follow. Sherman did a superb job cleaning up corruption in his post and he was popular in the city. Still, Sherman preferred California, the land he felt nostalgic for. So he resigned and took a ship to the city in order to run a bank for Lucas, Turner and Company.

The journey was long and involved traversing over Nicaragua. His boat struck a reef outside of San Francisco, and the next vessel he took keeled over in strong winds. Shipwrecked and fatigued, Sherman's asthma worsened. In addition, the relatively vacant and fresh California of yesteryear had transformed into a crowded, rude, and chaotic place. In this climate Sherman proved to be an uneven banker. He was miserly, scrupulous, and adverse to risk. His associates were unreliable and collateral was hard to secure. His reputation plummeted during the 1856 vigilante uprising. Privately Sherman agreed with the hangings, but he took command of the militia and tried to stop the violence, only to become disgusted with politics and resign in the midst of the crisis. He lost confidence in himself and nearly had a nervous breakdown. Sherman's home life offered only strained charms. He stayed up at night, indirectly fought with the homesick Ellen, and tried to raise the children. Sherman was uninterested in his eldest daughters, Minnie and Lizzie, referring to each as "it" instead of "she." His son William, became the joy of his life, and was followed soon by Thomas. So it was that in leaving the army for higher pay, the chance to avoid politics, and to satisfy Ellen, Sherman failed in all of his goals. He was now poor, politically unpopular, and unable to satisfy his family.

San Francisco in the 1850s
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Politricks Louisiana Political Game [Average Rating:2.67 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Louisiana - Secession Craze

In 1857 Sherman was ordered to close down his branch of Lucas, Turner and Company and move to New York City. Although Sherman loved California, the state was in dire straits. Gold was drying up and public services were suffering. Trouble was Sherman soon found that New York was no better. The Panic of 1857 had struck and Sherman was forced to close the bank in New York, and after a short return to San Francisco, he found himself again in Ohio. Sherman became depressed. A business offer from Thomas Ewing was a private humiliation. In desperation he went to Kansas to pursue law with Thomas Ewing Jr. He failed, took up farming, and turned to an army friend, the taciturn Don Carlos Buell. With the Democrats in power, Sherman's political connections were null, but Buell did aid him in getting a job as the first superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy in Pineville. Sherman, who loved New Orleans, was excited to return south.

What Sherman found was a rather sparse region, almost frontier like. The school was small but the South, gripped in terror over slights real and imagined, was seeing a growth in militia and military academies. So although Sherman's school was small and remote, the state's leaders took an interest in it. Sherman was popular and happy, but secession was sweeping the land. South Carolina, in a fit of pique, seceded. President James Buchanan did nothing. Sherman, a nationalist before it was widely popular, openly declared that secession was folly, even as Louisiana walked out of the union. To one friend he declared "You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing!" For a time he thought of staying due to a lack of prospects elsewhere, but he saw only folly in the South. It was not that he dreamed of revenge, but he now felt more confused than ever before. After failing to convince his old friend Bragg, the commander of Louisiana's military, to remain loyal, he left. In Pineville military stocks were being gathered and troops were parading. A tearful Sherman told his cadets they would always be in his heart. He then headed north to Ohio, feeling more low than ever before.

Braxton Bragg
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Baptism at Bull Run [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Bull Run - Foreshadowing

Sherman was at this stage a seemingly broken man. His latest endeavor had failed and, given his restless spirit and ambition, he took such a failure rather hard. Sherman was not after money or even rank, so much as distinction. John Sherman had risen through the Whig and Republican ranks to become a senator from Ohio. He had nearly become Speaker of the House and his early support for Abraham Lincoln meant he had the president's ear. So Sherman tried to gain a federal post and barring that, a military commission. Sherman even briefly met Lincoln, but he came away unimpressed. By this time he looked at California with a mixture of longing and disgust, so he settled for a position with the St. Louis streetcar. Then came Fort Sumter. Sherman, although having no love for abolitionism, was a thoroughgoing nationalist in the mold of Daniel Webster, his political hero. While in St. Louis he and his son were fired upon during a street skirmish with the secessionist militia. An angered Sherman returned to Washington a colonel.

Sherman worked on Winfield Scott's staff before being given a four regiment brigade in the city's defenses. The unit of volunteers was considered among the best in the army, and included such famed regiments as the 69th and 79th New York. Three future generals were in its ranks. Sherman, although sloppy in dress, was an old army snob, and he thought his men lacked discipline. He mostly relied upon Colonel Michael Corcoran, an Irishmen who took soldiering seriously. Both men also shared a deep nationalism. Sherman went with the army as it moved south towards Bull Run where the first great battle of the war was fought. Sherman did well at first. He found a ford on Bull Run, crossed it, and made a powerful attack. Things unraveled from there. The 2nd Wisconsin went into battle with gray uniforms and came under so much friendly fire that they broke. Colonel James Cameron, brother of Simon Cameron the Secretary of War, fell dead leading a charge of the 79th New York. Sherman, like most Union officers that day, gradually lost control of his brigade. They suffered greatly in the battle and finally broke. Sherman redeemed himself when he led what was left of his brigade in a last stand, forming them into a square as Jeb Stuart's cavalry charged. This helped to cover the Union retreat, although Corcoran was wounded and captured in this action, ending what might have been a fruitful partnership. Sherman had done no better or worse than his fellow officers. His uneven performance at Bull Run mirrored his personality and career: brilliant moments punctuated with failure.

69th New York at Bull Run
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Mental Disorder [Average Rating:4.71 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Kentucky - High Command and Mental Breakdown

Sherman was at this stage a colorful but hardly inspiring figure. His brigade retired in better order than most, but it took two days for it to be combat ready and morale deteriorated, with rumors of mutiny flying about. The 13th New York even refused to follow Sherman's orders. Sherman now seemed to lose all faith in democracy, believing it made citizens too weak for war although he hoped the more aristocratic south would fail due to the taint of slavery. Sherman was morose and moody and he made no move to win over Lincoln when he toured Sherman's brigade. The president regardless took a liking to Sherman, which was not at all reciprocated. Still, Sherman's political and military connections shielded him from censure, unless he failed absolutely, and so far he had broke even. When Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame was sent west to Kentucky, he wanted Sherman as his second in command. Sherman accepted only reluctantly, and with the assurance that he would never be made an army commander. This amused and impressed Lincoln, who was used to men demanding high command. In addition, Sherman also assured the president that George Thomas could be trusted with a command in Kentucky. The taciturn Thomas had not made his thoughts clear and some feared he would go south. Others thought he was a Confederate spy. Sherman's support for Thomas impressed everyone, since he already was noted for his blunt and honest manner. Thomas for his part, felt he was forever in Sherman's debt and remained loyal.

The situation in Kentucky was difficult. The state had declared neutrality and meant it. 71% of Kentucky males of military age were unengaged in the war, a higher percentage than any other state. Although Unionist sentiment was stronger than secessionist feelings, spies and guerrillas were everywhere and much of the state's political elite went south. Sherman was sent south of Louisville, but his position was poor and his supply line was tenuous. Already growing nervous, he was then shocked when Anderson resigned due to illness. Sherman was now an army commander, and the responsibility overwhelmed him. Although Sherman's army was large, numbering nearly 60,000 troops, they were poorly armed, trained, and led. He managed to rein in some of the organizational and logistical chaos, yet to do so required long hours and Sherman's body gave way. Then the press attacked him for his secrecy. His claim that he needed hundreds of thousands of men to conquer the South made him look mad. The Irish hero Thomas Francis Meagher attacked him for his Bull Run conduct in a popular book. Meanwhile, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston made a series of aggressive maneuvers, mostly meant to keep Sherman on the defensive. Combined with other pressures, Sherman cracked at a critical time. Thomas was approaching Cumberland Gap at this point, ready to march into East Tennessee, which was then in outright rebellion against the Confederacy. Sherman ordered Thomas back, perhaps the greatest strategic blunder of his career. Sherman then asked to be relieved from a command he never wanted. He was replaced by Buell, who continued Sherman's organizational reforms but ended the atmosphere of panic. Sherman was ridiculed in the papers and called insane. He turned inward and even considered suicide. Upon reporting to Halleck in St. Louis, he was worn out. For a time Halleck gave him no responsibilities.

George Thomas
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Shiloh: Bloody April, 1862 [Average Rating:6.32 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Shiloh - Glory and Controversy

A man with fewer connections might have been permanently shelved, but Sherman's friends and family rallied to him. Furthermore, he was a professional with combat experience in a war that had seen few battles. Sherman, once he recovered his senses, trained troops in St. Louis, Then he was sent to Cairo, Illinois, where he oversaw the forwarding of supplies to Ulysses S. Grant as he besieged Fort Donelson. Sherman was deferential to Grant in spite of out-ranking him. Grant, who valued loyalty and subordination more than anything else, took a liking to Sherman. In March 1862 Sherman was given a division of raw troops and sent on a raid south. The raid was a failure, and the new Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, wanted him removed from active command but failed to get his way. Sherman remained and set up camp along the Tennessee River at Pittsburgh Landing. Throughout March regiments, varying from raw recruits to battlefield veterans, arrived an an army took shape. Meanwhile, at the top there was confusion. Halleck sacked Grant then returned him to command due to political pressure and a fatal wound suffered by his replacement, Charles F. Smith. Sherman had free reign at Pittsburgh Landing, yet he failed to fortify the position or send out pickets, even as evidence mounted that an attack was imminent. Why Sherman ignored all warnings remains a mystery, but possibly he was afraid of looking like an alarmist. His lack of concern was shared by many generals, particularly Grant and the ailing Smith, so there was no pressure on him to be alert.

On April 6, 1862 Sherman was caught by surprise, and in the opening minutes of the battle his orderly was shot next to him. Hundreds of soldiers fled, and one of the regimental commanders deserted his unit after the first attack. Sherman, mounted on horseback and in the thick of the fighting, did not flinch. When shot in the hand he merely bandaged it up. He even had two horses shot from under him. His men held out against the first fierce but uncoordinated attacks. Sherman fell back, then launched a counterattack that temporarily stemmed the tide. Although forced back over two miles, Sherman's division maintained enough cohesion to throwback an evening attack. Still, it had been a hellish day and Sherman had seen the worst of it. That night Sherman told Grant "We've had the devil's own day, haven't we?" Grant calmly replied: "Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though." Sherman played a major role in the next day's assault, attacking all day and even leading the pursuit of the retreating rebel army. In the aftermath Sherman was praised by all, and his reputation was saved while Grant was rightfully accused of failing to take proper defensive measures. Matters were made worse when Buell, who's reinforcements tipped the battle in Grant's favor, inflated his personal role in the victory, thus ending his friendship with Sherman. In the years ever after Sherman even went as far as to deny he was even surprised. It was disingenuous, and he need not have gone that far. Rarely had history seen a commander behave so poorly before a battle and so superbly during it. Sherman's actions at Shiloh more than made up for his earlier blunders.

The 6th Mississippi Charges Sherman's Camp
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Greater Memphis On Board [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Memphis - Occupation Blues

In the aftermath of Shiloh, Grant was replaced with Thomas, which put Sherman in a difficult spot, for while Thomas bore Grant no ill will, Grant never forgave Thomas for the unintended slight. In addition, Halleck seemed ready to remove Grant completely, and while Lincoln and Stanton prevented Grant's censure, both men confessed that they had lost faith in the hero of Fort Donelson. Throughout all of this Sherman maintained his friendship with Grant, Halleck, and Thomas, but gradually sided more with Grant. After all, Thomas had done little to defend Sherman back when he was being called a lunatic and Halleck had been condescending towards Sherman. So Sherman stood by Grant, and the two became friends, although strangely Sherman thought Grant was not a particularly talented general or man. In a more honest moment, he declared that "I am a damned sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I'll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn't give a damn about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell." Sherman liked Grant, and what was more to the point he liked that Grant gave him a lot of latitude.

By July 1862 things had cleared up. The Confederates had abandoned Corinth, Mississippi. Shortly thereafter Memphis fell after a naval battle. Buell and Thomas went east to try and capture Chattanooga, while Halleck went to command all the Union armies. Grant had survived, but his army was given a low priority in terms of supplies. For months his men were kept on the defensive and the battles of Iuka and Corinth gave neither Grant nor Sherman any glory. For Grant it was due to bad luck and the press's continued disdain for him; The hero of the hour was Rosecrans. For Sherman it was due to his posting in Memphis. For four months Sherman ran the city, although his success has been debated. He could be by turns heavy handed and lenient. This inconsistency defined Sherman and showed that he was in essence a reactive man. If he felt threatened, Sherman could be hard handed, such as in his orders to close down various newspapers. Yet, he won over some of the elites with his good manners and the poor with his relief measures. At anyrate, Sherman was more confident and was being considered for the command of the nearly 30,000 troops massing in New Orleans for the drive on Port Hudson. Sherman, however, decided that Vicksburg, Mississippi was the bigger prize. He would serve under Grant and not press for independent command.

Sherman During the Civil War
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: The Vicksburg Campaign [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Vicksburg - Right Hand of Victory

After the fall of New Orleans, Confederates began to strengthen Vicksburg, a relatively small city that benefited from a rail connection and some high ground that dominated the Mississippi River. A force of some 30,000 men, the Confederacy's third principle field army, guarded the position. Sherman, now leading what would become XV Corps, was sent to take the city in December. At Chickasaw Bayou Sherman attacked and was repulsed with heavy losses. Sherman unfairly blamed his subordinates, but he also began to see that frontal assaults were a waste. After telling Halleck "I reached Vicksburg at the time appointed, landed, assaulted, and failed," Sherman was put under the command of John McClernand. Before Fort Donelson, McClernand had been a friend of Grant, but the two were now rivals. Sherman hated him, but eager to improve his standing, he proposed an operation to take Fort Hindman, Arkansas, with help from David Porter's fleet. Despite Grant's misgivings and McClernand's being in command, the operation was a costly and confusing success. Over 5,000 Confederates, mostly prisoners, were lost. It gave McClernand some glory and Sherman's participation took away some of the shame from Chickasaw Bayou. Of course McClernand and Sherman debated who was responsible. In hindsight, it is apparent that both men were in top form during the battle. Yet, the battle was a bitter pill for Sherman to swallow. McClernand got most of the credit in the newspapers. In addition David Stuart, one of Sherman's best commanders, was not confirmed as a general by the Senate. Stuart resigned in disgust. It was an act of political vindictiveness and Sherman made his ire known to all who would listen.

Calls to relieve Grant began anew and he was regularly attacked in the papers. Many rightfully mocked his many fruitless bayou expeditions and a canal scheme, overseen by Sherman, that ended in thousands of sick soldiers. Desertion spiked and two Illinois regiments had to be disbanded. Grant's new and daring plan, to land the army south of Vicksburg and take it by marching, was opposed by Sherman. However, he acquiesced when Grant would not be deterred. Sherman was right to call it risky, but Grant had several advantages. His men were mostly veterans led by many good battlefield generals. The Confederate command structure was a mess. Jefferson Davis and Joseph E. Johnston bickered over what John C. Pemberton, the commander at Vicksburg, should do. Benjamin Grierson's raid through Mississippi drew much of the Confederate horsemen away from Vicksburg, blinding Pemberton. By contrast, a demonstration by Sherman before Grant's landing was mostly ineffective but added to Confederate confusion. Pemberton failed to react to Grant's opening move. Sherman then joined the main army. He advised Grant during the advance, seized Jackson, and led the advance on Vicksburg. Following the victories at Champion Hill and Big Black River, Grant and Sherman thought the Confederates were demoralized, so Sherman made a direct attack on the city. It was a slaughter and after a second grand attack, Grant settled for siege, but Sherman took no active role in Vicksburg investment. Instead he was given 36,000 soldiers from three corps and ordered to keep tabs on Johnston's army at Jackson. It was his first army command. By July 4 Vicksburg fell and Pemberton's army was paroled. Grant sent Sherman east to retake Jackson, which he accomplished, although he did not pursue Johnston. The formerly aggressive Sherman was learning that attacking in the Civil War was tricky business, and he refused to assault unless he had a distinct advantage. Sherman's role in the victory at Vicksburg was arguably minimal. He was rarely in the vanguard of Grant's bold march. Yet he accomplished much by capturing Fort Hindman, standing by Grant even when they disagreed, and handling much of the army's logistics. As Grant's star rose, so would Sherman's, but it remained to be seen if he would shake off his inconsistent generalship and claim center stage.

Union Assault at Vicksburg
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Chattanooga [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Chattanooga - Missionary Ridge is a Hard Road to Travel

The period after the fall of Vicksburg was idyllic. In the extreme summer heat Grant paused to reorganize, refit, and rest his army while laying plans to take Mobile. Sherman's family visited him and he received a regular army promotion to Brigadier General. Then disaster struck. Grant fell from his horse at a review in New Orleans, thrusting Sherman in command and delaying the attack on Mobile. Sherman was unsure of himself and did nothing without consulting Grant. Then at Chickamauga, south of Chattanooga, Bragg defeated Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland. A more complete defeat had been prevented by Thomas, but with the army besieged in Chattanooga, Grant sent Sherman east with his XV Corps. Just as the army moved out his son Willie grew ill and died. Sherman grieved and was saddened until his dying day, but he carried out his orders, for the situation was dire. Bragg had an entire Union army under siege, something Robert E. Lee could never claim. If successful, the tide of Rebel defeats at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Tullahoma, might yet be turned. The siege was lifted, but Bragg remained along the heights that dominated the city. Sherman's forces were given the task of turning the Rebel flank and driving them off from Missionary Ridge. The operation was bungled from the start. Sherman took his wagon trains, slowing down the movement and the terrain and roads were poor. Much of this could be blamed on Sherman, who was all bluster before he began the maneuver, and failed to be meticulous in his planning. Still, hopes were high. On November 23 the Army of the Cumberland seized Orchard Knob, a Confederate advanced position. The following day Lookout Mountain fell. However, Sherman's flank attack was a farce. He moved too slowly, attacked an empty hill, and was repulsed by Patrick Cleburne's elite division when he did strike Missionary Ridge. When ordered to attack again, Sherman, knowing the position was impregnable, made only a half-hearted assault. In the end a miraculous attack by the Army of the Cumberland won the day. The rivalry between the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of the Cumberland now grew by leaps and bounds.

Grant protected Sherman from criticism, and at any rate the victory made it to where few were asking any questions. Grant next ordered Sherman to move on Knoxville, where the XXIII Corps was under siege. Sherman's command was worn out and both bad roads and bad weather delayed his advance, but in the end Knoxville was relieved. So it was that 1863 ended. Sherman's star had risen, but he had given a spotty accounting of himself. Some of it was due to grief over Willie's death. He also chaffed at being in Grant's shadow, and perhaps felt lucky that despite his failures and disagreeing with Grant's methods, his friend had done nothing to reprimand him. Increasingly, it was clear in the bitter winter of 1864 that Grant would become commander of all the Union armies and would assure Sherman a high place. In February 1864 Grant sent Sherman into Mississippi, to ravage the countryside, destroy supplies, and defeat the Confederate army there. Sherman managed to destroy the supply base at Meridian, Mississippi but a supporting cavalry raid failed to aid him and Sherman did not press into Alabama and nor did he attack the Confederate army. It was a modest success, and to many Northerners, it looked like a failure. Yet, such a move made it hard for the Confederates to threaten Union positions along the Mississippi River. Such raids, done by powerful armies, could do much damage. Sherman was learning this, just as he had earlier learned the futility of frontal assaults.

Ulysses Grant
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: 1864: Year of Decision [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Military Division of the Mississippi - Controversy at Resaca

Grant became commander of all the Union armies and went east, despite Sherman's urgings to stay out of the politics of Washington and remain in the west. Grant gave Sherman command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, basically the entire western theater. Sherman dove into his new command with relish and soon proved to be the embodiment of the Peter principle in reverse. He had a better aptitude for high command than he did for the lower levels of responsibility. He did a superb job organizing supplies and granting piecemeal furloughs that kept his army large and morale high. He now had a harder heart for war. In 1862 he tried to restrain his men. Now he declared "If they want eternal war, well and good; we accept the issue, and will dispossess them and put our friends in their place...Three years ago by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well. Last year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late. All the powers of earth cannot restore to them their slaves, any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit ought to know the consequences. Many, many peoples with less pertinacity have been wiped out of national existence."

Grant's overall strategy was to destroy Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and/or capture Richmond. Sherman was to simply pin Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee and prevent it from reinforcing Lee. It was a difficult assignment. Sherman had about 100,000 veterans, but the terrain of northern Georgia was rough and Johnston had restored Confederate morale. The Union supply line was on a single long railroad track. Sherman also had to manage rivalries among generals and soldiers. John Logan and Frank Blair were politicians, each with an eye to the White House. Joseph Hooker was a hard fighter but a schemer who despised the pious Oliver Howard. John Schofield, although a friend of Halleck's, was inexperienced in everything but army politics. Sherman combined both Thomas's Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Tennessee, now under James McPherson, into what was an army group. Although there was much tension between the other generals, both Thomas and McPherson were honorable professionals. Sherman for his part stayed close to Thomas, seeking his advice and relying upon his staff to handle logistics. Although many rightfully claimed that Thomas was the better soldier and had a better record, Thomas would hear none of it. He even named his horse after Sherman. On the eve of the campaign Sherman approved Thomas's audacious plan to destroy the Army of Tennessee. Johnston had failed to cover Snake Creek Gap, and a hard march for Resaca would either trap Johnston or force him to withdrew east and expose Atlanta. Here Sherman showed his determination to balance the role played by Thomas and McPherson, for while he favored Thomas's plan, he decided his beloved Army of the Tennessee should have the honor. So while Thomas effectively demonstrated at Dalton, McPherson marched on Resaca. McPherson though became cautious, and Sherman failed to push him onward. The maneuver failed in its grand design, but it must be considered a major Union victory for it robbed Johnston of his best chance to bottle up Sherman in the roughest country of northern Georgia. Johnston now withdrew south, giving up some 50 miles of ground in less than two weeks while suffering over 6,000 losses. Sherman on the other hand was advancing deep into enemy territory, and without heavy losses. Sherman might have paused to relish his victory, but dismal news from Virginia convinced him to press on.

Joseph E. Johnston
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Marching Through Georgia [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:6767]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Northern Georgia - Victory Through Marching

The campaign that now unfolded was something unseen in the years beforehand. In the old days a large battle was fought and the armies rested. Now it was a constant battle. Everyday pickets clashed, artillery traded shells, and men marched or dug in. The morale of both armies was tested by the constant threat of death, but each remained generally high. Union soldiers were happy to be advancing and avoiding frontal assaults. This was in part because Johnston usually took up positions that were so strong that Sherman, rather than creating a meat-grinder in Georgia, chose to use maneuver. Johnston could maintain his army, but he was not wily enough to bait Sherman into battle nor out-maneuver the Union forces. This does not mean Sherman proved to be a genius. He generally avoided battle even when he had an advantage, was often wrong in his theories on what the Confederates were up to, and was spurious towards Hooker and sometimes unfairly blamed Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland for his mistakes. However, by relying upon maneuver and avoiding frontal assaults Sherman kept his army intact.

The campaign that unfolded did have its share of battles, although none of them approached the slaughter of Shiloh. At New Hope Church Johnston blunted Sherman's advance. Another Union attack at Pickett's Mill ended in a bloody repulse. At Dallas a Confederate attack ended in defeat. Following these struggles trenches were formed and the area became known as the "hell-hole." Sherman shifted his army away though, seizing Allatoona and pressing Johnston until he reached Kennesaw Mountain. Although a scant 20 miles from Atlanta, the ground was conducive to defense and rain delayed operations. After beating back a Confederate attack at Kolb's Farm, Sherman, out of frustration, ordered an attack upon Kennesaw Mountain. The assault was a failure, and among the dead commanders was Dan McCook, one of Sherman's former law partners. For a time Sherman considered attacking again until Thomas advised him against it. To his wife, Sherman uncharacteristically wrote "I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened." In the end Schofield found a weakness in Johnston's right and exploited it by a flank march. Sherman then bypassed Johnston's defenses on the Chattahoochee River, bringing him to the gates of Atlanta. Johnston had failed to stop Sherman and had lost more battles than he had won. Confederate morale now dropped. Even at Kennesaw, some 300 Rebels surrendered right after the battle, with as many as 3,000 deserting in the weeks afterwords. Sherman's men were foot-sore, beat-up, surviving on decreasing supplies, but still battle ready. Sherman had avoided crippling losses. His army was as strong numerically as when the campaign started. Johnston, although his army was intact, had suffered higher losses by proportion. By contrast, in Virginia the Army of the Potomac was too used up to achieve the decisive results Lincoln and Grant had hoped for once it reached Petersburg. It fell upon Sherman to take Atlanta and win the decisive campaign of the year.

The Dead Angle at Kennesaw Mountain
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: The Atlanta Campaign [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:8683]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Atlanta - The Great Triumph

As Sherman shifted his army to the east of Atlanta, Johnston was preparing his army to attack at Peachtree Creek, when he was replaced with John Bell Hood. While many Confederates were upset with the sudden change in command, including Hood, the news was received with some concern in Sherman's camp. Hood's reputation as a fighter made Sherman anxious, because he could always rely upon Johnston to do the sensible thing. Now there would be battles, possibly on the scale and slaughter of Shiloh, Stones River, and Chickamauga. Hood went through with Johnston's plans at Peachtree Creek but Thomas and Hooker held the field. In response Sherman, in a rare moment of moxie, marched right on Atlanta and began to shell the city, although McPherson bungled another Resaca-like opportunity by not pressing the thin Confederate defenses. Hood's response to Sherman's move was a rapid flank march and assault. Outside of Atlanta the armies clashed in the bloodiest battle of the campaign. McPherson died in the opening hours, and Sherman wept over his friend's corpse. In spite of furious Confederate attacks, Sherman's lines held until Hood threw in his reserves. The line was briefly pierced, but Sherman did not panic. Indeed, he even took personal command of 20 artillery guns which helped to stem the tide. Still, the victory was costly enough to unnerve Sherman. He withdrew north and prepared for his next move. Sherman also paused to choose McPherson's replacement. The obvious choice was Logan, a natural fighter. However, he lacked West Point training and Sherman feared that the politically connected Francis Blair would balk. Also, Thomas had taken a disliking to Logan. Hooker might have been a good choice. No other commander had exceeded his battlefield performance. However, he was disliked by Thomas, Howard, and Schofield, and his relations with Sherman were poor. In the end Sherman, with Thomas's approval, selected Howard, due both to his emerging friendship with Sherman, and the fact that no one outside of Hooker openly disliked him. Hooker resigned and Logan never forgave Sherman, but the campaign went on. Sherman marched back towards the city.

At Ezra Church, a foolish Rebel attack was repulsed, but a Union advance on Utoy Creek came up short. Sherman, frustrated and weary, bombarded the city while both sides sent their cavalry on fruitless raids. In front of Atlanta a relentless trench war occurred, with snipers, raids, and barrages ruling the day. After weeks of futility, Sherman finally decided to make an all or nothing move to cut off the last Rebel rail-line into Atlanta. It was an uncharacteristic operation for the prudent Sherman, but times were desperate. Lincoln was unpopular and Grant's latest Virginia offensive had failed. At Jonesboro the armies clashed and the Union won the battle. Although Sherman had failed to destroy Hood, he had captured Atlanta and at a time when the North was desperate for good news. Furthermore, Sherman had lost only about 10,000 men since Peachtree Creek as against 20,000 Rebel losses, including scores of deserters and prisoners. The fall of Atlanta sealed the reelection of Lincoln, preventing George McClellan from becoming president. Although a war Democrat devoted to victory, McClellan was also a controversial man, who probably would have bungled the presidency. So the South's last long-shot chance for victory was lost. At last, Sherman had become the hero of the hour. Yet, there was a darker side to the triumph. Sherman had evacuated the city of its citizens and he increasingly supported repressive measures in dealing with Southern partisans. When upbraided for these policies, Sherman merely said "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out... You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war." There was more bark than bite to Sherman, but Northern applause showed that if the war went on, things would only get worse. Of more immediate concern was that Hood's escape, which coupled with a long supply line, meant that Sherman could not advanced into southern Georgia. The situation was now one of stalemate. The fall of Atlanta secured Lincoln's election, but the final victory seemed a long way off.

Sherman at Atlanta
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: To Make Georgia Howl! [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
March to the Sea - Fortune and Glory

Hood turned north to attack Sherman's supplies, so Sherman was forced to follow on a fruitless pursuit. For all intents and purposes Hood had out-generaled and out-maneuvered Sherman after Atlanta fell and while a Confederate victory was a long shot, the fear was the war might go on and turn increasingly savage. Then Hood committed a blunder similar to Cornwallis's 1781 invasion of Virginia. He chose to strike north, leaving the deep south open to devastation. Sherman quickly took advantage of the mistake, sending one third of his army to Tennessee, where Thomas was setting up the Union defenses. Sherman took the rest in a march to the sea. It was a risky plan, for Sherman would be advancing without a supply line and, if halted, his army might starve. They certainly could not fight any field battles on the scale of Shiloh. There was no news from Tennessee, and at first things looked bleak. Hood out-marched the Union forces in Tennessee and nearly won the campaign. Instead, 30,000 men under John Schofield escaped Hood's trap at Spring Hill. Hood made a foolish attack at Franklin but pushed on to Nashville, where Thomas crushed his army. Hood had destroyed his army and what was worse, he had left Georgia at the mercy of Sherman and his 60,000 veteran troops.

On paper, Sherman's march sounds like a rather meek accomplishment. He never confronted a large Confederate army. Yet, it was a pivotal moment in the war and for the Union, a decisive victory. It was also risky. Grant was at first unwilling to agree to the move, even after Sherman said "I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!" Much of Lincoln's cabinet had no stomach for it. Jefferson Davis and most of his chief commanders believed that Sherman's army would end up like Napoleon's in Russia, beset by partisans and unraveling without constant supply. Sherman himself feared a collapse in discipline, but the march rarely deteriorated into mass violence. Property was destroyed, but few towns were burned, no massacres occurred, and rape was rare. What fighting that did occur was gruesome. Cavalry skirmishes saw atrocities committed by both sides and at Griswoldville a Rebel militia force of old men and young boys made a Napoleonic style assault and were butchered. The march was also tough as it approached Savannah. Forage ran low and mistreatment of escaped slaves became common, while Confederate land mines threatened to slow the march and lead to reprisal killings. However, Sherman linked up with the Union navy by taking Fort McAllister in a textbook assault, and while the Confederate garrison of Savannah escaped, the city was Sherman's. He famously presented Savannah as a Christmas present to Lincoln. In the North spirits were raised, and in the South the will to continue evaporated. Sherman's destruction of property and his ability to go where he pleased, coupled with Hood's defeat, meant that a Union victory was now a mere question of time.

Sherman's March
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: The Battle of Bentonville [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
The Carolinas - The Last Campaign

Sherman had burned his way through Georgia in a methodical act of destruction. The men stole with impunity and the land was laid waste. The victory gave Sherman the confidence and acclaim that had eluded him. He also softened up. The men came to love him and his earlier reserve seemed to give way, while the image of thousands of slaves running to freedom began his long road towards personal racial reconciliation. In the South all was doom and gloom. What use was it to fight for a nation that could neither defend nor feed its people? Those who hung on were desperate. The Rebel brass could not even form an army to stop Sherman. Yet, victory was tempered with political minefields. Many politicians doubted Sherman's commitment to emancipation, and Grant's rivals hoped that Sherman might challenge his chief. Even worse, Sherman's infant child Charles Celestine had died. Sherman had never seen the boy.

Sherman decided to invade South Carolina. Once again his movements were well conceived and his men made it through treacherous terrain. Yet, here destruction took on a life of its own, for many rightfully blamed South Carolina for starting the war. Towns were burned and destruction was loosely doled out. Although Sherman did not burn Columbia, his men did loot it as the flames consumed the city. More restraint was shown in North Carolina, but even it had limits. To a group of Southern businessmen Sherman declared "Gentleman, niggers and cotton caused this war, and I wish them both in hell. On Wednesday these mills will be blown up. Good morning." Also, Sherman was finally confronted by a sizable Confederate army. The Rebels put up a spirited struggle, but they were driven off at Averasboro and an attack at Bentonville, the last great field battle of the war, ended in a Union victory. While Sherman failed to destroy the enemy, that was not his intention, as the war was coming to an end and he saw no reason to spill more blood. The same man who called Kennesaw Mountain "a kind of morning dash" now wrote "I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers ... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation." In a more humorous moment he said "I think we understand what military fame is, to be killed on the field of battle and have our names spelled wrong in the newspapers." The advance slowed down, but continued inexorably north towards Virginia and Lee. Sherman had perhaps done more than Grant to cripple Lee in the final phase, by robbing him of supplies and recruits, and most of all by causing such devastation that Lee's soldiers deserted to protect their families. As Sherman later observed "His Virginia was to him the world. He stood like a stone wall to defend Virginia, stood at the front porch battling with the flames whilst the kitchen and the house were burning." Sherman had undoubtedly burned the kitchen.

Union Counterattack at Bentonville
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: 1865: Midwest [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Victory - New Controversies

After Bentonville Sherman met with Lincoln, Grant, and Porter to discuss the closing strategy of the war. Lincoln expressed the need for the war to end promptly and in such a way as to avoid bloodshed. Sherman, who was now impressed by Lincoln's stature and thinking, carried out these instructions. In April, Richmond fell and Lee was forced to surrender a few days later. While Davis fled south, Joseph Johnston, with the help of John C. Breckinridge, chose to surrender his army in North Carolina. At first they gained lenient terms from Sherman, who in turn thought Johnston could surrender the entirety of the Confederacy. These high hopes were fueled by Breckinridge's stock of Kentucky bourbon. The Rebels seemed to get the better of him at the peace table, and in a North outraged by Lincoln's murder, Sherman's terms were rejected. Not until April 26, 1865 did the Army of Tennessee formally surrendered at Durham, North Carolina. Sherman and his veterans of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Bentonville could at last go home. For Sherman it as a bitter triumph. His old friend Halleck betrayed him and for a time Sherman was unpopular. Sherman's career might have been over, but Grant protected him and his army was the toast of Washington as it marched in the grand review. It was an end, but also a beginning. The Civil War was the great horrible adventure of their lives, and the rest of their time would be spent in its shadow. For Sherman that shadow was long indeed, for he loved and hated war. He could philosophize and condemn it, but also avoided calling it glorious or unnecessary. It was a realistic vision in an era of saccharine romanticism.

Sherman's conservatism assured that he would not be sent south, to oversee Reconstruction. Rather, he was sent west, with headquarters in St. Louis. His command covered the territory west of the Mississippi and east of the Rocky Mountains, excluding Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. These were strained times for Sherman, his main joy coming from home life, where he indulged his children. His main problems involved the Indian Wars. His record here is controversial and defies easy stereotypes. Sherman admired the Indians, even privately envied their more free-wheeling lifestyle. Yet, he thought them naturally inferior, and if his actions equaled his rhetoric there might have been an ethic cleansing. However, Sherman detested the predatory actions of the settlers and in the case of the Utes and Navajo, he sided with them and protected them, in part because neither tribe struck a defiant pose or used violence. In Sherman's mind he had succeeded in avoiding mass bloodshed and was paving the way for progress, a view he also took of his Civil War activities. The nation mostly sided with Sherman and two of his most capable subordinates in these wars, William Hazen and Philip Sheridan, became heroes of the day. Sherman's policy seems barbaric in an age when progress is a relative term and the fate of the Indians haunts our national conscious. Sherman saw himself as saving the Indians from mass slaughter while allowing America to grow and prosper. I must admit, the facts lie with Sherman.

Sherman and His Generals in May 1865
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Indian Wars [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Commanding General of the United States Army - Reformer

When Grant became president he named Sherman as commander of all the armies, with plans to broaden its powers in what was a nebulous position. Sherman bungled things. He was wary of the assignment and almost turned it down, but once he arrived he acted in a rather imperious manner. In the Senate John Logan, still harboring a grudge, accused Sherman of wanting to carry out a military coup. Radicals decried his posting since they feared he might retard progress in Reconstruction. Southerners by contrast considered him a friend and his stock rose in Dixie. In the disagreements between Sherman and Grant's Secretary of War, first John Rawlins then William Belknap, Grant sided with his cabinet. Tellingly, Grant and Sherman drifted apart. Their relations became reserved, and the Spartan Sherman disliked Grant's new affinity for radical politics and luxury. It is no wonder that the estranged Thomas now earned Sherman's sympathy but much too late, as he died in California.

Sherman was allowed to continue his Indian war strategy, but his attempts to improve the army's organization and officer training failed to go as far as he desired. The establishment of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and the reform of West Point away from its engineering emphasis, was his greatest success. Sherman was part of the push towards professionalization, and he supported the careers of like minded officers, including Sheridan, Hazen, and Emory Upton. In the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, he supported a move from copying French and British trends towards those of Germany, although Sherman successfully adopted the French method of officer training. In Sherman, America had its first army commander who saw himself as a reformer and not a caretaker or mere administrator. Although he was not the father of the modern army he pointed the way towards the military that would emerge in the 20th century, even more so than Winfield Scott and Ulysses Grant.

Sherman as Commander of the Army
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: American Civil War 1861-1865 [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:7319]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Memoirs - The War For Remembrance and Reputation

Sherman's political inability and frustration caused him to retreat from the public. He took frequent vacations, including one to Europe, and made inspections as often as he dared. In a rather contentious move, he shifted his headquarters from Washington to St. Louis in 1874. The move was fortuitous in a sense, for Sherman's distaste for politics meant that he was not implicated in the scandals that rocked Grant's presidency, in particular those perpetrated by Belknap. He had enough political friends and allies regardless. In 1876 he returned and served until 1884, generally with more success after Grant left the White House. He could still court controversy, particularly when, along with George McClellan, he supported expanding the professional army as a means to break up labor strikes. By the time he retired he was rather inactive and his successor, Sheridan, was little better.

Much of Sherman's energy after 1874 was devoted to writing, editing, and defending his memoirs. Sherman was among the first to try his hand at crafting Civil War recollections. The book was a runaway success, in part because Sherman's lively style did not leave him in old age. While mostly factual, Sherman's opinions generated controversy. He often blamed his failures on others and had harsh words for even the war's best commanders, which annoyed Grant. Most of all, Sherman's condemnation of the Southern cause meant his reputation there dropped. From here on out he became the boogeyman of the Lost Cause, a kind of Yankee Mongol raider who defied all notions of civility. Sherman never batted an eye, later declaring "How any Southern gentleman can still boast of 'the lost cause' or speak of it in language other than that of shame and sorrow passes my understanding." Although Sherman's memoirs made new enemies and strengthened old animosities, Sherman had won the war for memory with his prose and his impressive intellect, two things even his worst critics would concede to him. His exploits, particularly in 1864 and 1865, became something of an an American legend.

Marching Through Georgia Sheet Music
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Happy Retirement [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
New York City - Retired Life

Even before leaving the army, Sherman was already a highly sought speaker, but in the years after 1884 he was a particularly prominent orator. Much of this was an outgrowth of his time in Washington, where social visits were welcomed, particularly by young officers. Sherman was charitable to old soldiers and spoke in the first veterans organizations, particularly with the Society of the Army of the Tennessee. His speeches were varied. He often attacked the South and showed a softening view on race, including his support for black suffrage, sparked in part by a rise in Southern laws that limited black freedoms. At one such speech, given in Columbus, Ohio, he famously proclaimed "There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." This wisdom has lived on and become his most quoted line. Another famous line was political. Upon being told that the Republican Party wanted him for president, he said simply "I will not accept if nominated, and will not serve if elected." This has ever since been known in politics as a Sherman reply.

As his public life became gay and pleasant, his private life declined. His son Tom, expected to be a lawyer and carry the family traditions of success, instead turned to the Jesuits. Sherman, an avowed religious skeptic, was enraged, and he never quite forgave his dour and pious wife. Arguably he had no right to forgive, for after 1865 Sherman became interested in other women. He had confessed his new found lust to Grant right after the war, and he earned a reputation as a rake, although his relatively discreet ways avoided scandal. He even made careful advances on one of Grant's daughters and upon Hazen's wife. One of his longest affairs was with Mary Audenreid, wife of Joseph Audenreid, a member of Sherman's staff. It began only after Joseph died and perhaps in part because Mary was desperate. An even longer affair was carried out with Vinnie Ream, an artist and free thinker. With these women Sherman found intimacy, sex, and the kind of depth lacking in Ellen. These affairs are perplexing in part because Sherman had shown no great appetite for carnal pleasures before 1865; while as human as the next man, he was occupied more on attaining success as a young man. Once he arrived, so to speak, it was as if he was making up for lost time. It also hurt that in being around Ellen more, he possibly found that they really had only a tenuous connection, bound more by the past than by common interests, hopes, and emotions.

Sherman in 1888
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: Sudden Death! [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:8831]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Death - Among the Last Great Generals

Sherman lived in St. Louis for a time after the war, but it was mostly a base to travel the nation. In 1886 he settled in New York City, still a fixture in the lecture circuit. However, the years now wore on. Although estranged from Grant, who's obsession with money disgusted Sherman, he was saddened by his passing. By 1888 he was among the last of the major Union generals still living. Sheridan, Thomas, Meade, and a host of others were already gone. Although still sharp, his mind was fading. Upon meeting Robert Louis Stevenson he mistook him for a veteran and launched into some well-worn war stories. Ellen perished in 1888 and he was too aged to carry on affairs. Among his last public appearances was a West Point maneuver in 1889. On February 14, 1891 he died with pneumonia. He perished at the height of Civil War nostalgia and, against his wishes, his funeral procession was an act of nationalistic pomp by an America confident and united. Joseph Johnston, who had befriended Sherman after the war, served as pallbearer. He refused to wear a hat despite the rain and died one month later. Sherman, in the meantime, was buried in St. Louis, a perfect middle ground for a man who drank the wide breath of America. He saw his nation with his own eyes and fought for it. He died confident in its future and that his actions had helped to secure a glorious national destiny.

Sherman's family went on as best they could, but only one child, Rachel, bore children. Tom became depressed and in 1911 he had a nervous breakdown. He died in seclusion in 1933. Philemon was a successful lawyer but also a bachelor. John Sherman continued his political career, being a top Republican Party leader. He served as Secretary of Treasury under Rutherford Hayes and seemed poised for the presidency, but instead lost to the machinations of his very own campaign manager, James A. Garfield. Oddly enough, Garfield was himself an ally of William Tecumseh Sherman, but he was also an enemy of Ulysses S. Grant. As a veteran of the Army of the Cumberland, he rightfully felt Grant and Sherman failed to give that organization its just accolades, and possibly relished stopping both John Sherman and Grant from winning the nomination. Still, John Sherman pressed on, composing the famed Sherman Antitrust Act and serving disastrously as Secretary of State under William McKinley. John died in 1900. Hoyt, who was a successful banker, followed four years later. The Sherman family, once among the most respected in America, essentially faded from the upper rungs of power as the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era. The same fate also befell the Ewing clan.

Sherman's Funeral
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Total War [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
Military Reputation - Prophet, Master of Maneuver, and Monster

Even in his lifetime, Sherman's abilities as a general were the subject of debate. To the North he was generally seen an avenging angel and Grant's right hand of victory, his colorful quips and mannerisms adding to the luster of taking Atlanta and marching to the sea. In the South he was, save for during Reconstruction, a thoroughly despised man. Southerners, despite all evidence to the contrary, thought their cause and its conduct was noble. To them Sherman was a brute who attacked innocents and robbed them of their rightful property, both human and inanimate. He also embarrassed the South by marching freely through the heartland, and his blunt words only made the wounds deeper. Even in denying that he burned Columbia, he still said "if I had made up my mind to burn Columbia I would have burnt it with no more feeling than I would a common prairie dog village; but I did not do it ..."

Sherman's admirers point to his strategic vision, mastery of logistics, and unwillingness to try frontal assaults after 1863. To Liddell Hart, Sherman was a forerunner of modern maneuver warfare, and to this end Sherman was extensively studied in military circles after World War I, as officers tried to avoid a repeat of Verdun. Others, damning war with Sherman's own language, see him as only the first step in the path to total war, where civilians are fair game. Both visions blow Sherman's role out of proportion. He was hardly a prophet of total war or even maneuver tactics. Sherman's targeting of civilians was a practice that went back for centuries and the Napoleonic Wars were certainly more total, as shown by the widespread devastation wrought in the Peninsular War. Also, Sherman had as many failures as he had successes. Tactically, his record was mixed and he never scored victories on par with those secured by his friends, Grant and Thomas. Indeed, he never even met Meade's achievement at Gettysburg, by winning a battle of breathtaking scale and slaughter. Nor did he throw the enemy back in disarray as Sheridan did in the Shenandoah Valley and at Five Forks. In the end, the historians, buffs, and commentators can agree on only these facts: Sherman was among the pivotal commanders of the war. He had a firm grasp of strategy and logistics, and his victory at Atlanta and the march to sea were the decisive campaigns in the late war.

1937 Stamp Featuring the Union's Holy Trinity
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.71 Overall Rank:11132]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
mbmbmbmbmb
My Thoughts - A Man Between Two Worlds

Sherman once said "Grant's whole character was a mystery even to himself - a combination of strength and weakness not paralleled by any of whom I have read in Ancient or Modern History..." While Grant carries his own contradictions, the above applies more easily to Sherman. He was better at military affairs the further he was promoted. His empathy was limited by callousness, to the degree that some claim he was narcissistic. Unlike most blunderers, he learned, although, Whitelaw Reid accurately observed that "He never acknowledged an error and never repeated it." He was ambitious, but unwilling to use his family connections unless forced to. He desired command but was conscious of his shortcomings and did not play politics with the abandon of Hooker and McClellan. Sherman's vices were legion. He was mostly an elitist and a bigot in terms of race and religion. He was not a great family man. He rarely took responsibility for failure, and his military errors are at times comically bad. Yet, he learned. He was honest in his speech and, in private, with himself. He showed loyalty in friendship, energy in action, the capacity to grow, and he was above all intellectually curious and observant.

On the eve of the Civil War Sherman declared that "The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors." To me, this is the key to his status as a good, if not great, general. He understood the logistics and mechanics of war. From here, one can see his desire to avoid frontal attacks, to embark upon the march to the sea, and his actions and utterances. War for him was not political and even less spiritual. It was a materialistic and unromantic endeavor. In this he represented an emerging way of thought and action that was unique in 1864, but increasingly common by 1891 and in our own age. He was less a prophet of war and more a vanguard of a new kind of man: materialistic, relativistic, and direct. So Sherman was both wholly of his time and yet unique. With Lee one gets the feeling that he was an archetype even before he was cast in marble and put on a pedestal. Sherman has no such pretensions. One does not speak of false qualities with Sherman. Grant hid his arrogance and greed with his quiet and simple manner. Lee deflected his support for slavery and secession with statements about honor. Sherman was arguably too blunt. His actions were never as harsh as his words, yet he rarely held back his feelings or opinions. It is perhaps this honesty and sharp eloquence, combined with his struggles both internal and external, that draws myself and others to him. His personal struggles were even a running theme in Ross McElwee's bizarre slice of life documentary called Sherman's March. His struggles, both in his family and in finding a place in the world, seem modern even as his prejudices were wholly of his time. We may damn the man, but I find it hard to hate the man. He gives one hope that a person can learn from their mistakes and blaze a path through the jungle of life in spite of their shortcomings.

The Most Unlikely Documentary Ever Filmed...
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.